I Can Give You Your Own #FlashbackFriday 24 Hours A Day!

Troubled about a relationship? Confused about a career?

Flashback Friday can’t help you with that, but a phone call can!

 

The world of 1-900 numbers – which, apparently in today’s case are only 900 numbers if you don’t live in New York City – is a strange and diverse sort, mixing child-friendly characters with (ahem) adult entertainment.  At a premium price, you could get stock market tips, video game tips, weather, and lucky numbers.  You could also get sexy talk if you really felt the need. 1-900 numbers are a slightly more rare breed today, but in the 1980s and 1990s, television, especially local independent stations, were silly with commercials toting the glory of calling a 1-900 number.

WPIX, “New York’s Own” independent station (until 1995, but still holds on to the feel of never straying from their roots), ALWAYS showed these commercials when I was a kid.  They could easily be found during weekend afternoon film blocks between commercials for cold medicine, Waldbaum’s, The Money Store (remember those?), Genovese, Mount Airy Lodge, Young People’s Day Camp, and the Milford Plaza.

Stop me before I keep going, the nostalgia is overtaking!

Today’s commercials come to us from 1989, airing in the same block as yesterday’s commercial (yes, seriously, there were three of these commercials floating around!).  Rather than lookin’ for love, these commercials touted lucky numbers that could change one’s perspective on their world.

And picture frame smashing!

These two commercials, one for Jean Simpson, the other for Jean Dixon (double your Jeans!) advertise the telling of one’s lucky numbers to change the forecast of one’s life!

So…

Troubled about a relationship?  Confused about a career?

Don’t have an “As Seen On TV” product-style meltdown!

SnapShot(7)

Call Jean Simpson’s 540-000 (that’s 5-4-all zeroes) number, and get yourself on track!

SnapShot(4)

But if Jean Simpson isn’t good enough…try Jeane Dixon!

SnapShot(9)

95 cents a minute, and she’ll help you out 24 hours per day!  She gives love advice, if you need that too!

Man, you really need to click play for this one!

“You’re going to attract…love.”

And that’s how they run up the charges on the calls – talking super slow!

As I said, 1980s and 1990s television was SILLY with this stuff.  I mean, there was a family-friendly Chloraseptic commercial mixed in with these commercials!  The kid wanted juice, and some other lady in another needed cough medicine.  But you need love and advice from “renowned experts.”

Put down the Chloraseptic spray bottle and measuring spoon, you need your lucky numbers.  You must call to hear for yourself!

I love WPIX commercial blocks, always so full of eccentric combinations of commercials, a veritable buffet of nostalgia that really has no business being mixed together, and yet…is mixed together!

Who doesn’t miss these times?

Did you ever call a 1-900 number?  I can safely say I never did, but my mom used to call the 976 number for the time (which is still written in her phone book – yes, phone book) years later!  I think the most I ever did was call an 800 number to pick a color for M&M’s, but that was free.  I knew damn well that nothing good came from calling a 1-900 number and running up my parents’ phone bill.  We had long-distance calls to my grandma (who only lived 35 minutes away, so long distance for real?) on the phone  bill.  If we wanted video game tips, strategy guides were our tip line, not Nintendo’s 1-900 number.  I never called Santa, the Easter Bunny, or Hulk Hogan.  Or the Care Bears.

It all seems funny now, but kids running up bills was some serious stuff!

Before I get too much more into nostalgia overload than I already am, I really have to end it here.  But we had so much fun, learning about the kinds of things people picked up the phone for in the pre-internet age!

Have a fantastic Flashback Friday, and a great weekend!

 

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