You are phone.

Do you have 20 – 30 minutes? Got a phone?

Good.

Lift the handset. Start dialing a number, any number, blindly. Press the numbers at random. Wait and see what happens. To begin with, the experiment is mostly disappointing. Engaged signals, recorded error messages, silences, blanks. Dead ends. Unless you’re very lucky, your first attempts will lead nowhere. The telephone does not work at random. So you must arrange matters to increase your chances of success.

Begin by determining the total number of figures you will dial, which varies depending on the country you’re in, the requisite codes, the region you are thinking of contacting. You can either limit yourself to national calls, or else extend your luck to the four corners of the world (depending on your mood, languages and budget).

NONE of this should be treated as a prank. The kind of game we are playing has nothing to do with the kind of joke played by adolescents to world over. And this, indeed, is the first thing you need to impress upon your interlocutors. “I’m phoning for no reason, can you tell me who you are?” You must get them to agree, if you can, that it’s not a joke…

What happens next is unpredictable. They’ll slam the phone down on you, or you’ll begin an unlikely conversation with a receptionist at a steel girder factory in Manchester. They’ll insult you, or else a strange, semi-anonymous relationship will be initiated with someone who was a perfect stranger a moment before.

The experiment is not about making new friends or chatting up people from the comfort of your own home. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not the point. Rather it’s a way of experiencing the density of the human world, both close at hand and infinite. Telephoning at random ought to be the starting point of micro-adventures into this density. Of infinitesimal odysseys. Instantaneous distortions, sudden abyssal faults in the daily routine, little pockets of strangeness.

To return to earth, just hang up. But it takes a moment to adjust. Strands of otherness still hang in the air. Or you’ve left some thread of your own behind, and you don’t quite know where…

Seacrest out.

Share

  • About the Author

    Juan Soto enjoys reading mangas over watching animes, listening to what pleases me, majoring in Int'l Economic Policy with concentration in german, loves soccer, and plays video games for the story and not the the challenge. Yes, he is casual.

  • Speak Your Mind

    Tell us what you're thinking...
    and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

    You must be logged in to post a comment.