Daniel Murphy found "The Five Most Insane 1-900 Numbers from the '80s and '90s" (one seen above). A reader writes:
The other major part of PrimeTel's business is the brokering of all those 800 numbers. While they surely benefit when consumers misdial and are lured into a phone sex business, even more attractive may be what happens when a major company realizes that a significant percentage of their callers are misdialing. Such a company would be willing to pay PrimeTel tens of thousands of dollars (sometimes hundreds of thousands) for the privilege of transferring ownership of that 800 number. I know this from personal experience because I have bought numerous toll free numbers from PrimeTel on behalf of my company.
This reminds me of a snafu that happened during my time in DC politics. At an anti-tax rally one day, an 800 number was splayed on the many placards, banners and the speakers' podium. By calling 1-800-CUT-GOVT, concerned taxpayers could register their displeasure with Congress' big-spending ways. Thing is, the number redirected to an anal-sex hotline, replete with moaning and panting …