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 â€œbusinessâ€ and was also a fax line. Remember faxes? I keep it because itâ€™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 itâ€™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. Itâ€™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.
â€œKarem, my old friend! You rascal you. Howâ€™s the harem?â€
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. Câ€¦ (Repeat until they hang up.)
Or I just keep repeating, â€œI knew you were going to say thatâ€¦â€
But now in the age of computers you can get high tech. There exist â€œSoundboardsâ€ 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. â€œWhat the deuce?â€ Or Robert De Niro. â€œYou talkinâ€™ to me?â€
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.â€ I could be lying.
UPDATE: I have terminated the “Business” line. Karem will have to find someone else to annoy.