Remember the Time: Phone Message

Let me take you back for a second. Ride with me.

Remember back in the day, when you had your boo-boo or bun-bun, your honey bun or whatever food you wanted to name your girl/boy friend. Why did we name people after candy or food? Why couldn’t I just be Fresh? Why did I have to be caramel or Snickers (packed with nuts and really satisfying. HA!)

People wouldn’t ask you if that’s your girl. They would say “Yo Fresh, you go with Neeka?” Go. Go meant boyfriend/girlfriend. Somewhere in the ghetto urban dictionary it was shorthand for relationship. That’s what you wrote on your note. Do you want to go with me? Then you put the boxes. Go let you play it of so if that snot nose stole your note, you could be like “nah nah, I meant go to the Deli to get some donuts”….

So I’m bunned up with Neeka back in the day. We went to different schools so after school was a rush. Why? Cause either I was gonna go see my snuggums or she was gonna see me. That’s how you roll when you’re young. You walk down the block with your arm around her, not only to claim her to those other suckas but to show that PDA she loved oooh so much. Especially if one of you went to another school. Wow.

Neeka lived in Vandeveer Projects. Another girl, Tara, lived in the same building as Neeka. Tara went to the same school as me, so not only would I see her in the hall but I would also see her when I went to check Neeka.

Neeka didn’t like Tara. Wanna know how I know? She told me “I don’t like or trust that bitch”

Me: Why snuggums?

Her: Cause I don’t.

And that my friends was the end of the story. No more questions asked.

I had signed up to help tutor students in the math. Guess who showed up. Yup. Tara. And when I walked outside the school that afternoon, guess who was walking right next to me. Yup. Tara. And guess who just happened to be outside. Yup. Neeka.

And guess who just happened to get pissed. You know the answer to that.

So she told me not to tutor Tara anymore and blah blah blah. I didn’t listen. Tara came. I taught. The only thing was Tara was running her mouth in the ‘veer talking about me and her and failing to mention the fact that she was a doo-doo bird at math. The next tutoring session came. I left the school. Tara next to me. Neeka outside. Drama.

Neeka left. I stayed in the front of the school basically acting all macho because I couldn’t chase after no girl in front of my boys. You know that male bravado can’t allow you to get called soft. I might have even yelled something like “well leave then….”

But later that day and night, I would be sweating the phone, calling Neeka non-stop. Back then, my phone looked like this:



So when you had to redial a number, you literally had to dial it over and over and over and over again. You had to switch fingers cause one finger would be red dialing a number.

At that time, call waiting was just starting to pop. Neeka didn’t have it. So all I heard was busy signals. *booooomp boooooomp booooomp*

When you didn’t want to be bothered, you took the phone off the hook because this wasn’t around








Caller-ID? Please. You had NO clue who was calling you.

Finally, I got through. 1 ring. Nobody picked up. 2 rings. Still no pickup. 3 rings. Nada. 4 ring. This thing picked up:











and then some damn Luther Vandross “so amazing” started playing and like 3 seconds later, a female voice came on sounding all sexy girl 6-ish…

Hiiiiiiiiiii…’ve reached the Smith residence(3 second pause…”it’s sooo amazing to be loved”)…….No one is here to take your call right now, but please, don’t hang up, leave a message and we’ll get back to you….”it’s sooo amazing to be loved, i’d follow you to the moon and sky above”

Answering machines were the caller id at the time because people would let it go and wait for people to talk, and THEN pick up. Screening calls. And people would change the music on their message constantly. Neeka’s mom would damn near make love to that machine…..

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.      Time to leave a message.

I froze. Thought I knew what I was going to say but I didn’t so I hung up.  Then I knew exactly what to do. I called back, listened to the greeting.


As soon as it was my time, I took the phone, put it by the radio, press play on the tape I made the night before when I recorded the slow jams off Quiet Storm and let the music did the talking…..

C’mon maaaaaaaaaaaaan. Don’t front. How many of you did this? Played songs on someone’s answering machine, voice mail…Any type of song too. Love songs. Revenge songs. Happy songs. It didn’t matter.

Next day, Neeka met me after school. Fresh -n- Neeka. K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

*side note* Neeka later used a whole can of vaseline on her face, removed her dookey name earrings and proceeded to whooop Tara’s ass…….All’s fair in love.


~ by alwaysfunkyfresh on January 9, 2009.

18 Responses to “Remember the Time: Phone Message”

  1. How you feel that there are STILL people that have music on their answering machines? How ’88 is that?

    Cute post. Neeka was all the way live! LOL

  2. Music on answering machines!! BWAAAAHAHAHA!! The greetings would be like 45 seconds and just as you started to leave a message (after sitting through Luther) they picked up the phone! My sister was notorious for this.

    And my aunt has my grandma’s old rotary phone. I tried to teach my niece to use it. She ’bout broke her finger.

  3. I remember the time I almost got into a fight for leaving an evil song on someone’s answering machine.

    You knew you were dead wrong…..that’s why you broke out the Jodeci. LOL

  4. Gosh, I remember the music in the background and phone sex operator sounding voicemail greetings… or the ones where the person answers the phone with “Hello?”. You start telling your life story and then all of a sudden its interrupted with “Just kidding, Im not here. You thought that was me didn’t you? HAHAHA!!! Leave a message”.
    I hated that with a passion
    LOL @ the rotary phone. I remember my grandmother had a phone like that and refused to get another one. Needless to say, I never used the phone at granny’s house.

    Maybe she did that on purpose.

  5. My sister still plays music on her voicemail. Her message even manages to incorporate the song somehow. Hell I would have kicked Tara’s ass too. I was cracking up at you playing the music to the machine.

  6. Woooooooooooo you took it back w/ this one Fresh. Definitely the ‘good ol days’.

  7. I must be corny as hell cause I still play songs on people’s voicemail.

  8. Bamboo Earrings at least two pair! She was definitely NOT the one to fugg wit! I love it!!

    LMAO @–**You had to switch fingers cause one finger would be red dialing a number.** YOU AIN’T NEVAH LIED!!!! 🙂

  9. wow, I maybe young but those are some memories. I had my own line mid 90s and changed my song every week! My coworker was just telling me last week that this lady at church was still playing music on her cells voicemail, cece winans, whomp whomp.

  10. I hated rotary phones.

    I used to have Maxwell’s ascension on my voicemail.

  11. It could be a teenage thing because my nephew still plays music on his voicemail. Or a hood thing because my grown azz ghetto cousin does too, lol.

  12. Bwaaaahahahaaaaa OMG I remember leaving music on answering machines or the pager joints!!! hahahaaaaa OMG I’m mad you messed with a chick from the Veer.. SMH LOL

  13. What’s worse than music on someone’s VM is call tones. I hate that mess with a passion. Why I gotta listen to a message and some dumb a** static-y song BEFORE you or your VM decide to pick up? You’re really not doing me any favors.

  14. LOL!!! Hilarious…bringing back the old memories…all though…at my house we didn’t have the rotary dial version of that phone… OOOH thank god for redail now!

  15. Talk about a flashback! Thanks for that one…I used to change the message on my pager depending on my mood.

    And don’t play…I was pissed at this guy once. I changed my voicemail to Usher’s “You Don’t Have to Call” while I spent the weekend in Chicago with my BFF. That’s what he heard everytime he called.

    Music is powerful man!!!

  16. Snickers (packed with nuts and really satisfying.


    And cordless phones were NOWHERE to be found!

    Awww…sensitive Fresh! 🙂

  17. Oh the walk down memory lane…i must admit though that i can’t imagine not having caller id. who ever invented it was a genius? can you really imagine answering the phone and not knowing who it is?

  18. Wow I was thinking of putting some music on my cells vmail cause I like this new track but I guess having music as your vmail is really played out…glad I didnt put it lol

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