This Is The Last Time (or not)

I am about to throw my phone in the garbage. No, that’s too good for it. I am about to buy black-powder and… No not enough. I am about to contact North Korea and ask if I can strap my phone to their next nuclear test package. Oh wait, they don’t do that anymore, our president says so. Actually, writing this paragraph has calmed me down, so I guess I won’t be doing any of these things. Besides, I’d still have to pay on the contract for six more months.

The thing is, I am mad at my phone. (You might have guessed that) On second thought, I’m really not. The little machine is only doing its job. What I am really mad at is the stupid callers at all times day and night. Telemarketers have gone ultra-modern and I can’t stop them.  No longer does Suzi from Whatever Window Company only disturb my dinner. That was too easy. With the advent of computer communications, they have gone 24/7.

These high-tech Hooligans have even found a way to confuse caller ID by making it look as though a friend is calling. In the old days I knew the numbers of my friends. Yes, I will never forget old 942563551. He looked so good in that orange jumpsuit. Wait a minute, we were talking about phone numbers. Sorry, I was gone. I’m back now.

The issue is I used know a ton of phone numbers, but now I let my phone remember them. No, I rely on my phone to know them, and frankly my brain was better at it. Consequently, I have been actually answering when a telemarketer calls. Yes, they got me. Sure, I can hang up on them, but I hate the interruption.

The worst part is they think I’m stupid. I’ll get a recording telling me they’ve been trying to reach me. You’re not trying very hard to get me if you’ve made a recording and not calling me yourself. I think I’ll do that to my wife. I’ll make a recording saying I’m trying to talk to her and then play it over and over. She’ll love it. Besides, I’m pretty healthy, I probably won’t bleed too much.

Another trick is putting the voice of a perky young girl on the line saying, “Hi, I’m Amanda with Blah Blah Blah. How are you feeling today?” These actually sound like someone talking. Stupidly, I think Amanda truly cares about me, so I tell her the truth. I just broke my leg, was bitten by the neighbor’s dog, and shot myself in the butt with an arrow. Amanda cheerfully answers, “Hey that’s great …” That’s great??? It’s great that I have an arrow sticking out of my BUTT? While it’s true, you have to admire the ability to perform such a difficult task, but I wouldn’t call it great. Then my brain slips back into gear and I realize Amanda is computer-generated like those fantasy videos that I like to… Never mind. It’s just another computer and I hang up. A little sadder but wiser.

The ones I really hate are the emergency ones. Those start with, “Your student loan is due” or “Your car’s warranty has expired.” At first, I’m thinking, Holy Crap!! What did I miss? Then the next line wafts its way into my ear, “This is the last time we’ll call before we send out a hit-man to whack you.” And while hit-men are not my favorite people, I casually hang up the phone. How am I so brave? How can I just take another bite of goulash when my life has been threatened? Do I have a plan to run to Argentina and become a goat farming monk? In a word, No. The thing is I don’t have a student loan, or a car warranty. My car is a twenty-year-old little thing barely bigger than a pregnant roller skate. Nobody in their right mind would pay for a warranty on that. And while I’ll admit I’m not in my right mind, no company would accept the deal either.

All those facts aside, you’ll notice they indicated that this was the LAST time they would try to contact me. NOT! You see in the last week the student loan place has contacted me, For The Last Time, thirty-seven times. And that’s just when I actually answered the phone. I’m no longer sure what last time means. The only truthful way they could say this would be, “The last time this minute.” Those folks must have taken a lesson from stars like Barbara Streisand, who had fifteen Farewell shows in 1995, and twenty-six more in 2006. All were the last time you would see the performer.

I am starting to hope for the arrival of the hit-man. Then, I would know it really was the last time they were going to call. But no, those loan folks are just so gracious and full of second chances they may never run out of last times. The real odd thing is, recently, I had to change my phone number. It wasn’t to avoid them, but it would’ve been a positive. Sadly, it took them exactly three days for the idiots to call me for the last time.

Where do these people come from? Don’t they get it? We don’t want whatever random thing they’re pushing. We are just going to hang up or let their stupid calls go to voice mail. In days long past, there were poor people with no self esteem making these calls. Most people they called just hung up, but I felt it my duty to brighten their drab days with reverse stupidity. If they asked for me, I said “Mr. Ohh! just died in a tragic bulldozer accident. I quickly added, thankfully it was a closed coffin. I had friends who did the similar things. A favorite being the one who happily told credit card companies he’d love to have their card. Cards were great, he indicated, because he never had to pay them back. That usually got him hung up on.

The real question is: Why do companies keep doing this if everyone just hangs up on them? Unless… Could there actually be someone who listens to these sales pitches and truly makes a purchase? No, it can’t be. Could It? Is there some person out there, somewhere? Maybe even a group of them who respond favorably and make these calls a success? There must be.

All right, my life has just gained a new purpose. I must seek out and destroy everyone who responds favorably to telemarketers. If I locate and eliminate enough of them, maybe the phone calls will cease as well. It is a noble goal. Who’s with me?

I’ll give you a call. Well maybe two, but that will be the last time. (?)

If you have comments, want to discuss your phone can ring uselessly on 24 hours, or have me take a sideways view at your favorite topic. Send me an E-Mail at I’d love to hear from you!


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