One Is the Loneliest Number
John Cougar Mellencamp sang about the feeling in 1985 in “Lonely Ol’ Night.” The following year, KISS asked about it in “Who Wants To Be Lonely.”
Music reflects life; we all get lonely sometimes. I’ll admit to loneliness at times in the early and mid 80s. Back then, we didn’t even think it was strange that E.T. felt lonesome and tried to phone home.
So we can appreciate how a Japanese man called directory assistance just to listen to the female operator. Odd, but understandable.
It went beyond odd to creepy—and criminal—when he started doing it all the time.
As he told police in Hiroshima, “When I made a complaint call once, the operator dealt with it very kindly, so I wanted to hear these women’s voices.”
And he meant it—for five months earlier this year, he did little but call directory assistance, listen to the pretty voice, and hang up.
Not five times, not a hundred. No, not even close.
He did it 37,760 times. Sometimes more than 900 times in a day.
I’ve got to tip my hat to this guy; all of my moments of loneliness combined never drove me to make more than 30,000 prank calls.
And yet I doubt this manic phoning actually provided him with any close personal connections. How could he feel better about himself hearing “Hello, city and listing please!” thousands of times? After all, he hung up without even responding to the phone greetings.
Maybe he should have wallowed in his solitude a while longer.
As Martha Davis of The Motels sang in 1982, “Only the lonely can play.”