Wait – maybe I shouldn’t start a post with that phrase. Because the very notion that one of you might be “like me” is frankly a little frightening. Still, let’s put that fear aside and go with it…
If you’re like me, you probably have an answering machine at home, and it probably has a perfunctory greeting designed to efficiently get to the ‘beep’ so that your caller may leave you a message. There’s a particular point about those outgoing messages I’d like to discuss today.
More than once, I’ve heard people caution others to avoid saying, “I’m not home right now…” on their answering machine, because, you know, that will tip off the Bad Guys that it’s safe to break into their home now. So instead, we are instructed to cleverly, vaguely say something like, “I can’t come to the phone now…” – as if this will cause the Bad Guy on the other end to throw down the phone and say, “Curses! He didn’t say whether or not he was home… Well, I certainly can’t risk breaking into THAT house! I’ll have to keep searching for someone who’s willing to state unequivocally that they’re not home right now…”
So here is the outgoing message I’ve dreamed of putting on my machine (though I doubt I ever will).
[Spoken in an oddly calm, quiet voice]: Hello. I might not be home right now. Or I might be sitting in my darkened living room, my shotgun on my lap, just waiting for some sorry bastard to stick their nose through a door or window. It’s up to you. The question you’ve got to ask yourself is: Do you feel lucky? Well do you, punk? If you don’t, please leave a message when you hear the beep.