* 77 is my new best friend

Phone rings at 3:30 am. It’s a new phone, so I have trouble figuring out which buttons to push in the dark to answer it. I say a groggy “hello” and hear a phone ringing on the other end of the line. Great I think, another one of those phantom phone company calls. I hang up and two minutes later the phone rings again. I answer, hear the phone ringing on the other end, this time connecting to a computer (or fax). I say outloud “what the hell’s going on?” Voice on the other line says “Dude, I’m fucking your wife,” and hangs up. I marvel momentarily at his rich treasure trove of humor, no doubt from hours of listening to Howard Stern, and go to deal with my two kids who are now wide awake and crying.

I tried to *69 him, but of course the pussy’s got his line blocked. I relate my story to a friend this morning who tells me about the joys of *77, which basically blocks any incoming call which originates from a blocked line, or one where caller ID is unavailable…which eliminates calls from everyone from assholes in the middle of the night to telemarketers.

Tomorrow I reprogram my phone. Tonight I hope he calls again, so I can *57 him…another new piece of information…which tracks blocked lines and reports them to the phone company.

I think I’m missing something here.

If you have to *77 the guy to block him, doesn’t that invalidate the use of *77 in the first place? You have to punch that in every time someone calls? If not, why would it be called *77? It’s just a normal, automatic service you set up, right?

Also, if you did indeed block him, how can he call back? You’ll never get a chance to use *57 on him.

Of course, you can always just get the call buster buster buster.

What is a call buster buster buster?

Apparantly *77 programs your phone to always block these calls. Instead of hearing a ring, the caller hears a recorded message that the number does not accept blocked calls. There’s another code (*78?) that deactivates it.

Again, from what I understand, you need to have the Caller ID function on your line already, or you can pay a small monthly fee for this service.

As far as I’m concerned, if I never have to answer another call from some @#$%&* credit card company during dinner again, it’s worth a few bucks a month.

As for my new buddy, I’ll wait and see if he calls tonight, so I can trace his ass.

I hope you don’t have a cell phone because you’ll never be able to call home on it.

I also hope that none of your friends have unlisted phone numbers because they won’t be able to get ahold of you either.

I hate to break it to you buddy, but I have caller ID on all my phones and only about 10% of the calls I receive are identifiable. (and my phone number is in Frigidaire literature as the area repair shop…so I get a LOT of calls)

Huh? All our cellphones show up on the caller ID as “mobile phone” and shows the number.

Ahh…a concern of mine as well originally, but supposedly it only blocks calls from callers who have blocked *69 from their phones. Calls from unlisted numbers supposedly go through. I have to call the phone company once and for all and get the scoop.

Oh, and by the way…there seems to be an awful lot of frost in my freezer…

Ah the Big Hit, truly an underappreciated film

Trace busta busta busta.

Well, I dunno what the phone company will tell you but my experience has been that unlisted numbers, private numbers, and many legitimate numbers that, for one reason or another, Caller ID can’t get a number for (seems to happen a lot with out-of-state calls), are often blocked. I can’t use it 'cause I end up blocking lots of legitimate calls from friends.

Ok…so here’s the deal…

*77 does not block calls from unlisted numbers, only from numbers which have had a block placed on their lines (ie telemarketers, dickheads, paranoid individuals). Apparently, even if you have an unlisted number, your number still comes up on Caller ID, unless you have taken an additional step to block your line (there’s a bunch of codes to activate, deactivate, etc., a number of features). Of course, we’ll see how this plays out in real life. Worse comes to worse, my inlaws can’t call us…hmmm…

Three bucks a month from my local phone co., since I don’t have Caller ID. Sounds worth it.