Radical cheap!

Here's a new idea -- Escape-a-Date, a phone service that rings or pages you with fake urgent messages so that you have a polite excuse to bail out of a dull or unpromising evening.

Before venturing out on an evening of adventure, you preprogram your cell phone to ring at a particular time with one of eight 30-second "emergency" messages (your roommate is locked out, you forgot to pick up your grandma at the airport). You convey the lie to your date, and poof - you're outta there.

For this, Virgin Mobile patrons pay 25 cents per call plus airtime. Cingular lumps the cost with its package of other Voice Connect services, such as wakeup calls, stock quotes and daily horoscopes, for $4.99 a month.

A clever innovation? Excuse me, but I thought that's what friends were for: to call you at prearranged times and get you out of sticky situations. Despite the song, apparently you don't gotta have friends.

You don't gotta have friends? Well, you wouldn't have them for long if you asked them to call you and deliver lame lies in the middle of a bad date.

But I have a better idea, and it doesn't cost anything. Not only that, but if you're trying to score with leftist trend-setters, you'll be considered just too cool for words. A real rad and bad dude!

Sound too good to be true? It's just an automated phone call away. All you have to do is leave your cell phone number at this web site, and viola! You're a way cool radical demonstrator, with far more important things to do!

This service sends short text messages to your mobile phone on breaking news and logistical updates from the streets of New York City during the Republic National Convention 2004. The information is provided through an experienced communications team who are in touch with the coordinators of events and actions. This is the source of critical strategic truth for you and your friends or affinity groups.
The nice thing about this service is that it will leave your date far more impressed than some dumb message about a burst pipe or a friend's pet would.

"Gotta go babe! We're smashing the plate glass at Starbucks in just thirty minutes!"

"Whoa! Gotta go! A notorious CEO has been spotted, and we're gonna try to spray him with something cool and creative!"

Any date who isn't impressed by that would be a waste of time anyway. With any luck, the date will be so utterly charmed that he or she will pay for the dinner you're running away from!

Good causes, like good taste, don't have to be expensive.

posted by Eric on 08.27.04 at 10:05 AM


What a great idea for a new career. This made me think of starting my very own business where people pay me a monthly retainer to call them and interrupt any dates or meetings they need to get out of. I could even show up and do 'live' interruptions. Back to the Pocus! I go to cook up the rest of these scheme...

Rue   ·  August 27, 2004 6:22 PM

Very interesting idea. I wonder if there could be an equivalent service for Right-Wingers?

Starbucks. Hmmm.... Funny. I've often heard that Starbucks is favorite hangout for liberals and Leftists to drink lattes at while reading "The Nation" or whatever. And yet the Far Left seems to hate Starbucks with a special passion. They rail against it the way they rail against MacDonalds or Microsoft or Haliburton, the way their predecessors railed against General Motors and Standard Oil. Another case of the Left vs. the Left? Hmmm....

Please be patient with me, I'm a little slow sometimes - but:

Could someone please explain to me why a person would knowingly accept a date that they are willing to pay to get out of? I mean, why not just say no in the first place?

Persnickety   ·  August 28, 2004 7:48 AM

Persnickety: This service is most certainly not aimed at the assertive, confident variety. It is rather best suited for the timid, non-confrontational individual with self-esteem issues and an inability to say no. *ch-CHING!*

Rue   ·  August 29, 2004 2:17 AM

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