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How to dial this number from other countries.


party poker

Friday May 26th, 2006.

Payphone location: Boardwalk, Ocean City, Maryland. The phone number of the current phone (this page is an archived phone) is, as always, displayed via the logo to the left. Here's a short list of all the ways you can work the payphone magic.

Picture of payphone

Well now, it's another webcam phoneswarm. An anonymous person has sent along a pointer to this (cough) week's number. The webcam is located at Ocean Gallery World Center Boardwalk, and looks upon the boardwalk and of course, the payphone in question. The other one is apparently out of service. I was able to get someone almost immediately:

Him: "Can I order a pizza please?"
Me [cloying]: "I don't understand."
Him: [click]

My guess is that if you mention that you're watching them over a webcam, they'll freak out and hang up. Let's talk it up out there!

PS: here's another Ocean City boardwalk webcam. Here's a third. Oooh, tram car coming through.

Friday, May 26th.

The webcam is supposedly hard to see. Or at least people have a hard time finding it. I had about 12 people around this phone last night. They thought I was calling them from the hotel. I tried to show them the cam about 5 times and they couldn't find it. Maybe they were too drunk.

Thanks for posting it :) The last one was pretty dead.

"Yeah, this place is dead anyway." The webcam is probably in a stuffed parrot's open mouth. That's my guess, anyway. And thanks for sending it in!

Saturday, May 27th.

All I get is "Hello?" then I say "Hello" and they hang up. Got it twice. I'm new to this though :P

Sunday, May 28th.

Just called the number... had a female answer on the first attempt to call.

Me: Hello
Her: Hello
Me: Are you at the boardwalk?
Her: No
Me: Are you sure? I think you are at the boardwalk?
Her: Yes I'm at the boardwalk
Me: What are you doing there?
Her: Answering the phone that rang and now you're talking to a total stranger.
Me: Do you know you're on a camera right now?
Her: {hangup}

See? I told you. People don't want to be on camera, even if their image is fuzzy and indistinct.

Tuesday, May 30th.

Tried calling at 4:45. Got the "User Busy" message on my cell phone. Odd because I was watching the phone cam, and no one was on the phone. Ill keep trying until someone answers.

Someone else might have been calling at the same time, is my guess. Can't have two people ringin' the phone at the same time, that would be way too loud.

10:20PM: "Hello" - immediate hangup.

10:26: Him: Hello
Me: Hello sir, how are you this evening?
Him: something that sounds like "fine"
Me: some requisite reply that I forget
Then comes the obligatory "what?" "can you hear me now" exchange
Him: Meet me here in five mintes, we'll make a deal (something unintelligible) - hangup.

10:37: "Hello?" - immediate hangup. Seems to be a trend...

10:41: Him: Hello
Me: Hey, how are you doing?
Him: Great! (or something like that)
Me: Good, good.
Him: Hey, you know you're callin' the boardwalk, right?
Me: I know...
Him: Who you lookin for? You lookin for some action, some oral? Do you like it on top or bottom? (or something like that)
Me: I'm not too sure myself.
Him: Well, why don't you call the payphone back when you're sure.
Me: All right...
We say our goodbyes. He sounded inebriated, but at least I found someone who was cordial.

- Bill

Yeah, that's great. He sounds like a guy who knows what he wants and can get it from practically anyone. Back 'round where I grew up that's what we called a Bottom Feeder. Bottom Feeders are happy 'cause there's always room at the bottom.

called it up about 11:21 EST. got a guy on the first ring. went a little something like this:

him: hello?
me: hi! is this the payphone?
him: no
me: this isn't the payphone?
him: no, this is a private residence.
me: oh, sorry buddy!
him: mmmhmm

called again a few minutes later (11:23) and it rang out.

called again a few minutes later (11:26):

him: hello?
me: hey, is scott there?
him: no, he already went to bed.
me: oh, well can you tell him i called?
him: sure
me: hey, what time is his appointment tomorrow?
him: [click]


him: hello?
me: hello!
him: i guess you've got the wrong number
me: nice shirt.
him: [click]

11:30, saw a guy and girl walking:

Him and her: WHAT! (girl rambling in background).
me: hi, are you enjoying your walk?
them: of course, what branch are you on?
me: say what?
them: what branch of the boardwalk?
me: oh, i live in georgia
them: then why are you calling?
me: well, if you look behind you, there's a webcam.
them: oh. bye

11:32 found a nice person!:

her: hello? me: hi! her: how are you doing?
me: i'm doing great how about you?
her: name your top three emotions right now.
me: let's see, my top three emotions. ecstatic.. umm.... i'm going to say ecstatic three times. i'm three times ecstatic.
her: ok, i gotta go, i'm busy.
me: ok, bye!

that's all for now!

That last person, there's someone you'd want to meet. Someone who sees through the novelty of it, just gets down to brass tacks. Definitely one of the best calls logged.

Thursday, June 1st.

Hello! Just a quick question, though one I'm sure you've gotten a million times before: Any chance you could include the number of each featured phone in the archived calls to said phone? I'd like to call the phone in Waikiki, but the number's not listed!
Thank you,
-- Patrick

The problem with that is a very old one -- that which makes a thing popular can also kill it. If you read the faq, phoneswarm was inspired by the Mojave Phone Booth, which died because it became too popular [Well, that's one way to look at it]. Already one of the phoneswarm phones has been blocked from receiving incoming calls, and people are noticing that phones that start out ringing ten times when first introduced will only ring once or twice after two weeks at Phoneswarm.

Even if there were 100 archived numbers, theoretically spreading out the pain a bit, people would naturally gravitate to the more interesting ones, like, say, the Waikiki one. And the whole point of Phoneswarm was to avoid the disastrous outcome of the Mojave Phone Booth debacle. Really, it is seriously missed.

That being said, the phone number is 808 XXX XXXX. Use it wisely.

we recorded phoneswarm special #3 on BellCoreRadio tonight, so i thought i'd check in and let you know what went down.

first phone call of the episode, we get somebody. It's some girl and her friends. I inform her that she's on the radio, tell her about the site, we talk a bit about the weather and where she's from, and then i tell her about the webcam. get this (i was stunned) she didn't even hang up when i told her there was a camera! I started to instruct her on where the camera was (giving her the palm tree to the left of the screen as a landmark). she doesn't see it, so we say our goodbyes and move on with the show.

about 45 minutes and several hang-ups later, a guy answers the phone claiming to be from the police department. Now, i'm no fool, I know people like to say that to us phoneswarmers just to fuck with us. So, I look at the webcam and, sure enough, starched white shirt and funny looking hat (looked like a cop to me!). So, i inform him that I am a verizon technician (the phone is a verizon payphone) and that we've been noticing a surge of incoming calls to the phone. I ask him to enter in a service code on the keypad to stop the phone from recieving incoming calls (i give him the bull sh*t code of '1337#'). he enters it, i tell him the problem should be fixed and we hang up. he then walks away.

so, while it still sucks that people have potentially been reporting the phone to the police, social engineering is still fun.

Friday, June 2nd.

10:26 PM. The webcam isn't working, and hasn't been for a few hours, but I call the phone anyway. After a few hours of nobody answering, finally a girl picks up. She seems to have an Indian accent.
Her: "Hello?"
Me: "Hello there!"
Her: "Hi! How are you?"
Me: "I'm great, how are you?"
Her: "I'm fine. Did you want to speak to somebody?"
Me: "Nope. Just calling to talk to whomever picks up."
Her: "So you just wanted to talk to me?"

She begins to laugh and says to someone else in the background "He just wanted to talk to me. hehe"

About that time, the webcam came back up, and I could see her standing at the phone.
Me: "Did you know you're on camera?"
Her: "Oooh, there's a camera on me?"
Me: "Yep. Your friend there is wearing a really hideous flower patterned shirt."
Her: "Ok, I really have to go now!"
*call ended*

That always works wonders, letting people know they're on a webcam. One day someone won't freak out.

Sunday, June 4th.

Ok, this one was really interesting.

It's 3:10 A.M. I called the phone without first looking at the webcam. A man answered, so I ran to the website and as expected, there was a man standing at the phone, with nobody else visible on camera. The conversation went as follows:

Him: "Hello?"
Me: "Hiya! How are you?"
Him: "I'm alright. You know you called a payphone right?" Me: "Yep. I'm just calling phones across the country to see who will answer at this hour. It's kind of late to be walking around isn't it? What's up?"
Him: "I'm out of gas, I've got about 77 cents change in my pocket."
Me: "Oh, that's no good. Hey, did you know this particular pay phone is on camera? It's kind of strange."
Him: "Oh yeah? What do I look like?"
Me: "Umm, well the camera is kind of slow and it's hard to see, but it looks like you're wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans"
Him: "Yeah, thats it! Well, I really have to go. I need to try to find some gas money."
Me: "Oh, here comes a group of people walking behind you. You might try asking them"
Him: "Oh, cool. Thanks."
Me: "See ya' later."
Him: "Later dude."

I just spent a good 10 minutes talking to [a] couple, a man and a woman each took turns talking to me on the phone. I had tried several times earlier telling people I knew what color clothes they were wearing, but they always hungup scared right after that.

Not this particular couple. Here is a cam capture of them:

cam capture

They had fun playing "Guess what I'm wearing" and "Where are we standing" and "What's the number of the payphone you called"? Afterwards they told me to smoke a blunt. They were tired and heading home after a night of alot of drinking.


Sometimes I think all of America needs to smoke a blunt.

Tuesday, June 13th.

Tiphany 2:13 pm (Pacific) from San Francisco, Ca. Hell no one answered... Waited forever

Friday, June 23rd.

OK - good phone this time.

I called about 4 times, and two boys (maybe 12 years old) would pick up the phone, hit the dial buttons, and then hang up.

On the 5th time, one of the boys picked up and started talking - found out he had just eaten a hot dog for dinner, it felt "normal" weather-wise, his friend just left, he had no clue what "being on camera and I could see him on the internet" meant, and had no plans to ride the Ferris wheel tonight.

The boy would have talked forever. I started feeling like a potential predator, told the boy to hang up the phone and don’t talk to strangers. He said “Uh, ok.” and I hung up.

Called back 5 min later - mom answered the phone - we briefly talked about that she was on the internet - then she told me this was inappropriate, that I had no right to broadcast her child on the internet without permission and I should not talk to children on payphones. I apologied *profusly* and told her that Ocean Gallery (she shop with the webcam) had specific permission from the Mayor, Richard W. Meehan to film her son. She wanted to talk to him about the issue - I told her it was too late, that Mayors don't work after 4pm on Fridays, but gave his phone number (XXX-XXX-XXXX gets the town hall). She said she would call Monday.

I LOVE GOOGLE!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been trying to call it off and on all day. I see people there on the webcame but no one will pick up! For some reason, my calls also all disconnect and stop ringing at exactly 2:02 minutes and then I have to call back.

Wow, you're really trying to be accurate! That's a long time for a payphone to ring, too many of them die after two or four rings.

Saturday, June 17th.

Okay second night in a row i've tried this phone. No one will answer the thing. Seemed as though people were looking, but no bites. Maybe people are so used to hearing phones ring they just don't pay attention to 'em anymore. Or is this number still good? thanx. dave in AL