February 17, 2004

Jenny's Phone Number

I've noticed comment on this at several sites already and as the bids keep increasing I'm sure it will attract more interest.

Someone is selling Jenny's phone number on Ebay. The current bid 2:16 PM Eastern is $80,700.

From Urban Legends:

In "Jenny," a young man laments not having the courage to dial a number found scribbled on a wall but finds some comfort in the notion that he can someday call this girl and sweep her off her feet. Though not explicitly stated in the lyrics, it's strongly implied the name and number were harvested from a bathroom wall, which also implies "Jenny" is a gal of easy virtue and is to be had for the price of a phone call.

"Jenny (867-5309)" caused nothing but grief for telephone customers unlucky enough to have that combination of numbers as their own....

An adjunct to this legend is the rumor that due to the overwhelming number of prank calls now made to 867-5309, that phone number is permanently non-assigned for every area code in North America. That isn't the case � although 867-5309 is unassigned in many area codes, we have verified that it is still a valid working number in some of them. The putative owner of the 867-5309 phone number in New York (area code 212) recently put it up for auction on eBay.

So, how much will this initial sale reduce the value of the number in other exchanges? Will local phone companies offer it up in the areas where it is currently unassigned?

Update (5:12 PM Eastern): The Ebay auction linked to above has disappeared. Someone, though, alleges to have Jenny's only West coast number available. Starting price $5,000 with no bids yet.

Update (11:24 PM EST): Alex at A List A Day details some of the 867-5309 tagalongs that have cropped up.

Posted by Steve on February 17, 2004
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