867-5309 Repeated…Almost

Cruising the Kait8 News Web site, a story from August 26 caught my eye.  The article points out a phone number within the lyrics of a teen pop song.  My initial impression was that is was a hidden number.  As it turns out, it is not hidden.  For those who cannot decipher the high-pitched, “teen pop” lyrics, the music video shows the 10-digit number.  However, the article exposes the number as a potential sex line in disguise.

Keep in mind:  this is music with a demographic younger than 16.  It is nice to know the kids found a lower-tech version of Yahoo chat.  Naturally, I wanted to see the big number in the video controversy…what a let-down.  I Youtubed (yes, Youtube has joined Google at verb status) the artist in question.  Luckily, I recognized the background from the news video, as the newscast did not mention the song title.  I would have hated to scan through more than one of Jessica Jarrell’s music videos looking for the right one…scary stuff.  The video is here if ye dare gaze upon it.  I will spare you the turmoil of watching the whole thing—the number is visible/audible at 3:05.  The reporter claimed the song contains the artist’s measurements within a batch of numbers.  I must have skipped over this part (along with over 2.5 minutes of the video) while skimming.  A 15-year-old giving her body measurements within a song…I am surprised Miley Cyrus did not do it first.  The snippets of the video I observed were, collectively, a somewhat disturbing look into the status quo of modern adolescent pop culture.  The youth of America is screwed, as if they had a shot to begin with.

The per"867-5309 (Jenny)" Singletinence of the phone, of course, reminded me of a much better song:  “867-5309 (Jenny).”  This song, years before war dialing was popular, momentarily transformed the youth of the early ’80s into phreaks.  And it is a good song. It is about a “for a good time, call…” message written on a bathroom wall. The protagonist spends the whole song tripping over himself while trying to work up the nerve to call the number. It was meant as a fun song, and (so, too) shall it forever remain.

On a side note, that number is currently a registered trademark of Gem Plumbing and Heating based in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

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