We have not one but two land line phone numbers at the Rising ranch. I know that seems positively anachronistic in this age of cell phones and voice over internet protocol but there is a reason. Sort of. The main house phone is used by a family member who prefers it. The second line was installed for my “business” and was also a fax line. Remember faxes? I keep it because it’s in the yellow pages and two or three times a month I get a call from that.
I also keep it for a sadistic form of entertainment. I have a vice. I like to torture telemarketers. I know it’s bad. They are just trying to do a job. When I die and go to whatever circle of hell I am doomed for, the guy with the horns and pitchfork will have me making phone calls to complete strangers at dinnertime. It’s only fair.
The house phone is do-not-call protected. Works like a charm. The business line is not. I get on average five calls a day. So I can do things like repeat every word they say back to them.
Or pretend that I know them.
“Karem, my old friend! You rascal you. How’s the harem?”
Or I can do the old call and response:
Me: Hello – ANNOYING TELEMARKETING COMPANY: Hello, this is ANNOYING TELEMARKETING COMPANY – Me: Is this A. T. C.? – A. T. C.: Yes, this is A. T. C – Me:- This is A. T. C.? -A. T. C.: Yes This is A. T. C -Me: Is this A. T. C.? – A. T. C.: YES! This is A. T. C., may I speak to Mr. Rising please? – Me: May I ask who is calling? – A. T. C. This is A. T. C… (Repeat until they hang up.)
Or I just keep repeating, “I knew you were going to say that…”
But now in the age of computers you can get high tech. There exist “Soundboards” on the interwebs that can give you short sound clips of almost any famous person , categorized by replies, insults, questions, exclamations, sounds. Well you get the drift. With a few of these open and a speaker phone you can really do some psychic damage to a telemarketer. Think Stewie Griffin. “What the deuce?” Or Robert De Niro. “You talkin’ to me?”
Funny as all this is I do try to remember that telemarketers aren’t actually the spawn of Satan, that they are real people just doing a job and being cruel to them isn’t right. So afterwards I tell them “Please put me on your Do Not Call list.” I could be lying.
UPDATE: I have terminated the “Business” line. Karem will have to find someone else to annoy.