I think you have the wrong number.

I’ve been meaning to bring this up for awhile, after spotting this on my new Rockford Files DVDs. Note the phone numbers (Ghostbusters on top, obviously, and a close-up of Jim’s phone from the opening credits of the show.)

There’s no evidence that this is anything more than coincidence (or at least not that I’m aware of), but statistically, it would be a one in ten thousand chance that two prop masters, then years apart, would pick the same number. Plus, you have to take into account that while the commercial footage for that Ghostbusters TV spot was done in New York at the Hook and Ladder 8 firehall, the final video may very likely have been done in LA (which would be back on Rockford turf.) For the moment, I’m going to assume it’s a nod, mostly because it’s a better story than plain old chance. However, if anyone knows more, speak now.

[UPDATE] Ah ha! It turns out it’s a highly recycled number for film and television. That same number has been used as the phone number for;

– Baretta
– The Guiler residence in Close Encounters of the Third Kind
– Det. Sgt. Rick Hunter’s number in Hunter
– Kojak
– Jaime “The Bionic Woman” Sommers

And so on. Nobody knows where the number started, but that many 70s and 80s TV/movies suggests either shared props or shared set decorators, which could then lead to continuing references (the number was recently used it Memento, for example.) It appears, with some cursory checking, that the number is one of (if not the) most recycled fictional phone numbers (not counting the easy to pick repeats or thousands – ie 555-2222 or 555-1000)

Get Ray on the Transformers DVD

I’m not a fan of online petitions – I don’t think they wield anywhere near the power or impact online fans think they do, but this one is just goofy enough that I’m intrigued. It’s a petition to get Frank “Ray” Welker added to the Transformers DVD as an alternate audio track to Hugh Weaving’s Megatron.

An exclusive ghost! Game sale! Whoo!

Octavirate, the makers of ExorSystems Inc. have extended a cool offer to PC readers – for starters, they’re offering a 15% discount on the ExorSystems core rules, just for being you. But wait! There’s more!

They’ve also furnished me with an exclusive ghost for the game – Vertigox (Class 2 Posthumous Ectoplasmic Phantasm). There is also a memo from the ExorSystems head office;

It has also come to our attention that some franchises are ignoring regulations regarding the keeping of free-roaming spirits as pets and/or mascots. Remember, the “friendly ghost” phenomenon has turned out to be false in all but a handful of cases. Do not take unnecessary risks: trap all ectoplasmic and paramortal entities as soon as possible. We do not want a repeat of the unpleasantness in Westchester…

The store discount is for a limited time, until the end of the August, but the exclusive ghost is forever.