h a l f b a k e r y
Strap *this* to the back of your cat.
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This is a natural extension to [hippo]'s "Just Wait A Bit" idea, which lets you stall for time while thinking of a message to leave.
Some answering machines cut you off after 1 minute. This is fine for preventing automatic phone dialers (Robo-calls) or fax machines from eating up 15 minutes of
your tape, but what about a friend who truly has something to say? There should be an option to type the secret Extension passcode while leaving the message, if you're afraid you'll run over. This extends the allowed time by an additional minute.
||...or you could set quotas for how much each of your friends were allowed to talk to your answering machine - e.g. 10 minutes per calendar month ("I'm sorry - bigmouth - you have used up all your minutes this month <click!>").