Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

So it's almost one in the morning and Larry and I are sitting in the living room, flipping channels. That late, there's nothing on except ads of (for?) beautiful, lonely women who loll around in teddies and bikinis while waiting to talk to hard-partyin' guys like us.

Flip, flip, flip.

"Wait," I say. "Go back."


"Just go back."

Larry jumps back a couple of channels.



It's an ad for Gary Spivey's Psychic Hotline. I don't know if you know Gary Spivey's Psychic Hotline, but it isn't just any psychic hotline. It's Gary Spivey's psychic hotline.

That's an important point.

Gary Spivey must weight two hundred and fifty pounds. Gary Spivey dresses in all white, belt and shoes included. Best of all, Gary Spivey has this helmet of stiff, wiry, matted hair. It sits on his neck and comes straight down the sides of his face to his shoulders and, I swear to God, it looks like some sort of bizarre hat. There's a bit in the ad where he's at a radio station, and he has the headphones on upside down, and the ear pieces push his hair out without deforming it at all, and instead of looking like a silly man with a semi-autonomous bizarre-hat-wearing head-like shape at the top, he looks like a big white pile of mashed potatoes with an odd-shaped stiff, wiry dollop of sour cream at the top.

Or something like that.

It's about at this point that I decide that I love Gary Spivey, and the least I can do is patronize his psychic hotline.

So I dial the number.

"Welcome," the voice booms, "to the Gary Spivey Psychic Hotline! If you're calling from a touch-tone phone, press one. If--"


"If you know the extension of the psychic you'd like to speak to, press one." -- I swear I'm not making this up -- "If you'd like to wait for the next available psychic, press two. If--"


"You will now be connected to the next available psychic."

I look over at Larry and say, "I'm on hold for four bucks a minute."

"Hello?" says a woman's voice. She sounds a little groggy.

"Hi," I say. "I was just watching your ad and I was wondering if you know what that guy's hair is."

There's a pause. "I have no idea. Is there anything I can do for you?"

"No, thanks. I was just curious."


I look over at Larry again. "She hung up on me."

"What'd she say?"

"She sounded tired."

"You probably woke her up."

"Woke her up?"

"Yeah. They work out of their homes."

I hadn't thought of that. "Oh, man. You're right."

"You woke her up, you bastard."

"Oh, man."

"She could be on the East Coast. It's four in the morning there."

"Oh, man. I feel so bad."

"You jerk."


"You jerk."

"But it's her own damned fault. She should have known I was going to call."

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

This site is powered by Movable Type. Spot graphics provided by Thomas, Michael and Peter Knauss.