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Ever since Zack Morris invented the cell phone many semesters ago, a growing number of imbeciles have been concocting new ways to irritate the ever-living shit out of us by using it improperly. You'd prefer to ignore these callers, but instead you are forced to deal with them on a regular basis.

Inventor of the cellular telephone.

Will they ever learn? Well, we sure as shit don't think so.

The Cryptic Messenger

The Cryptic Messenger perpetually leaves the same mysterious message regardless of whom they are calling or the purpose of their call:

"Hi, this is Melvin. Call me back."

If you're lucky enough to have been selected to do them a favor, they'll occasionally offer this variation:

"Hi, this is Melvin. I had a question I wanted to ask you... call me back."

They leave the voicemail equivalent of a Monopoly Chance card, except it's always something shitty and self-serving.

Why They Do This:

This repulsively self-centered person has very little respect for you. To them, you have nothing better to do than solve the great puzzle of why a magnificent person such as them called you. They believe that the only way people will return their calls is if they arouse their curiosity. In most cases, they know that people will have no interest in what they are calling about, so they dare not actually reveal it via voicemail, which paradoxically negates the purpose of their call.

"Even if I explained it, you wouldn't understand."

Their goal is to disable your ability to judge the call itself on its merits, and instead put you in the awkward position of rejecting them where there is at least some chance you'll cave and do their bidding. The Cryptic Messenger not only has the audacity to leave vague messages with selfish purposes, but also has the nerve to interrogate you later if you don't get back to them. Amazingly though, they'll still leave the same enigmatic message for the remaining one percent of their calls where they're not asking you for something.

Alternate Explanation:

They are calling about something arguably illegal.

What They'll Never Understand:

If they cannot bother to tell you why they called, you cannot be bothered to think it was important. As people slowly catch on, the Cryptic Messenger's calls stop getting returned. This utterly baffles them.

Voicemail Allergies Guy

Slightly more aggravating than the Cryptic Messenger guy is the Voicemail Allergies Guy, whose desire to stay "off the grid" is so strong that he can't risk leaving a record of his voice behind, even in situations that absolutely require it. They will eternally frustrate you because your ability to communicate with them rests solely on the impossible expectation that you answer all of their outgoing calls.

Leave a goddamned message. You are not Jason Bourne.

These guys are worse than Cryptic Messenger Guy because they have a one-two punch of pissing you off built into their system. The first hit comes when they complain about you not answering your phone and the second comes when they smugly brag about the unforgettable concert (or party, or stripper or wild animal showdown), you missed, which is your fault, because hey, they "tried" to call you. Won't you ever learn to drop everything and answer the phone every time they call?

Why They Do This:

Back in the day when answering machines were as universal as Chia Pets and leg warmers, some people were reluctant to leave private messages because they didn't want them overheard by the squatters in your basement. That might have been a clever strategy 30 years ago, but today it no longer applies since squatters don't have access to your voicemail. Today's Voicemail Allergies Guy is just a clueless asshole who scolds everyone for not answering the phone instead of pursuing the more logical route of leaving messages.

"Just leave a message. It's the logical thing to do, captain."

Alternate Explanation:

They are calling about something very illegal.

What They'll Never Understand:

When deciding who to call back, people organize their priorities based on messages. If you say, "Hey, my house is on fire, call me back with plans tonight," your call will more than likely land high on the priorities list. If you don't say anything, the person you called will assume you had nothing important to say and move on to whatever other call they didn't answer. More people would get back to you if you ever conveyed any call-back-worthy information. Hell, people might even start taking your calls from time to time.

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The Overcaller

You can forget about ever having 45 minutes to yourself these days, because the Overcaller is going to rain a torrent of calls upon you for the better part of the afternoon. Overcallers have taken the concept of "redial" beyond several levels, and those several levels were: "annoy," "pester," "badger," "harass," "torment" and "torture." Sometimes they'll leave messages, and on other calls they won't, but either way it won't matter.

Which is even more annoying than these dickbags.

When you finally attempt to check your five new messages to discover what could possibly be so urgent, the Overcaller will interrupt you by calling yet again on the other line. After switching over you will be subjected to a familiar DEFCON 1 apeshit greeting: "Oh my god, where have you been?!" Such behavior would be acceptable if there were ever an actual emergency. But the Overcaller habitually calls in frenzied bursts for the most frivolous matters. Worse still, after they've already left a message, the Overcaller will occasionally leave an additional message that says nothing but "Hey, I already called and left a message, but here's another one just to let you know that I still want to talk to you." Messages about messages about messages. God. Damn.

Why They Do This:

The Overcaller is almost forgivable because, at the end of the day, they're just very focused to the point of single-minded intensity. They know they want to talk to you about something (bullshit, we presume), and they can't really think about anything else until they do. They can't get to their next item on their mental "To Do" list until "Yammer like an idiot to my friend" is crossed off. That's why they call every 30 seconds. What else would they do?

Alternate Explanation:

They are calling about something illegal in progress.

What They'll Never Understand:

Many times the "squeaky wheel" is just "damaged" and eventually "scrapped."

The Rambler a.k.a. the Human Radio Station

You have got to give the Rambler some credit; at least they attempted to leave you a detailed message. But whatever tiny bit of credit you gave them must be swiftly revoked when you realize that they fundamentally disagree with you about the definition of the word "detailed."

The Rambler will leave needlessly lengthy voicemails that include long-winded yet largely incoherent summaries of their call, tons of information they know you already have, instructions for how to call them back, other phone numbers where you might be able to reach them, where they'll be later, their schedule for the next couple of days and they will conclude all of it by restating their name and number at the end.

God forbid their first message gets cut off for being too lengthy because then, as a very special bonus, they'll treat you to a slightly shorter reprise of the same message that repeats all of the exact same information. The Rambler's soliloquies evoke the instinctive reaction of taking the phone away from your ear, staring at it for a second, throwing your other hand up and then shaking your head in shocked disbelief.

Why They Do This:

While there is an excellent chance the Rambler loves to hear the sound of their own voice, it is equally likely that they just cannot get to the fucking point. Their lives consist of muttering endlessly to anyone who will listen, punctuated only by pointless conversations with themselves in the mirror. Miraculously, despite all the practice they've had talking, they cannot tell a simple story with any proficiency much less leave a concise voicemail.

Alternate Explanation:

They are calling to cover up something illegal.

What They'll Never Understand:

People deliberately do not return their calls as punishment for leaving obnoxious voicemail screeds.

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Detective Dumbfuck

Detective Dumbfuck investigates cases where they suspect, sometimes reasonably, that you have been avoiding their calls. Their thorough investigation into the matter consists of calling you, and then calling you again two minutes later from a different phone number. It will never occur to them, however, that you always know it's them by virtue of them calling two minutes prior, and probably a few other times before that. When Detective Dumbfuck's case goes cold, they'll desperately enlist someone else they know to call you, hoping to "catch" you screening them if you answer. You'll still know it's them, though, and you'll groan at their conspicuous futility before ignoring them again.

Ignored harder than a rebooted 90s show.

Why They Do This:

Detective Dumbfuck is legendarily insecure and fears that no one likes them (because no one does). Their plan of attack for proving this is one of the most poorly-thought-out plans imaginable, because what if it works? Person: "Hello?" Detective: "HAH! You took this call from an unknown number - that PROVES you were avoiding my calls!" Person: "...Yep. That's what happened!" Detective: "Ahah, I CAUGHT you! You hate me!" Person: "..." Detective: "Oh... oh Jesus."

Alternate Explanation:

They are calling to investigate something illegal.

What They'll Never Understand:

Nobody wants to take their calls. Ever.

The Number Blocker

Every time you get a call from "Restricted," "Out of Area," or "Unavailable," the Number Blocker is ringing, and they dare not divulge their cell number or identity. The Number Blocker insists upon dialing the *67 prefix, since it is top secret that they're calling. Ironically, the Number Blocker is the only person you know who uses this demonstrably ineffective tactic, so it just marks them as unforgivably lame for doing it.

"Are you sure this line is secure, Mr. Black?"
"Cut the shit, Andrew. Are we still going bowling or not?"

Why They Do This:

The Number Blocker is paranoid that revealing their number could be the first misstep on the path to an assassination attempt. They don't know how, but they know that if hackers got their number they would hack it and then hack into their house and hack all of their money. (Note to terrified Number Blockers reading along at home: We are making fun of you.)

Hacking is no joke.

Without totally thinking their own motivations through, they only know that they're "not comfortable" putting their phone number "out there," even though "there" is just "the phone of whomever they're calling." Setting aside for a moment the fact that if someone could hack into your bank account based on your phone number they could presumably just as easily hack through your *67 stealth trickery, the Number Blocker also conveniently ignores the fact that they are in no way worth hacking in the first place.

Alternate Explanation:

They are calling about something extremely illegal.

What They'll Never Understand:

Almost no one is dumb enough to answer calls from blocked numbers. Again, we said almost.

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The Lord of the Text

For a brief moment in time, text messaging emerged as a superior method of communication because it allowed people to quickly trade critical info without the hassles of voicemail, phone tag or moving facial muscles. But thanks to the Lord of the Text, that moment is fucking history. The Lord of the Text will bait you into a drawn-out text exchange and do anything in their power to keep it alive--especially when you don't have the time or the patience for it. They will exceed character limits, ask complicated questions, pepper you with more texts before you can reply to previous ones and consistently misinterpret your replies.

"At work. Please stop texting me song lyrics!!!"

They possess the distinct ability to spawn an argument out of thin air. Strangely, they will only text you when a short conversation would be preferable yet only call you when a simple text would do. When you try to call them they won't pick up, and when you try to ignore them they become emotionally devastated. The Lord of the Text not only receives special recognition for making our list without placing a single call but deserves credit for reducing the entire English language to a series of incomprehensible acronyms and abbreviations.

Why They Do This:

The Lord of the Text represents the perfect storm of insecurity, immaturity and illiteracy. They seek constant attention and reassurance from you by sending a shitload of lousy, unwanted texts. They are high-strung, emotional basket cases and they break down over next to nothing. They misunderstand the purpose of texting and use their cell phone to publish their feelings to anyone who mistakenly created the impression that they gave two squirts.

Alternate Explanation:

They are texting about something illegal in secret code.

What They'll Never Understand:

The more texts they send, the less anyone cares.

The Rooster

Somewhere in Hell, an entire VIP lounge has been roped off for the Rooster: That odious person who calls you at some obscene hour in the morning, disrupts your sleep and then ridicules you for still being in bed. The Rooster is also fond of calling you midday and asking if they woke you up, followed by heinous snickering. If you don't take their calls, they'll later suggest that you probably missed them because you were passed out. They appear to find everyone's sleeping patterns as endless sources of amusement and scorn.

"Just got back from my 4am run. Going to do some spreadsheets on my laptop outside of work until it opens. What are you up to?"

Why They Do This:

The Rooster is a smug bastard who has no life or hobbies. They love talking about how tired you seem, particularly when it allows them to segue into their own impressive daily routine. ("You just got up? I don't know how you do it, man, I've already been up for four hours; I worked out, made breakfast, did some light reading, cleaned my apartment and smelled my own shit. There's just not enough time in the day, you know?")

They get off insinuating they are better than you for getting up earlier, which is truly pathetic. They believe that any person who sleeps past 6am is lazy, regardless of when they went to sleep. Since the Rooster has nothing better to do, they usually go to bed super-duper early every night. If the Rooster does have any hobbies, they might include scrap-booking, opening mail or loitering. Overall, the Rooster's existence is inconsequential but painfully annoying nonetheless.

Alternate Explanation:

They are calling from the prison to be sprung for something illegal.

What They'll Never Understand:

People have different schedules, most of which preclude them from going to sleep at 8:30pm.

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The Night Owl

The Night Owl randomly calls really late, under the influence, to beg you to hang out at some shady dive bar you had no intention of going to. Even though they know your answer is certain to be "no," that doesn't deter them from calling whenever they're out painting the town stupid. The Night Owl has in fact called on nights when you had nothing else to do, but you'd rather drink alone, and then eat the bottle, than go out and babysit their pitiful ass. Like clockwork, the Night Owl will guilt-trip you a few days later for "never hanging out."

But you remember what happened last time.

Why They Do This:

While it appears they call you randomly, the Night Owl is an alcoholic who starts a new sequence of desperate drunk-dialing every night. So depending on where your slot is in their directory, your rotation will vary. You won't hear from them on late nights if your alphabetic predecessors answered the call of duty and took the bullet instead. Night Owls consider themselves fun and unpredictable while others view them as inebriated and bothersome. In addition, they are incapable of scheduling anything and will only get together with you on their terms--legally intoxicated after midnight.

Alternate Explanation:

They don't know it yet, but it's only a matter of time before they do something illegal.

What They'll Never Understand:

There's more to friendship than spontaneous alcohol guzzling in the middle of the night.

The Voicemail Retard A.K.A. the Dipshit

Have you ever called somebody and tried leaving a message but couldn't because their mailbox was full? Have you ever left somebody an explicit message and they called back hours later and acted like they had no earthly idea why you called? Have you ever received a strange call where the caller says, "Uh, someone just called me from this number..."? Have you ever seen a grown man naked? If the answer to any of the first three questions is yes, then congratulations, you have encountered the Voicemail Retard, also known as the Dipshit.

Some of these fools deliberately avoid checking voicemail while others just never learned how to use it. Still, others forgot their pass codes seven months ago but haven't mustered the energy to resolve the problem yet. Voicemail Retards ensure that dealing with them is nearly impossible at all times. They are so inept with voicemail that it's probably the closest anyone will ever come to traveling back in time.

Why They Do This:

Voicemail Retards are lazy, stubborn, inconsiderate and were probably home-schooled. Much to society's chagrin, they fail to comprehend the role of efficient messaging. Rather than do what would be natural and obvious, they adapt to vital technologies like voicemail by completely disregarding them. Many are obstinate contrarians who must do the opposite of what would be practical and necessary. In fact, a good number of them just recently bought cell phones after years of declaring they did not need one, and then borrowing yours all the time.

Alternate Explanation:

Your messages are about something supposedly illegal.

What They'll Never Understand:

The entire world will soon stop dealing with them out of pure frustration.

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For one less reason to hate your cellphone, check out 5 Things They Say Give You Cancer, And Why They're Wrong and for one that can give you a heart attack, check out The 13 Most Irresponsible Self Defense Gadgets Money Can Buy.

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