By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
The toll-free phone line rings at Adam and Eve Sex Toy Co. A young man answers the line with a generic, memorized customer greeting. "Hello. Thank you for calling Adam and Eve. This is Chris speaking. How can I help you?"
Over the jingle of ice, an old lady with a strong New York accent says, "Hold on. Let me get a shot of bourbon." Then she starts complaining: "Yes, I was just speaking to someone who was very rude. I don't know if they're shy for what they're selling, but if they don't want to talk about the products they're selling, they shouldn't be on the phone."
She wants to talk about her broken Cum Here Mr. Cucumber vibrator: "I have an item that I ordered here that isn't functioning correctly. Here listen. I'll turn it on here. [sound of vibrator] All right, now, the cock's vibrating, but it stops after... [vibrator goes off] See? Did you hear that?"
"It just stopped on me in the middle of... I was about to... [vibrating starts again] uh, ooohh! There it goes again. It goes on and off, and I tried changing the batteries, uh, in the balls. And, uh, it still... Oh, there it goes again. Right in the middle, you know, I'm about to climax and boof!It's out on me."
"Sounds like it's attacking you."
"I know. It's crazy. And, you know, I'm an older woman, so these little things, whatever. I mean, I'm not embarrassed about it."
In an understanding tone, Chris says, "Well, you shouldn't be."
Emboldened by his understanding, Gladys gets the toy working again. "Whoa. Ohh. Gee. There it goes. Oh! Holy Jesus. Jesus Lord."
Then, when she decides to order something else, she
ups the ante: ups the ante: "You see, I was looking for something for me and my dog. I have a wonderful German shepherd with blue eyes. And I'm looking for something because the dog likes the vibration, and I like...Wait a minute: This thing is going crazy on me. Let me beat it down. [buzzing, violent thrashing sounds, end of buzzing] Jesus. Hello. The thing's shaking all over the place except where it's supposed to be."
She continues, "I have got a wonderful German shepherd, and I'm looking for something that's got the two ends. On both sides. Do you got anything like that?"
"Yeah, we do."
Evidently excited, she asks: "Oh, what do you got?"
"I've got some that are jelly."
"Ew. Jelly on my toast, but not on my vag. You know? Please."
"I've got something called the double-dick vibrator."
"Ooh! That's interesting -- what's that? Ooh. What's that? The double dig, or the double dick? What's it do?"
"It vibrates," Chris says patiently.
"Both, both ways?"
"Yeah. I think it kind of like tapers down so one side is big and the other side isn't."
"Would it be safe for my dog?"
"Um, it should be. I don't see why it wouldn't be."
"'Cause I don't want to hurt my little, you know. I've been using this Cum Here Mr. Cucumber. That thing was crazy. It would start squirting things all over the place. Go away, Mr. Cucumber. I'll tell you that much."
Chris tries to wrap up the sale. "The double-dick vibrator is $22.95."
"Whoa, that's good! That's a good price. For two sides. You say one side's the bigger side and the other's the smaller? So, I'd probably take the big side since I'm 67. My dog's younger. I'll give him the little side."
"Do you happen to have your nine-digit customer number?"
Gladys balks. "Oh God. Hold on. I can't find my customer number. Let me go get it and call you back. I'm gonna play with my vibrator a little more. Let me turn it on. Oh, it stopped on me. Let me jump-start it. I'll call you back. Love ya."
"OK. Bye," Chris says and hangs up.
When the call ended, Gladys Ridgeford didn't turn a lascivious eye on her "beautiful German shepherd" -- PETA take note. In fact, the 67-year-old lady doesn't exist; she is the most popular character in the repertoire of local crank caller and Internet radio show host Michael Biganski -- better known as Blackout.
Standing six feet tall and wearing his signature Cat in the Hat-style top hat, Biganski cuts a figure that is at once silly and mystical, not to mention handsome. His curly brown tufts splay out beneath the brim, framing his spangly blue eyes. His button nose sits atop slightly parted lips; there's a strong resemblance to Hugh Grant -- minus the stuttering dapper charm. Blackout's draw is of a completely different variety; it's a zany goulash of slick-tongued hysteria.
His eponymous website, Blackout's Box at Blackout.com, and his Internet radio show, Blackout's Box Live, feature cranks with several other outrageous characters like the singing-dancing Mikey Christopher, the gay redneck Dick Dangle, and the dull-witted cop, John Dandell, who calls back frustrated victims to resolve disputes. Biganski created the site in 1995 so fans could access recordings of his cranks. He wanted to foster what he calls "the intangible lore of communication amongst many." Blackout.com has evolved with technology and is now an elaborate online location where fans can listen to his weekly Internet radio show, watch his short films, and join a community of active chat rooms and bulletin boards.