Frustrated and annoyed because something as mundane as your job prevented you from learning of Rick's heart tumor on "General Hospital" until days later? And you never even knew that Don forced Maggie to decide between him and Mickey on "Day's of Our Lives?"

The newest in dippy drama is available at your desk: Dial-a-Soap in New York 212-976-6363 --complete with a cast of crackpots that will relieve midday boredom Monday through Friday. It offers the best of life in the lurid lane, eavesdropping on the phone calls of the staff at the fictitious America Magazine.

Maurice Peterson, 31, and Jon Rupp, 32, two veteran scriptwriters from New York, created, cowrite, and produce the 5-day-a-week phone soap, which has proved rather lucrative in its first month. The service is set up through New York Telephone (Bell), and since July 5 more than 300,000 callers have checked in to hear whom Vince is sleeping with now. Peterson and Rupp receive 2 cents for every call made. Next month, they take the production to Chicago, and then on to Detroit.

Yesterday, star reporter Vince (the cad) called his wife, Sue, (the martyr) to tell her he's stranded with Carla (the sleaze). Here's what you missed:

Sue: Oh, Vince, I've been worried sick since the shoot-out. You weren't shot, were you?

Vince: Nah. I'm the man of steel. (Small laugh). Carla got a little bruised.

Sue: Is she there with you?

Vince: We got to keep low, Sue. For tonight anyway.

Sue: You're not hiding out with that disgusting--

Vince: Hey, hey. You know if I came back home they'd get me. Maybe you, too. So I can't come home.

Sue: Vince, Where are you? You're not going to sleep with her, are you?

Vince: Get off it.

Sue: I could meet you someplace, anyplace. We could go underground together.

Vince: That's a laugh. No. Carla would be scared here without me.

Sue: What about me, Vince?

Vince: I'll call you real soon.

Sue: Don't go.

Vince: Love you.


"About a year and a half ago, I had a very tedious job and would do anything to pass the time," says Rupp. "I'd call Dial-a-Joke, Dial-a-Prayer--anything. I figured there must be other people just as bored, so why not put a soap on the phone."

And so they came up with Vince, Sue, Carla, Sherry, Dr. Autrey . . .

"Vince," explains Peterson, who used to write for "The Young and the Restless," "is the man real men wish they were--virile, successful and reckless. Pity the women he gets involved with, and there are plenty of them, including his wife, Sue."

Sherry is Sue's sister, the young photographer who is crazy about Vince.

"She's a mess," says Peterson. "You'll never trust your own sister again after listening to this."

And, of course, there's the young ambitious doctor who's crazy about Sue and seems to be everything Vince isn't.

"But he may have a sexual malfunction," notes Rupp.

It all gets very confusing and complicated. But one 60-second coffee break a day will keep you abreast of the goings-on. If you live in New York, the call shows up simply as a message unit. As far as calling from Washington, it could be embarrassing when the number turns up on the bill and your boss calls it--only to find out Sherry has attempted suicide again.