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Do You ChaCha?

By Christopher Schonberger

Picture the scene: You’re at a bar on a first date, laying on the charm like honey moo-tard and trying to create the impression that you are worldly and sophisticated. You’re just hitting your stride with a semi-prepared monologue about the Middle Ages—one that you’ve pieced together from a double feature of Willow and Highlander—when suddenly your date hits you with a phantom punch:

“So, like, how many people died during the Black Death?”

“Well, that’s a great question,” you say as you suavely begin to fold your napkin. “And I’ll answer it...as soon as I get back from the bathroom!”

As you cross the restaurant you freak out, remembering that you hate Blackberries and your cell box doesn’t even have a functional web browser. You need a lifeline, but this isn’t Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, where you can just phone a friend—this is real life, where you have no friends. So who you gonna call? ChaCha!

ChaCha is a service that works like this: you call 1-800-2Cha-Cha or text CHACHA (242 242) with a question, and within a couple of minutes you’ll receive a text message with the answer. Sounds a bit like Googs, but there’s a twist—the answers are provided by actual humans! That means that even if you don’t ask a question with a straightforward “factual” answer, a ChaCha rep will at least attempt to muster an response.

Whether you’re attempting to settle a bet or are just incredibly bored, ChaCha is the jam—it’s like The Magic 8 Ball 2.0. Here are some queries I fired off yesterday:

What’s the most points ever scored in a basketball game?
A: Sometimes in high school, a kid will say, ‘Next point counts for infinity.’ So probably that.

Why are there so many haters in NYC?
A: NYC has been full of haters since as long as it’s been around. You just gotta love it anyway!

What would happen if the whole world farted at the same time?
A: It would stink! Probably not cause an explosion or anything. But it would be loud and create one heck of a smell.

What’s the best song on Lil Wayne’s The Carter III?
A: I’m a fan of the Dr. Carter song. I need to pick up the CD though to really listen to it.

How much do you make an hour and do you recommend working at ChaCha as a recent grad??
A: My income varies depending on the number of questions that come in. And yes, I would certainly recommend ChaCha—I love my job!”

When the sun went down, my roommate and I asked it what bar to go to near our apartment and it recommended one we’d never heard of that was pretty sweet, in spite of the fact that there were mad young hipsters wearing straight-billed retro NBA hats and the cue ball was missing from the pool table. I even asked ChaCha what drink to order—Jack and Coke! Good call. That joint was mad strong.

At this point, I’m convinced ChaCha is my best friend. I may designate Sundays as “ChaCha days” from now on, and I will simply ask ChaCha what I should do next all day long. I’ll let you know how it goes…

And by the way, if you're trying to figure out how to make some cash while you're unemployed, consider becoming a ChaCha guide. The $0.20 per answer can add up if you're on point, and it seems like it would be pretty fun.

Call ChaCha! [via Greg]

Bonus: How does ChaCha make money?

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