Ah, the answering machine: what a delightfully quaint device for one’s greetings. I remember how amazed you earthlings were when they first came out. “Just think,” you collectively said, “we don’t have to interrupt our precious TV viewing. We can let a machine answer the phone for us!”
And in that machine was a cassette bearing answering phone messages. You earthlings were so excited about the cassette. You used to watch the little spools turn round and round as it produced vibrations in your nitrogen rich atmosphere. Linda thought you earthlings looked cute in that transfixed state. I often disagree with Linda.
On that beloved cassette, you placed your oh-so-clever-and-witty greeting. And they went on forever! At first, you didn’t realize the person on the other end of the phone was anxious to get on with his message. Eventually you all got the hint and made your message machine greetings short, but it took a while. Slow learners, you earthlings.
Probably the most famous answering machine in the solar system was the one used at the beginning of TV show, The Rockford Files (a big hit on the moon). Each episode began with a different response left for the ever vigilant private eye. Here are some examples:
I staked out that guy only it didn’t work out like you said. Please call me. Room 234. County Hospital.”
It’s Norma at the market. It bounced. You want me to tear it up, send it back, or put it with the others?
This is Dr. Souter’s office again, regarding that root canal. The doctor is in his office…waiting. He’s beginning to dislike you.”
This is Shirley at the bank. The answers are: no, no, and yes. No, we won’t loan you money. No, we won’t accept any co-signers; and yes, your account’s overdrawn. I get off at 4:30.”
This is Toby. I forgot what I was calling for. Your recording is so boring. Spike it with some humor, some personality. Something.
So what kind of voicemail should you leave four and answering machine? Well, I’ve already mentioned some here. But here are a few funny ones that I found geared especially for the clunky machinery of the answering machine:
Well I finally got an answering machine. Now how does this thing work? Hmmm. Press record button, I did that, and the light should be on. I wonder why it’s not working right. Hmmmm, I wonder what this button does…
How do you leave a message on this thing? I can’t understand the instructions. Hello. Testing 1 2 3. I wonder what happens if I touch this… YOW!
You know what I hate about answering machine messages? They go on and on, wasting your time. I mean, all they really need to say is, “We aren’t in, leave a message.” That’s why I’ve decided to keep mine simple and short. I pledge to you, my caller, that you will never have to suffer through another long answering machine message when you call me…
 And these were the less inane TV shows. Remember? Before the new low bar of Reality TV?