Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday rerun: We Got Your Number

Inveterate TV and movie watchers (and even some veterate watchers, for all I know) are used to scenes in which someone gives their phone number to someone else. Of course, that person always had a crisp pad of paper right there, along with a sharp pencil at the ready. But the number, back in the days before all-digital dialing, would be KLondike 5 – 1234 or something like that, which of course became the 555- blah blah blah blah that we’re used to now. The phone companies just reserved the KL5- or 555- exchanges for people making movies with Victor Mature in them.

In the early 80’s, one-hit rock group Tommy Tutone came out with a catchy song called “867-5309 (Jenny).” In that war-torn summer of 1982, our national morale was being tested as Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a British colony, resulting in both the Falklands War, and glorious victory parades, as the war ended with a British win. By Jove, England had provoked a stupid little war over nothing, movie actor Ronald Reagan had butted us into it for the sake of our national pride, and we rolled up our sleeves and started looking for a part in a war often described as “two bald men fighting over a comb." Generals and Majors always seem so unhappy 'less they got a war, as XTC sang.

All across the length and, especially, the breadth of America, school kids could be heard singing “There Will Always Be An England,” “We’ll Meet Again,” and “867-5309 (Jenny).”

To this day, when we hear that song, our thoughts go back to the Falklands War. Or of calling 867-5309 in every area code known to Ma Bell. Check this guy’s blog.

You talk about having free time to call all these numbers looking for Jenny!

And now comes word that some disc jockey – not the cool, radio sort of disc jockey, but the one that shows up at weddings to play music from a computer – had the 867-5309 number in his local calling area and wishes to sell it. How cool it would be if someone named “Lenny” or “Henny” or “Penny” bought it, so they would get calls like this:

Caller: “Hello, Jenny?”
Person who owns phone number: “Nah, this is Lenny.”

And just where do we go from there?

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