A Washington Ringtone Symphony
By Mike Musgrove
In the sports world, Nationals
Manager Manny Acta has the "Law & Order" theme -- he's a fan of the show.
D.C. United player Bobby Boswell has a "Saturday Night Live" ringtone of Will
Ferrell doing his Robert Goulet impersonation.
Wizards player Caron Butler has the James Bond theme song because James is his
given first name. They call Gilbert Arenas "Agent Zero" after all -- "and I'm
double-o-seven," Butler said.
As it turns out, chefs are big ringtones customers -- they have to stay in
regular contact with their distributors, and having an unusual ringer helps them
avoid wasting time by fumbling around for their phone every time somebody gets a
That's why Rodney Scruggs, executive chef at the Occidental, has Blink 182's "I
Miss You" and chef Herbert Kerschbaumer of Jack's Restaurant & Bar, in
Dupont Circle, has a barking dog -- a recording of the German shepherd for which
the restaurant is named.
When Joe Raffa, the chef at Jos? Andr?s's new restaurant, gets a call from his
wife, his phone plays the Auburn fight song because she's an alumna and a
die-hard fan of the school's team. Raffa was raised in Hawaii, so when his mom
calls, it plays a Hawaiian slack-key guitar song. Whenever anyone else calls,
the default ring is the "Imperial March" from "Star Wars," also known as Darth
Vader's theme. "It's sort of appropriate for a kitchen," he said.
This being the Business section of the paper, I also called a few business
types. The chief executive of Sprint Nextel didn't get back to me, nor did World
Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz. Caps owner and AOL vice chairman Ted Leonsis
doesn't have a ringtone.
Van Susteren admits to a sort of juvenile game she plays with a couple of her
on-air brethren, CNN correspondents Ed Henry and Bob Franken. Whenever she sees
them on the air, she calls them in the hope of hearing their phones ring -- and
when she's doing her show, they do the same to her.
There's a steak dinner riding on this for Henry: Whoever loses and gets busted
for having left the ringer on, buys.
There has only been one close call so far, so to speak. Henry might have caught
Van Susteren flinching in response to a call he placed when she was on the air
and when her phone might have been set to vibrate.
No matter, she says. "Ed Henry's going to lose this bet," she said. "He's
feeling bold and brash right now -- I'm trying to make him feel comfortable and
sloppy. I will get him."