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Directory of American Menu Hotlines (Third Edition)

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Image of Directory of American Menu Hotlines (Third Edition)
  • Image of Directory of American Menu Hotlines (Third Edition)
  • Image of Directory of American Menu Hotlines (Third Edition)

"A mind-blowing work of surrealist nonfiction." - Danny Caine

"A true work of art." - Daniel Lopatin

A directory of over 80 active phone numbers for the best pre-recorded menu hotlines in the United States, updated for 2024.

The pre-recorded menu hotline – usually recited into a voicemail box by the manager on duty in the early part of the morning in the kitchen of a hospital or military canteen – is a uniquely ephemeral digital artifact. These recordings are made to convey some important information quickly and (relatively) efficiently, and with some warmth and personality meant to provide a brief respite to older patients and their families, who find themselves disoriented by having been tossed into the pitiless maw of contemporary healthcare. A friendly voice on the other line is a welcome piece of continuity from day to day. Once the message has served that purpose, it's unceremoniously deleted the following morning, and is rarely archived anywhere.

This latest edition replaces the second edition from 2022-23, omitting those hotlines that were discontinued in the past two years, and still including phone numbers for messages from hotlines abandoned before the COVID-19 pandemic that, amazingly, still have messages from March 2020. Edited by Andy Sturdevant, with design assistance from Tom Gaasedelen. 46 pages. Spiral bound, 6" x 9". ISBN: 978-1-7324076-0-2. Product number BP001.

To hear the final recordings from the Miami Valley Cowboy and his friends at the Magnolia Place Cafeteria, follow our Bandcamp account.