Wow, where has USA Today been for the past five years? They trumpet the discovery of clever IM away messages like capri pants. Sorry McPaper, people have been writing silly away messages since the invention of the answering machine.
In my freshman year, my roommate and I recorded fascinating answering machine messages. Once he played “Flying Bee” on his violin as I frantically claimed we were being chased by bats. We eventually stopped doing it due to time constraints and the fact we were looking for summer employment. Recruiters who arrived at a recording proclaiming we were some New Age meditation centre rarely left messages nor called back afterwards.
Bomberman once wrote in his ICQ Away message: “I am meditating with Tibetan monks. I’ll get back to you when I am no longer one with the universe.”
During one summer, I wrote “Be back in five. Sticking my head in the freezer. Ahhhhhh.”
Just wait until USA Today finds out that people leave funny bylines in their MSN Messenger Display Names. I expect an enthusiastic article sometime around 2007.