From listening to Dino for about two minutes I sort of got this mental picture of him and when I later got him to go out in his yard and looked at him through a pair of binoculars, I found out that I was right. Dino is the type of guy who wears scuzzy torn up clothing, smokes about two packs of Marlboros a day, has greasy, stringy hair down to his shoulders, always wears a dirty cap and says, "Fuck", "Shit" and "Goddammit!" more than most people. Dino is also not that bright and likes to go fishin' alot. He's pretty slow and it was very easy to piss him off. He liked to play a big, tough guy on the phone with us, but then we'd hear him call his wife at work and he'd sound like he was about ready to cry.
So here's what happened. I was sitting here watching T.V. and scanning phones. Suddenly I hear a dialtone and someone pushing touch tones. The signal is comming in really clear which means that he's close by. The phone rings and a girl answers, "xxxxx, May I help you?" I pick up my phone, dial 411 and ask for the phone number to xxxxx and write it down. Meanwhile, Dino is yelling at his wife something about not having anything to eat in the house, something is wrong with the T.V., he makes a "joke" about beating her and continues to bitch. So I call the business that his wife, Shana, is working at. When she answers, I say, "Better be careful, I think he's lying to you. He might actually beat you tonight."
She clicks over, "Dino, the weirdest thing just happened to me. Some guy..." And she explains what happened. They try to figure it out and finally decide that some guy they know named Matt is responsible. So I decide to clear things up for them by calling back and saying, "No, I'm not Matt" to Shana. She clicks back over.
Shana: "Dino, hang up, somebody's listening to our conversation! It was that guy and he said that he's not Matt." Dino: "Huh?" Shana: Explains a little more slowly what happened. Dino: "Hey, if there's some dickhead out there listening, why don't you call ME, you chickenshit bastard! 258-xxxx, you little fuck."I decide this is going to be fun so I call up my faithful PLA co-worker Zak, who has the luxury of three-way calling and explain the situation to him. So we call up Dino and give him a piece of our minds.
Dino: "Listen here, you little pricks, I'll give you $100 dollars if you come over here and show your faces instead of hiding behind your fuckin' phones." Zak: "Would that be cash or food stamps, sir?" Dino: "Hey, fuck you! Come on over here. Show your face!" RBCP: "If we come over will you give us a beer?" Dino: "Yeah, I'll give you a beer. Come over and we can all drink a beer." RBCP: "But then you'll kick my ass." Dino: "No, I won't kick your ass. Just come on over here and show your face." Zak: "Do you want my name?" Dino: "Sure, what's your name?" Zak: "It's Chris Tomkinson." Dino: "Bullshit! You're lyin', you little jack-off."So it goes on and on like this for quite awhile and gets boring so we hang up. Suddenly I have one of my psychic flashes. I see several teen-age boys breaking into Dino's house. I must help our beloved police force and possibly save Dino's life so I get on my cellular phone and dial 911.
911: "911, What's you're emergency?" RBCP: "Yeah, I'm over here parked on the side of the street in my car and I'm watching these kids break into some guy's house here. They're all going in the basement window and they've got flashlights. 911: "Alright, what address is being broken into?" RBCP: I give him Dino's address.He asks me for some more information and we hang up. I turn off all my lights and go to the window. Luckily, Dino lives just down the street from the Wood River Donut Shop so the police get there in a matter of minutes. Three cars show up and start shinning lights all over Dino's house. While all this is happening, Dino is on his phone talking to one of his drinkin' buddies. I hear him on the scanner across the room, "Fuck! Hold on a minute!" Dino goes out and talks to the police and they all leave.
After awhile things get a little boring again. Dino calls up his wife and tells her all that's happened. He calls up a friend and tells him the same story which is his own distorted version of the truth. He wants to borrow his friend's Caller I.D. box so he can find out who we are and his friend has to explain that it doesn't work like that and Dino would have to call the phone company and sign up for the service. Even if he did that, Zak has this unconscience habit of dialing *67 before he dials anything, making Caller I.D. useless to anyone he calls. And I don't think Dino could figure out *57 at all.
I whip out my cellular phone again and make a collect call to Dino. The cell operator calls Dino and says, "This is Ameritech Cellular operator. I have a collect call from a Roy Gerbil. The charges are approximately $1.95 a minute. Will you accept the charges?" This upsets Dino a little bit for some reason and he refuses the charges. Go figure.
Vaughn: "Hello?" RBCP: "Hi, this is the Ameritech Messaging Service. I have an emergency message for you. Do you have a pen or pencil?" Vaughn: "Uh, hold on a second. Okay, go ahead." RBCP: "Is it a pen or is it a pencil you have?" Vaughn: "What?" RBCP: "Never mind, the message is that you need to call this number..." I give him Dino's phone number. "And that it's an emergency and you need to call him as soon as possible." Vaughn: "Okay. Thank you." RBCP: "Thank you for using Ameritech."A second later I hear Dino's cordless phone ringing on my scanner. He sounds a little pissed off when he answers.
Vaughn: "Uhhhh, someone just called here saying that I need to call you."
It drags on and on. Dino asks Mr. Vaughn all kinds of stupid questions and explains the entire situation to him in detail. It's obvious that Mr. Vaughn just wants to go back to sleep.
Dino: "Do you have a cordless phone?" Vaughn: "No." Dino: "Do you have Caller I.D.?" Vaughn: "No." Dino: "Okay. Do you have a cellular phone?" Vaughn: "No. Whoever called me was some guy from Ameritech. It wasn't a kid." Dino: "Did he say anything about Roy?" Vaughn: "Uh..no, he said he was from Ameritech Message Service and he had a message for me." Dino: "You live here in East Alton?" Vaughn: "No, I'm in Wood River. I don't know where they got my number." Dino: "Well, my number's in the phone book. They call me and all they can do is sit there and play little games with me. And I told 'em, hey, come down here and I'll give you a hundred dollars to see your face. I just wanna see who the hell you are. They say that they live here and his name is Chris something but I don't even know if that's true or not."We repeat this trick several times. I introduce myself as Ameritech, Illinois Relay Service, the Ameritech Illinois Goo Goo Relay Company and several other random companies. We give them all Dino's number and each time Dino keeps them on the phone asking them all kinds of questions. One question he always asks is if they have Caller I.D. So Zak calls Dino and I talk to him.
Dino: Sounds a little worn out. "Hello?" RBCP: "Uh, yeah, I just got a call from Illinois Relay Service and I'm supposed to call you or something?" Dino: "Okay, let me explain to you what's going on. There's these kids..." He gives me the whole story and finally asks me the question I was waiting for. "Do you have Caller I.D.?" RBCP: "Yeah." Dino: "Could you look and see who called you?" RBCP: "Okay, hold on, let me get up......Alright, you want the number that's on here?" Dino: "Yeah!" RBCP: "It's 931-4402."He thanks me and hangs up. He immediately calls the number I gave him. Little does he know that it's the number of some kid that we like to pick on. The kid's dad answers the phone. Dino says, "I got your number, you mother fucker!" And the kid's dad just sits there not knowing what to think. Finally, he hangs up on Dino. Then we hear Dino SINGING! "Ha ha you little pricks, I know who you aaaare!" So Zak calls him.
Dino: "Hello?" Zak: "I don't think you're gonna get a record contract anytime soon with that voice." Dino: "Hey, wait a minute! Hey, don't have fucking people calling my fucking house. You little fucking jack off. What's your number, man?" Zak: "258-0357" (Chris Tomkinson's number) Dino: "Are you sure?" Zak: "No, I'm telling you a big fucking joke." Dino: "Well, I imagine you would because that's all you've been doing all fucking night long is playing a fucking joke. Let me tell you something else. Every fucking call you make at my wife's fucking work number is being recorded, but I know you don't care." Zak: "Will your wife sell me the tapes because I've said some pretty funny things tonight." Dino: "Hey, lemme tell you something, boy, you fuck with my wife, you're fucking with your own life." Zak: "I already have. She's not that good." Dino: "Oh, yeah, right." Zak: "And she gave me herpes." Dino: "Huh?" Zak: "I said she gave me herpes." Dino: "Oh, that's good." Zak: "Well, I gotta go now." Dino: "Hey, wait a minute, man, let me get a pen" Zak: "Why?" Dino: "Why? Because I wanna call you. What's your name?" Zak: "I'm G Homey Roy. Who you down with?" Dino: "Fuck you!" Zak: "Okay. Bye." Dino: "Later on, dickhead!"A few more people call Dino and tell him the Goo Goo Relay Service left his number for them. We start to get bored again so we call Dino.
RBCP: "Hi, Dino." Dino: "What the fuck do you want?" RBCP: "I just wanted you to know that I'm monitoring all of your phone calls." Dino: "Yeah, I know you are, dickface." RBCP: "You know the grey box on the side of your house that says Telephone Network Interface on it? Well, I've plugged my phone into that and I have complete control over your lines. Resistance is useless." Dino: "Yeah, you're full of shit you little fucker! Why don't you tell me where you are?" RBCP: "Okay, we're parked across the street by the church in a blue van. There's a satellite beamed at your house so we hear everything said even when you're not on the phone." Dino: "Bullshit, that's the churches van. It's always parked there." RBCP: "Of course it's always parked there. We always watch you. There's a camera over there on your bookshelf." Dino: "Listen, you little dickweeds. I'm gonna find out who you are." Zak: "Hey, Dino, exactly what year of grade school did you drop out of?"We hang up and he calls his wife at work. As tough as he was acting with us on the phone, he sounds like he's about ready to cry when talking to his wife.
Shana: "What's wrong with you?" Dino: "Man, these guys have got something going. They got a big setup some- where and they said there's some kind of grey box on the outside of the house. I'm walking around the house right now looking for it.I jump up off the couch and run to the window. I look but I must have just missed him. A second later he tells his wife that he's back inside and can't find any grey box.
Dino: "They say they've tapped our phones and they're watching our house." Shana: "Dino, they're probably lying and they're just listening to the cordless phone."I get on my cellular phone again and place a call to California. I tell the roaming operator that I want to bill it to my home phone. The roaming operator asks me for my home phone number and I give him Dino's number.
CELL: "Okay, I'm going to have to verify charges. Could I have your name?" RBCP: "Yeah, my name is Shana." CELL: "Shana?" RBCP: "Are you making fun of me?" CELL: "Uh, no. Hold on, please." Dino: "Hello?" CELL: "Hi, this is Ameritech Roaming operator #1753. I have a Shana placing a call to California and wants to bill the charges to you. The charges are approximately $1.95 a minute. Will you accept the charges?" Dino: "Is this really the cellular operator?" CELL: "Yeah..." Dino: "Well, I'm talking to Shana on the other line. Is there any way you can trace that call?" CELL: "No, I can't trace the call but I can put a block on the phone so they won't be able to bother you any more." Dino: "Okay, could you do that?"The cellular operator makes arangements to have all attempts to bill calls to his house denied. This means that anyone wanting to make a legitamate collect or third-party call to Dino from a cellular phone won't be able to. Of course, that's just on the cellular phone, but he thinks this means that there's absolutely no way that we'll be able to call him on any phone ever again.
Dino clicks over and starts talking to Shana again. He explains to her that everything's been taken care of and we'll never be able to call them again. While he's explaining this, we call him and let him know that he's completely wrong.
After awhile, they hang up and Dino dials zero. He asks the operator to connect him with local police. Then he tells the policeman the whole story and the policeman treats him like a total idiot and tells him there's nothing they can do and he should try calling the phone company. So he hangs up and dials 1-800-244-4444. Lucky for him, the phone company's billing office here is open 24 hours a day.
"You have reached the Ameritech Customer Billing Office for residential accounts. All representatives are currently busy. For faster service, please call us Tuesday through Friday during the daytime. Your call will be answered by the next available representative. Your approximate wait time is greater than ten minutes..."
Poor guy sits on the phone listening to Ameritech hold music for fifteen minutes. During this time we keep trying to call him but he won't answer. Finally he gets through and tells the Ameritech representative his whole story and the Ameritech lady says she can change his phone number or get him a Caller I.D. box. It would cost $80 to have his number changed. Then the billing operator claims that there is no such thing as Cellular Operator. This just shows us how much phone company employees really know.
So he hangs up with her and starts thumbing through the yellow pages. He calls up about every cellular network number in the book only to find that they all seem to be closed at 1:30 in the morning. Then he happens upon the number to the Illinois Relay Service and calls them. He explains his life story to THIS operator and she doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. "Sir, this is the Illinois Relay Service for deaf people. I have no idea what you're saying."
Around 4:15 a.m. he's talking to his wife at work and they're still trying to figure out everything that's happened and who was responsible.
Dino: "Well, I'm wondering about this one house across the alley behind the church. The whole time all this was happening the light upstairs was on and now they're not calling anymore and his light is turned off." Shana:"Which house is it exactly?" Dino: "There's the parking lot, a white house and then a yellow house and and that's the fucking one I'm talking about." (I turn on my light) "There his light just went on again!" Shana:"I know who lives there. It's RedBoxChiliPepper!" (Actually, she says my real name.) "I went to grade school with him. He knows all about computers and phones and stuff. He was like a total weird-o in grade school. I bet it's him."Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit! I've been found out!" I suddenly remember why Shana's voice sounds so familiar. I know exactly who she is. She used to date my brother in Junior High. So I dig up my old flip file to look her up and get her old phone number, address, parents' names, sister's name, etc. (I WAS a weird-o, you see.) I have no idea who Dino is but I'm starting to think that maybe it's a good idea to cut my vacation short and go back to New Mexico. Meanwhile, Dino is looking up my picture in Shana's Junior high school yearbook.
Dino: "I can't find it anywhere." Shana:"It's in the Juniors section." Dino: "There isn't a Junior section. It goes Senior, Sophomore, Freshman. I think they forgot to put Junior in here." (I laugh.) Shana:"Nooo...Look right after the Senior section, it should be there."This goes on and on. After ten minutes he finally gets to the Junior section. Then he has the task of figuring out how to spell my name which really isn't that difficult. It takes him maybe fifteen minutes but he finally gets it. Dino's comment when he finds it is, "Yeeeah, he looks like someone that would do something like this." Now, how can you tell, just by looking at a picture that I'd be the type of person who'd do something like this?
Shana happens to work at a place that my parents have done business at. She pulls up their names on her computer and gives Dino my phone number. They talk a little while longer and hang up. I know Dino is about to call me so I dial a blank phone company test number so the phone doesn't ring downstairs and wake up my parents. A second later I answer the call waiting. I answer in a deep, sleepy voice.
RBCP: "Hello?" Dino: "Yes, could I speak to a [RedBoxChiliPepper?]" RBCP: (Sounding annoyed.) "He doesn't live here anymore." Dino: "Well, I think he's been calling my house tonight." RBCP: "Do you have any idea what time it is?" Dino: (Starts explaining the whole thing to me...) RBCP: "Well, RBCP hasn't lived here for about two years now. If he's calling you he's calling you from Texas. I don't know what you're talking about." Dino: "Okay, thank you."We hang up and Dino calls back his wife. Lucky for me, he assures his wife that he talked to my dad and it wasn't me after all.
Dino: "Yeah, they said he's going to college in Texas." (College? What?) Shana:"Did it sound like him?" Dino: "No, but it could have been a friend of his or something." Shana:"All I know is that he was really strange in grade school and junior high. He had a cellular phone back then and all this equipment and he knew how to take a phone apart and tap it..."Shana goes on and on about all this stuff that I know how to do. I don't know where she was comming up with all of it but most of it was either exagerated or not true at all. I remember in Junior High I got caught with my cordless phone at lunch when me and a friend were making free calls off of some guy's cordless line near the school. Sheesh, that was 1986. Not even yuppies had cellular phones back then. The being able to take a phone apart is accurate but not exactly something I went around doing all the time. As for me being some kind of weird-o, that's right on the money.
Shana called her parents, told them about everything and gave her mom the new phone number. She called her sister and did the same. I can't figure out WHY they would keep using the cordless phone since it's obvious that that's how we're listening in. Anyway, I heard Shana tell the story to several people that morning and each time it got wilder and wilder each time. Both her and her husband seem to have a gift for making up stuff to make it sound more interesting.
So that's about it. Nothing much more happened. Although I have their new phone number and everything we don't plan on calling him back. Besides, I'm leaving town in a couple days and it would be boring if we couldn't listen to their reactions on the scanner. I hope you enjoyed reading about this experience as much as we did creating it. Maybe we'll eventually publish all of Dino & Shana's information so you can call and ask them about it. Most of this file was translated from the tapes (I recorded most of what happened.) and the rest of it was done from memory. Any comments or questions about this whole thing are welcome.