Tired of accessing the Internet through the Internet? Head to calltheinternet.org to, well, call the Internet. On the telephone. Remember those? The Website for calling the Internet lists only a local number—(202) 470-6789—a status—"live" or "offline"—and this description:
Thank you for expressing an interest in placing a phone call to the Internet. The Internet's phone line is always accepting calls, unless we are assisting other Internet users, or are out of the office. Check the bottom of each page to find out the status of the Internet's phoneline. Live means we're in the office and taking calls, if the line is busy, try again later. Offline means we're out of the office.
I recently placed a phone call to the Internet. Excerpts from the transcript after the jump.
The Internet: Thank you for calling the Internet, this is Anthony.
City Paper: Yeah, uh, I’m calling for the Internet.
TI: The internet is an inanimate object, ma'am. You can't actually speak to the Internet. That would be ridiculous.
CP: Okay, umm, who am I speaking with?
TI: This is Andrew. I take phone calls for the Internet.
CP: And I call you to ... do what the Internet normally does for me?
TI: You could do that. You could call us up to describe a Website to you, or just for general chit-chat. We're available for chit-chat opportunities as well.
CP: Okay, uh, how old are you?
TI: That information isn't really relevant to this call.
CP: I'm, uh, calling for chit-chat.
TI: Well, in that case, I’m allowed to engage in friendly banter. I am 29 years old. How old are you?
CP: I'm 23.
TI: And what is your name?
TI: It’s nice to meet you, Amanda.
CP: You, too. Umm.
TI: Are you familiar with our product? We have billions of users around the world. It's a very popular product.
TI: Do you know about all the services we provide? There's e-mail, blogs—people seem to love blogs, can’t get enough of those—Websites. People like Websites.
CP: And you're located in D.C.?
TI: Sort of, yeah. I’m assuming you’re asking that based on our telephone number. Technically speaking, we're located in 5th dimensional hypertime, but our point of telephone access is in the District.
CP: And I can just call you ...
TI: Yes, we're here to take your calls and answer your questions 24 hours a day.
CP: You're there 24 hours a day?
TI: Well, not me personally. I work a standard 8 hour shift.
CP: How long have you been working at the Internet?
TI: Me? About two years now. Best job I've ever had.
CP: What are the qualifications for working at the Internet?
TI: Well, you need at least two PhDs, preferably of different subjects. If they're in similar subjects it’s okay, but it’s not as good. You’re also going to need at least one year of professional sports experience and on top of that a wide variety of experience and knowledge within your specific subject area. We all work for specific departments here at the Internet, because there is so much information to cover.
It pretty much goes on like that for as long as you want it to.
Photo courtesy Marcin Wichary