Coming soon to a telephone near you

All of the movie previews and trailers I watch show a group of plucky go-getters suddenly realizing they are about to meet their doom. The heroes all suspect nothing, and then BAM! a hidden evil force has to be battled off.

It occurred to me that Idaho is in the same position as the heroes of these movie previews. No, Idaho won’t be attacked by giant robots or swept away by huge tidal waves any time soon. But this summer, Idaho will have a new area code. Nothing could be more horrific than that.

I think a trailer for the new area code should go something like this:

(Loud thumping noise): Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

(Deep male voiceover, while sweeping shots of Idaho wilderness are shown): Idaho, where there has always been only one area code.

(Screeching noises, like someone is trying to tune their violin while being eaten by an alligator)

(Deep voice, again): Not anymore.

(Woman, sitting in a stalled car, talking on the phone, looking shocked): I’m sure I dialed the right number. I’ve got to get through. No, I didn’t dial the 986 area code. I didn’t dial any area code. Try again with 208? But that’s what I thought I was calling…

(Man sitting behind a metal table, with his arms tied behind his back): I just don’t understand. Why are they called area codes if they don’t cover just one area? Why do they both cover the whole state?

(Woman looking through blinds, with outside light reflecting off her eyes): 986, where are you? I know you’re out there.

(Business man, with hands full of crumpled business cards, like he is holding laundered money): Of course I didn’t put the area code on the business cards (Drops to his knees) I thought everyone would have 208 forever. (He throws the business cards as the wind blows them away.)

(Flickering scenes of people calling on phones, and a child with a tear running down their cheek)

(Cut to people running in the woods, carrying flashlights. They talk to each other in whispers) Where is it? Where is it? 986 is coming. Or was it 208? I can’t remember.

(Fade to black)

(Deep voice comes back) Coming to a phone near you, on Sept. 5. Be prepared.

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