The Most Hilarious Voice Mail Ever

It's contained within this blog post

Climbing a soapbox and reacting viscerally to a news item is one popular depiction of what a blogger’s job should be all about.

But there are times when acting out through prose over some issue or person in the news just isn’t all that appealing, and for whatever reason this is one of those times.

I was hoping instead to find a mood changer, something that would amend your day, scramble your brain, blow you out of your seat. Doing that through the usual news channels is difficult at best.

I briefly considered writing about Donald Trump, who is in the news a lot these days. A new poll shows Trump as the second most popular Republican candidate for president, which is enough to scramble anybody’s brain. Trump’s always been a cartoon and a certifiable fool of course, but a couple of decades from now, when we get a little historical perspective, he’ll be noted for having played the race card as well. Trump’s recent talk of Obama and birth certificates is as vacuous and soulless as the casinos and buildings that bear his name. Beyond all that, though, Trump’s simply too much the colossal bore to think about for very long, and hardly a topic that will make your day.

I considered going off in this post about Glenn Beck. The timing would be perfect. Yesterday Beck quit his TV show on FOX where he made a lot of money pointing to black clouds and rousing the darkest corners in our populace. It’s good he’ll soon no longer be on TV, but for me—and maybe for you, too—he was never on TV in the first place since he was on the network I never watched. So why bother?

There’s the budget showdown, the Tea Party, Ramsey’s decision to stay on as top cop and of course there’s always Ackerman.

But again, just not feeling it.

Then, like manna from heaven, it came to me, literally, in my e-mail inbox.

I receive a lot of subscription e-mails. Most I don’t open, even though I willingly subscribe to them, thinking at the time that they’ll provide me something I can’t do without.

But one subscription e-mail I do open is called the Very Short List. Founded by editor and journalist Kurt Anderson (and others) in 2006, its mission is simple, really: to highlight entertainment and media that haven’t been “hyped to within an inch of their lives.”

And, true to its mission, cool stuff shows up in the Very Short List e-mail every day—sometimes the stuff is erudite.

Not today though. Today, I clicked it open and read this:

“Stop us if you’ve heard this one before:

“A guy calls in to work; he’s late, on the road to Dallas. Just as he’s leaving a message, two cars collide in front of him. One has run a red light; the other is full of elderly women. What comes next involves pepper spray, a little black purse, a large bag, and a Bible—and might just be the funniest voice mail we’ve ever heard. (It reminded us of the late, great southern short-story master Barry Hannah, writing at his very best.) The file’s just three-and-a-half-minutes long, but we ended up listening to it over and over again.”

The link to that voice mail is here.

Click and listen.

Pretty sure it’ll make your day.

Tim Whitaker ( is the executive director of Mighty Writers, a nonprofit program that inspires city kids to write.