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Telephone answering machines (Kirsi "Kriisi" Lindh)
Helsinki University of Technology, FINLAND

Answering machines. Nowadays almost everyone has one, complete with a snappy message of their own device. Wait for the BEEP and then read on. This is a short adaptation of Simon Butler-White's and Clive Archer's "could-be" phone messages released in Australian Cleo, August 1989. (Some of them are bit old, Maggie ain't prime minister of the UK, and Kylie Minogue isn't seeing Jason Donovan anymore, but you'll get the meaning anyway, I'm sure).

John McEnroe, Tennis Mouth

You dummy! You've called while I'm OUT! Five minutes You've missed me by AT LEAST five minutes. Are you stupid or what? Can't you get anything right? You people make me sick! Leave a message and I'll call you back! BEEP.

Sarah Ferguson, Another Royal

(Giggle) Hello, this is (sound of hand being placed over receiver and a loud whisper). Andrew! What's that title again? What? Oh hello, this is the Duchess of York. The Duke and I are out skiing, so when you hear the jolly old pip pip, leave your message and we'll give you a tinkle when we get back--in November. BEEP.

Elvis Presley, Corpse

Hi. I can't come to the phone right now. Actually I can't do much of anything right now because I've been dead since 1977. But my spirit lives on and if you'd like to leave your name and number, I'll try to contact you via ouija board, Madame Zenda or garbled tape recording. This is also the number of John F. Kennedy, Adolf Hitler, Harold Holt, Lucille Ball, Roy Orbison...BEEP.

Mikhail Gorbachev, Commie Birthmark

Hello. This is Nonoxynol-9, the persona and private telephone number of Mikhail Vladivostok Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Supreme Council of the glorious Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Commander-In-Chief of the Combined Armies of the Proletariat Peoples of Russia, First Citizen of the Order of Lenin, Supreme Patron of the Soviet Institute of Literature and Domestic Sciences, President of the Soviet People's Council of Peace and Happiness and Captain of the Kremlin B Squash Team. But hey, call me Mike. BEEP.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Thespian

Gutten day to you. Here I'm being on ze set of mein latest moofie. Eet's the latest moofie in mein strings of mega-hits. First zere was za Terminator, zen zere was za Predator...zis one's called za Laminator. Eet's about zis handyman on a mission. Eet's drama. Very funny stuff. You'll chust luff it. I know you vill. Leaf a messich after za BEEP. Don't say you can't. Ve haf vays off making you talk, you know. BEEP.

Margaret Thatcher, Iron Woman

You have reached the residence of the Prime Minister at No. 10 Downing Street. When you hear the beep, sit up straight, speak clearly and distinctly and STOP doodling when you're talking to me! And Dennis, if that's you, how many time have I told you abut staying at the club after 9.30? We've been a very naughty boy, haven't we? BEEP.

Kylie Minogue, Singing Budgie

Gee, hi, um, I'm unable to come to the phone right now cos I'm making a movie, or a video, or a new album or something, but I'll get back to you next time I'm in Australia. and if that's you Jason, I stick by what I said last night: You wear your underwear and I'll wear mine. BEEP.

The Pope, Spiritual Leader

Bless you my child. This is John Paul Ringo...heh heh, I tell a liddle Beatles choke, yes? I'm out kissing airport runways (hey, so would you if you flew Boeing) and am unable to pontificate at present. Please leave your name and number when you hear the amen and I'll get back to you, God willing. BEEP.

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