As a kid I was a sucker for a good 976 number. I called the Chipmunks, Howard the Duck, Santa and many more. All of this without my Mom’s permission. Which caused some issues. So it was probably a good thing that I did not live in California, where I could have called Kitt from Knight Rider at 976-2233.
Like all kids in the eighties, I loved Knight Rider, especially Kitt. Probably because I have always dreamt of a world where I had a robot/computer friend. If that friend could also have been my car, all the better! I also would have accepted talking robot dog or bicycle.
What is weird about this particular 976 number is what you got when you called, it was almost incidental that you were talking to Kitt. He was just a vehicle for delivering information. Information not about Knight Rider or the Knight Foundation, but real solid science facts from the California Museum of Science and Industry. It is an odd idea to generate revenue, but I imagine it worked since kids like me existed in every state.
Since I have written a few of these posts about 976 numbers, people have emailed me about them. Someone recently asked me if they remembered if I thought I was really talking to Santa Claus at the time. I would like to tell you I was a smart kid. That I realized that I was consuming a generic message, but I am not so sure.
I wouldn’t say I was a dumb kid. Maybe I am just being kind to myself?
Let’s just say, I wanted to believe.