Andy’s top 10 calls | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Andy’s top 10 calls

It’s my last day.

After nearly two years of writing about the Lake Tahoe environment, during which time I’ve loved working with community and the staff at the Tribune, it’s time for me to go on to other adventures.

And what I am doing is cleaning up the skyscrapers of paperwork that I have piled around my cubicle, boxing up all the toys that have adorned my desk and just trying to get this mess to look halfway organized for my successor.



As I started to erase all my old phone messages from my voice mail, I felt a pang of despair. Historically, I’ve been good about erasing most messages, especially the negative ones, but I always kept around a few favorites – very complimentary, funny or just plain weird ones.

I felt guilty for erasing them; so, I’ve decided to share them with all of you before doing that. With the exception of my longtime girlfriend, Merrie Leininger, I’ve changed the names to protect some of my callers.



Here’s my top-10 phone messages:

– Feb. 19, 1999; 8:58 a.m. – Andy, this is Donna. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. I’ve already faxed it all over the state or e-mailed it in the cases where I had e-mail addresses. Congratulations, great series.

– Feb. 24, 1999; 8:47 p.m. – Hi, Andy Bourelle in the editorial department. This is Merrie Leininger at your home. It’s 8:42 at night, and I think you work way too much. So come home, because I miss you.

– March 24, 1999; 4:09 p.m. – (This was a bizarre message. It sounded like the person had me on speaker phone, and I have no idea who it was from.) Ha, ha, ha … Thank you very much. A thousand bilge sponges. Why even put the (vulgar word) things on the water if you need a bilge sponge. Bilge sponge to soak up the oil and gas that leaks out…. Yeah, they don’t even go on the water. Yeah, no, but it’s just such an odd thing…. They’ve been trying to deny it…. No, no, they give them to everybody else. It’s just funny. Makes me laugh…. I can see the trucks coming over the Sierras now. Loaded. Ha, ha. Going through the bug station at state line. What do you got in their, buddy? Sponges. Ha, ha, ha…. All 16 tires explode. Ha, ha… Oh, God.

– Oct. 26, 1999; 7:03 p.m. – (From my girlfriend – joking.) Um, hi. I thought you might be interested in a story. I used to see this guy, but now he’s never around. I think he, like, disappeared. Maybe you’ve seen him. He’s tall and kind of balding but really cute and sweet, and I love him very much. So if you see him, tell him to give me a call.

n Nov. 29, 1999; 10:09 a.m. – Hi, Andy, this is Dorothy Smith. I just read the article. It’s absolutely beautiful. Gorgeous. Fabulous. I wish I looked better in the picture, but the article – I love it. I just love it, and I’m going to come in and buy lots of papers.

– Dec. 28, 1999; 12:35 p.m. – Andy, I thought the Tribune had a policy that you couldn’t eat. You guys can’t eat. So here it is eatin’ time, and you’re gone and you’re no doubt violating the corporate policy. So if you want to get a hold of me, I’m traveling around. My cell phone number is … and this better be important. I’m a busy guy.

– March 15, 2000; 1:59 p.m. – Andy Bourelle, this is Dave Williams from the …. I’m not sure what you called about because I’m not guilty, they were all over 18, I swear it, and besides they never found the head and the statute of limitations has run out. So you can’t get me. Give me a call if you want. I should be in here most of the day, unless I fall asleep and they cart me out. Bye.

– April 10, 2000; 11:08 a.m. – Hi, Andy, it’s Helen. I’m not at work today. I’m at home, and I just read the paper, and I just think you’re a fabulous writer. I just read the article, and yelled at my husband. He said, “Is it good?” I said, “It’s fabulous.” You just really pulled it all together. Thank you. Appreciate it. Keep up the awesome work.

– April 11, 2000; 10 a.m. – Andy, it’s Helen again. I still love the article. Nothing has changed about that. But you have got to stop using our fax number. You put our fax number in instead of the phone number again. Anyway, give me a call. Bye.

– My last day: April 28, 2000; 10:37 a.m. – (From my girlfriend – again joking) Hello, it’s me. I thought I would give you a call at work for the very last time. But I should have known you would already be out drinking. Give me a call if you’re sober enough.

– Andy Bourelle, former Tribune writer, did not go out drinking on his last day until after work.


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