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The Legend of T2419

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #163. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.


A tongue-in-cheek but also painfully earnest look at pop culture and anything else that deserves to be ridiculed while at the same time regarded with the utmost respect. It is written by Matt Marrone and emailed to Stu Horvath and David Shimomura, who add any typos or factual errors that might appear within.


When I was a teenager – long before I began to morph into the walking dad joke I am today – I was a pretty funny guy.

I was also kind of a dick. Once, when I was a day camp counselor, I told my disappointed campers I wouldn’t be able to make the overnight trip that week. How would anyone, they asked, recreate the horror I had unleashed the last time? Instead, I followed the group in my car and when the darkness surrounded the cabin in the woods and all kids and counselors were accounted for, I started banging on the windows and slamming doors.

Another time, I found myself among a group of idiots in my friend’s living room while his parents weren’t home. When one girl hit the floor, I told everyone to speak gibberish when she came to, so she’d think she’d suffered brain damage. We spoke gibberish, she believed it – and was more frightened than all of those campers. Combined.

But I was known best among a certain group of friends for prank phone calls. My favorite target was QVC. At one point, we knew all the locations of the call centers and many of the people who answered phones in each of them. One time, we had my friend Jason pretend to be another QVC rep in the same call center as the woman on the phone with us. “Can you see me waving?” She couldn’t. But they planned to grab a drink together after work.

We tried every dumb thing you might think of, and more. But none stood the test of time like T2419.

There are people out there who still remember that product number. Only a few of them were there the first night, when the product made its appearance on the actual airwaves. T2419: The Super Screamers Raceway.

An ad for the Super Screamers slotless race car set featuring blue and red race cars screaming around a bend at a blur.

At first, it was just the product we’d ask for every time we called QVC. The “joke” might not have had anything to do with the order we were placing – for example, I once called using the name Ralph Vaiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiaialson, which I spelled out at an excruciating pace – but after saying it a few times, the number was stuck in our brains.

And then, one day, after dozens of T2419 calls over many weeks, I called…and was told the product had been discontinued. WHAT?! I went berserk. It was THE ONLY THING my kids wanted for Christmas and they’d be DEVASTATED.

The legend of T2419 spread enough so that in large gatherings I would get requests. I once had my sister’s friend pretend to be my daughter, crying in the background when she was told T2419 was no more. Of course, I was a young teenager with no sense of decency, so I pretended to go full Mel Gibson in Signs at the final supper while the horrified QVC rep listened on.

Somehow, we never got in trouble for any of this. We used to joke that QVC had only one caller ID box, which they kept on a golf cart with a red siren on top. As long as we got off the phone before the cart sped across the call center and arrived at our line, we were golden.

Eventually, I matured or at least got a girlfriend, and I started on my dad joke path. But every once in a while, someone or something reminds me of T2419 and the legend comes rushing back.

I’m writing this on my phone as I head home after a movie. A movie whose name I couldn’t remember for the life of me when I was asked by the ticket attendant what I was going to see. Names, dates, addresses, they escape me more and more as I begin the next phase of my life, transitioning from walking dad joke to bedridden dementia patient.

But I think when all else has been wiped from my brain, there will still be T2419 there. It seems stupid now, but I was a pretty funny guy back then, and also kind of a dick, and, sometimes, that is how legends are made.


Matt Marrone is a senior MLB editor at He has been Unwinnable’s reigning Rookie of the Year since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @thebigm.


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