Jul 062015

You guys, I did something really brave the other day. After five years of living underneath crushing guilt, I finally came clean and confessed to Gayle that I had used my deaf Mexican alter ego, Manuel, to prank call her once at work:

2010 Gayle was not amused by this, but 2015 Gayle took it well! (Gayle goes by Abby outside of work, so I thought that having Manuel refer to her as such would make it seem more legit BUT I GUESS NOT.)

I feel much better now.

Every so often, though, I really miss my alter ego. I had to put him to rest a few years ago when the FCC cracked down on supposed “abusers” of the IP Relay service.

I mean, maybe I did use it a little too often.

Mostly, I would just post the transcripts, but sometimes Henry would give me his phone so that I could record the voice mails he would get from the IP operators (he quickly began to recognize the number because I used the service to call him so often, and he refused to answer). Sadly, I only have two of them now.

I wish I had a recording of the time I used it to call my brother Corey. It was some cracked-out story about someone waiting to shit out their crown so they could take it to the dentist, but it was way more demented than that because it was coming from me, and then a few days later, Corey was in the car with me and Janna and he was all, “OMG I forgot to tell you about this fucked up voicemail that I got!” and he proceeded to play it for us and I was straight sobbing from the side-stitches my laughter was inflicting upon me, and Corey just kept going on and on about how startled he was and that it was clearly the wrong number, etc etc and I was basically trying not to swallow my tongue.

God, those were the days, of cabbages and (deaf mexi)kings. 

Nov 222011

Got this email yesterday:

What a stupid fucking law!!I can’t believe my make-believe address isn’t good enough for these assholes after all these years.  (Year.)

I forwarded this email to Henry and he snapped. “Don’t fucking do that to me!” he shouted. “I saw ‘deactivated’ and panicked then saw it was just your stupid little game-playing.”

Unless I use a real, confirmable address, Manuel is going to be buried.  Let’s take some time now, bow our heads, finger our crosses, whatever.

In his honor, let’s remember how it all started:

After I posted about that relay calling service during Blogathon, I became determined to find a way to use it again. Especially since I had three prank calls to make in order to fulfill my donor obligations. Using a relay service to make pranks is the ultimate because you get to keep a transcript (which would be good to have as proof for my sponsors), and it’s extra hilarious having an unsuspecting operator do your dirty work. (Plus, it’s even more asshole-y.)

It’s law now that all those services make you register first. So I’m now Manuel Roberts from Maryland. I figure, I’ll use it every day to make normal calls to Henry, like “Please bring home the milk,” so that I can still slip in a few prank calls here and there without arousing suspicion.

I am that dedicated that I’m willing to make this a part of my daily routine. I even downloaded an app for my iPhone.

Yesterday, I had Manuel call Henry to alert him that Circa Survive is playing in Cleveland next November and that he should take his daughter, Erin. (Because why would a deaf person want Henry to go to a concert with them, I figured.) Henry, who is not annoyed by this AT ALL, couldn’t even understand what the foreign operator was telling him, but figured he wasn’t missing much.

Then I decided that Manuel and Henry are life-partners! So I make sure to end all conversations with “OK I love you.”

AnywayS (Alisha likes the extra “s”), I started out with Paul’s request to prank his friend/my e-friend Amelia. Please excuse the typos; it’s a very fast-moving process and I accidentally had it on the setting that automatically enters the text while you’re typing, which is annoying. Paul wanted me to take it as far as I was comfortable with, in order to make Amelia concerned. Usually, messages saying you’re in the hospital work pretty well. Especially when you’re unsure of who it is exactly that is in the hospital.

This was supposed to be a two-parter. I was going to call her the next day and pretend to be the “lady with the knife.” But then she saw my Blogathon post and busted me. It went something (exactly) like this:





Manuel left a testimonial on the relay site last night:

I just found out about this magic service last week. It is great especially since my TTY contraption was stolen on Christmas Day.


This morning, I was talking to Henry on the phone. He said, “I’m going to be on the road today, so don’t call me if it has anything to do with Jonny, Manuel, or anything else that’s dumb.” So of course I called him just now and immediately broke his freshly laid-down law by asking, “Do you think your mom will let Manuel use her address?”

It took a few seconds for Henry to process my request before he got all irritated and outrageously barked, “No, you’re not using my mom’s address! Use your mom’s address!”

I’ll be reposting Manuel Memories all week. God bless you, Manuel. You will be missed. Feel free to sign his funeral home guest book.

May 012011

It’s been awhile since our hearing impaired friend Manuel gave Henry a call, so I prompted him to do just that this morning. However, I am left disappointed as usual by the laziness of these IP Relay operators! They promise our deaf friends that yes, they will pass on these important messages to the chosen parties, BUT THEY ONLY READ WHAT THEY WANT TO. Today, Operator #RO900730F skipped most of the meat of Manuel’s message to Henry. You may have a skill for slick annunciation, RO900730F, but I’m on to you and your half-ass whoring ways.

Placing call…
Connected at May 1, 2011 11:35:33 AM
Special Instructions:Please leave a message if necessary
412 605 2143RING 1
(recording to relay)

please leave message GA

(what message would you like to leave qq) GA

Henry, you left your email open last night at my house GA
and I saw the pictures. GA


if you really need to have strange men send you images of their genitalia GA


then I suggest you find a new señor. I will be over later to retrieve my things GA


please have my Justin Bieber shirt laundered and ready GA


you can mail me my finger nail clippings GA
goodbye GA


no thanks. I’m in mourning. GA
goodbye GA

Disconnected at May 1, 2011 11:39:02 AM

Now, listen to the recording and join me in my self-righteous court as Manuel pens a letter to the IP Relay company. We are appalled.

Mar 172011

Henry is on the road today with one of the drivers, making sweet Faygo deliveries together. Normally, I’d be whatever about this, but on THIS day, I am sick.

Not terribly sick, but enough that I feel compelled to whine about it every 3 minutes. So yeah, I guess terribly sick.

I keep making copious calls to Henry, wanting to whine and pout and have him baby me (which would never happen anyway) but instead of indulging me, he adopts this stiff and business-like tone, like he is EMBARRASSED that his sick woman has the nerve to call him, looking for sympathy.

I mean, if he’d rather me take my sympathy-search down to the corner bar, I CAN DO THAT.

Instead, I turned to Twitter, because my friends over there don’t know exactly how extreme my whininess actually is, so some of them will pander to my ego and make me feel whole again. Henry does not approve of this enabling.

Anyway, one of my twitter friends, David, suggested that this would be a prime opportunity for Manual to call Henry. So he did!

Placing call…
Connected at Mar 17, 2011 12:31:15 PM
412 605 2143

please leave message for me? GA


please call back leave message? GA

(thank you redialing)

Papi it is me Manual. I am quite ill and I need medicine GA

(Still ringing, would you like to continue q GA)

please bring it to me this afternoon GA
along with your pink blanket and sexy arms to wrap around me GA
that always make me feel good GA
have a bueno day, papi GA
kiss kiss GA

that is all thank u so much I am sick GA

(you’re welcome)

I love that Henry actually answered, realized who it was, then hung up. Also, I think it’s rude that the operator didn’t cry for me (or even ACKNOWLEDGE) when I said I was sick.

Just another person to hate today.

But then, I started to get angrier. So I called back.

Placing call…
Connected at Mar 17, 2011 12:52:10 PM
412 605 2143RING 1

please leave a message for me? GA

(what message would you like to leave please Q ) GA

i know you are with Miguel! GA


that is no excuse to hang up on me! you know that I am ill on this day GA
and you choose to be with another senor GA
this is unacceptable. GA
I will be leaving your belongings on the porch. GA
I can’t find your butt plug so you will need to buy a new one GA
and I will not bathe your mami anymore GA


I was not finished, but thank u. GA

(please clarify instructions) GA
(you’re welcome)
I didn’t bother removing Henry’s cell # from the transcript. Feel free to text and call him as much as you see fit.

Nov 092010

These are really not that funny, Henry keeps saying. So then why do I have mascara running down my face?

Because I need help, according to Henry.

You better believe Manuel had that lazy operator call back and finish the message. Bitch, don’t cut off the deaf, ya hear? Well, we can’t.

And I made Henry give me his phone so I could record the messages for posterity. (He wouldn’t even listen to them. Sad.)

Nov 082010
After my fit last Friday morning, the Furnace Guy was rescheduled for Saturday morning.

I hid on the stairs, out of sight, while Henry let him in the house.

“Well,” Henry interrogated me once Furnace Guy descended into the basement. “Is that the guy?”

I didn’t like his tone, how he was trying to fill my brain with doubt. No one ever believes the raped!

“I’m not sure,” I answered honestly. “I didn’t see him. On purpose.”

But I did see him a few minutes later when he popped back up to tell Henry that he would be back at 3:30pm.

“OK, so maybe that wasn’t the same guy,” I admitted. I hated how Henry made me feel so confused, so full of uncertainty. He’s clearly in the wrong line of work. He should be defending sex criminals in court, making poor little girls wring their hands and wonder if they really are the sluts their daddies accused them of being.

All afternoon and into the evening, our house was full of clanging metal and the muffled tones of Brian the Furnace Guy barking into his cell phone.

“I have to run to the store,” Henry sprung on me.

“You can’t leave me here!” I cried.

“Well, someone needs to stay home while he’s here and we both know YOU aren’t going to go grocery shopping alone.”

I knew the bigger picture was that he needed to hurry up and buy beer because Tommy and Jessy were coming over to watch the hockey game. This was Henry’s first time entertaining Tommy on his own turf and I knew Henry wanted it to be special. I think he even splashed on after shave. He didn’t even do that for our date last week.

“Fine,” I whined. I didn’t feel too panicked, knowing it wasn’t the same Furnace Guy from 2006. Besides, I wanted to watch Vampire Diaries anyway and Chooch’s loud mouth is not conducive to TV-viewing.

Half an hour after Henry and Chooch left, the Furnace Guy emerged like a mole from the basement.

“We got a problem,” he started, and it was then, while he was droning on and on in that strangulated voice I still sometimes hear in my subconscious, usually when someone is talking about heating ducts or going to someone’s house under the pretense of fixing their furnace and then raping everything with genitals, that it dawned on me that it really was the same guy after all.

He’s just older-looking now.

But that voice. It made me slowly fold my hands over my crotch and dart my eyes around for a good cock-incapacitating weapon.

“…..so I’ll be back in the morning,” he finished, while I continued to numbly nod my head and mutter monotone “uh huh”s until I heard the basement door shut and his van backing out of the driveway.

Won’t be needing that rape kit after all, Sarah Palin. This time, anyway.

The next day, I was so engrossed in my IP Relay fuckery that I completely forgot he was in the basement, finishing the furnace installation. When I step into my Manuel character, I essentially turn into a mentally-stunted sociopath whose laughter starts out low and throaty before quickly approaching psychotic levels of hysteria.

The cats can be found darting in furry streaks to take refuge under the bed. Henry turns up the TV.

My laughter continues to crescendo.

And that’s precisely what the Furnace Guy heard that day while he quietly toiled away in the basement: me, yelling out, “Oh fuck, I’m seriously going to pee my pants!” while snorting and choking on the insane sort of merriment generally only achieved with the aid of psychedelics.

In other words, I was a giddy mess. Alone at the computer I sat, hiccuping on my obnoxiousness, while Henry and Chooch quietly watched cartoons in the living room.

They’re used to this and have become quite good at blocking me out like nothing more than some weak Vietnam acid flashback.

They might have been impervious to my juvenile antics, but I like to believe that I turned the tables on the Furnace Guy. Who’s afraid of who NOW, muthafuckaaaa?

What’s that, Manuel? You need your furnace looked at? Well, let’s set up an appointment for you!

[This photo was taken while I was trapped at the computer as Furnace Guy was pointing something out to Henry regarding the thermostat. Henry knew I was taking the picture, so he was standing there all tense, like he was trying not to pass a brick of cocaine through his asshole. Henry hates that people can’t come into our house to do work without me acting like a fourth-grade reject.]

ETA: What the fuck, Furnace Guy just came back. I got stuck standing with him in the basement while he put some sort of tape on the furnace and talked to me about how, of all the basements he’s worked in, he’s not once seen a ghost. Thank God I had my four-year-old son there to protect me (even though it took him nearly the whole time to put his pants on in order to join me in the basement). Also, thank God he entered the basement through the side door and not the house, or else he’d have seen his picture on the computer screen. Hopefully this chapter is closed now.

Nov 072010

Henry and I finally had our dinner date last Saturday night at the Gypsy Cafe. I guess Manuel found out about it and got a little jealous, because he spent the better part of his Sunday morning calling various Pittsburgh restaurants, trying to make reservations for himself and Henry.

Three different Denny’s denied him. One left him on hold until the operator finally called uncle and disconnected the call, and the other two Denny’s flat out hung up.

“Denny’s doesn’t even TAKE reservations!” Henry yelled from the couch, forced to listen to my frothing rant about how Denny’s hates deaf people. I am seriously considering notifying the House of Deaf People Who Have Been Fucked Over. Together, we can fight this. I am a REALLY GOOD letter-writerer.

Henry just doesn’t fucking get it.

Manuel then attempted to call the Capital Grill, one of Pittsburgh’s finer eating establishments, but was told that “we have tried doing this before but no longer can do this, sorry.” No longer can do what? Allow deaf people to eat at your restaurant? Just because we’re deaf doesn’t mean we can’t be rich. What if Marlee fucking Matlin is in town and wants to make a reservation? Are you gonna tell her IP Relay Operator to have her go fuck herself in her worthless ears and eat in an alley with the poor blind fuckers?

(Henry just walked past me, shook his head and gave me a fatherly “I’m disappointed in you” smirk.)

Manuel wasn’t about to give up. He was HONGry, you guys.  So he tried a little restaurant right up the street and found success.

I hope Henry can find a babysitter!

Nov 052010

To be honest, I shouldn’t even be sitting here right now, posting on my blog. Maybe it’s lack of sleep, I don’t know, but I am gidDY. As in, giving myself chest pains from laughing hard at nothing. And I’m pretty sure I’m on the fast track to effectively losing half of my twitter followers, so why not move the show over to the blog, too?!

It all started this morning when Henry and I had a fight about the furnace guy.

“He’s coming there at 9:30 with a new furnace,” Henry told me over the phone.

“TODAY!?” I shrieked. “While I’m here ALONE!?” Henry confirmed that yes, that was exactly what he meant.

I have issues with the furnace guy. I dealt with him once in 2006 while Henry was at work and honest-to-god felt my labia curling up inside of itself every time he looked at me. Sleazy Guido, is exactly what this guy is. He was just here the other night, inspecting the furnace while I was at work, and Henry confirmed that it was the same guy from back then.

Never will I forget that man and the way he inspired me to donate to RAINN.

“Call him and cancel. CALL HIM AND CANCEL!” My arms were already protectively guarding my breasts as though the Hope Diamond was shoved between them and Sleazy Guido wasn’t even here yet.

“We don’t have a furnace!” Henry hollered. “It’s going to be 20 degrees this weekend!”

“Well then bundle up, mother fucker.”

A few minutes later, Henry confirmed that he canceled the appointment. “Happy now, you little crybaby?” he sneered.

“One of these days, some guy is going to walk in here and rape me. Then you’ll be sorry!” I yelled.

“Will I?” he asked. He’s only this brave when we’re not face-to-face.

Later, I was going through my blog archives, looking for something random to post on Facebook because I just know none of my friends think that is annoying at all. (I have little else in life, OK? My blog is kind of my BFF, you guys. And I just want you all to love it.) I found one from 2007 where Henry left me alone for like, 36 hours while he was in Detroit for some Nude Faygo Fanatics Convention or something. In that post, I mentioned that he had apparently attempted to sext me, but I mistook it for a picture of poop. Did you know that, Motorola Razr? Your camera phone turns genitalia into indistinguishable mounds of shit.

So I tweeted that today.

Henry didn’t like that very much.

I let him simmer down for a little while before calling him again. This is all I do all day: disrupt Henry at work. But if he ever called ME at work? Hoo boy, you can bet he’d get a tongue lashin’.

“I got an app for Christmas shopping,” I bragged to him because he has some lame phone that doesn’t do shit. He can’t even control the DVR with it, what a loser.

“Paper and a pen,” he retaliated.

“Yeah, but this allows you to keep track of your budget.”

“Paper, pen and a calculator.”

It was a free app, give me a break!

I feel an urgent need for Manuel’s services right about now.

And I won’t even get into the war path I’m on against mommy bloggers and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Though I will say I’m adding to my bio: “The only time you’ll catch me writing about cloth diapers is if I used one to smother a bitch.”

Aug 182010

Sometime this week, hopefully tomorrow, I’ll be posting a review of My Pretty Zombie’s Bride eyeshadow. I’m just waiting for Henry to model it for me so I can get some photographical evidence of what it looks like on real human eyelids, as opposed to that alien’s nutsack I swiped it on last night.

So until then, please enjoy a log of the IP Relay conversation my deaf alter ego Manuel had with Andrea, the brains behind My Pretty Zombie.