Blame VH1 Classic

Back before and ten-digit telephone numbers there was 867-5309:

One day five years ago, Mr. Potter, who was living in Weehawken, N.J., and working as a disc jockey for weddings and parties, needed a phone number for his business. On a lark he asked if 867-5309 was available. To his surprise, it was. It seemed like a great deal for a music-oriented business — the most famous musical phone number (though you might get arguments from fans of Glenn Miller’s “PEnnsylvania 6-5000” or the Marvelettes’ “Beechwood 45789”) as his very own business signature.

Instead, it was something of a disaster. Almost as soon as he plugged the phone in, it began ringing off the wall.

And so it continues. Maybe it’s those Cingular commercials, but the song came out when Ronald Reagan was president. You would think the jokes would get old.

But no, he still gets about 30 calls a day: from drunks at bars, from the guy at the auto body shop in Odessa, Tex.; from Alyssa, 15, and her mom, Janice, on their way back from cheerleading practice in Morris County; from hapless collection agencies unlikely to ever get their money; from Leah, 13, in North Bergen whose friend Tyler told her to call; from bored cold callers who figure, why not?