I called, and got his mom. Darkside's at work. I explained that the rather panicked voicemails were on account of the phone being screwed up, She understood that -- she'd gotten home and had a hard time calling out, because the phone was all screwed up, and tried any number of things before it finally started working again.
I told her that in the past day, a lot of people's communications gear had started screwing up. I thought she might appreciate the warning, though I didn't mention the specific Mercury retrograde thing.