Sh*t Crazy Newsroom Callers Say

by - December 29, 2014

The week of Christmas always seems to bring out the random, weird and/or crazy callers in droves. This year was no exception. I'm going to share with you three weird phone calls I was part of last week.

Call #1

Caller: Do you still have the Ellen cardboard?
Me: I'm sorry, what?
Caller: You know, the cardboard of Ellen from t.v. I took a picture with it in your lobby once.
Me: Oh... Well, now that you mention it, I haven't seen it in awhile so I'm not sure.
Caller: I want to borrow it.
Me: For what?
Caller: To play a prank on my son.
Me: I'm not sure if we loan those types of things out, and I'm not who would be able to give you permission.
Caller: Your receptionist said I could.
Me: She doesn't have that authority. The person you need to speak with is out today. You can call back tomorrow.

He did call back the next day ... three times. We told him no.

Call #2
Caller: Is Nick Saban leaving Alabama?
Me: Not that I know of.
Caller: Well, my coworker saw a post on Facebook that said he was.
Me: Can you tell me more about the post? Was it an article that someone shared; did you see it on a news organization's page?
Caller: Someone shared it from feednewz.
Me (after looking up feednewz): Ma'am, feednewz is a prank website.
Caller: Well, if it is true it'd be a knife in the backs of Alabamians.

Call #3 (abbreviated due to length of call)
Caller: I have evidence and I talked to a lawyer who advised me to go public with this information. Don't let me scare you but it dates back to 2001.

I, of course (happy that she warned me up front), promptly transferred her to my assignment editor who attempted to help her. However, this lady wouldn't give him her name or a phone number, so in the end we couldn't help her.

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  1. Hi, Ashton! Over the years you and I have exchanged many stories that reveal a lack of media savvy among television viewers. These phone call transcripts you shared are similar to ones I fielded in the 70s and 80s. They also reminded me of the comedy team of Hudson and Landry and their "Kearsarge" sketch in which a man on the street reporter interviews a country bumpkin.

    REPORTER: Could I have you name?
    BUMPKIN: Well it's possible but I doubt it.

    BUMPKIN: Are you on television?
    REPORTER: Yes, I am.
    BUMPKIN: Are you wearing a wig? A too-pee?
    REPORTER: Why, does it look like it?
    BUMPKIN: I've never seen one but I heard you guys wear 'em.

    REPORTER: You're a farmer.
    BUMPKIN: Yeah!
    REPORTER: Do you grow much?
    BUMPKIN: Oh, no, I haven't growed hardly at all since I was 18.

    BUMPKIN: Could you do me a favor?
    REPORTER: I'd be glad to.
    BUMPKIN: Could you get my mother on Queen For a Day?
    REPORTER: I don't think they're even broadcasting that anymore.
    BUMPKIN: The heck they ain't. I seen it just a couple weeks ago.
    REPORTER: That could have been a rerun.
    BUMPKIN: Could you get her on one of those?

    I hope all is well with you, dear friend Ashton. I wish you all the best in 2015 including a healthy, happy baby.

    1. Believe it or not, we were actually talking about that show in our sweeps meeting last month. Small world!