I’m really starting to believe I’m a very popular person. I must get twenty calls a day. My phone has never rung so much in my life. I used to get excited when the phone rang. Maybe it was an old friend I hadn’t talked to in years; or an ex-girlfriend realizing her mistake of kicking me to the curb. Perhaps even a sweepstakes company telling me I won a snowmobile. Unfortunately, almost every call I get is worthless. It seems to always be someone wanting to sell me something. I’m busy during the days. It seems like every time I answer the phone I’m saying, “You mean to tell me, you interrupted my “Call of Duty” video game to pitch me this?”
Whatever the person is selling, it’s always something I don’t want. Recently someone called trying to sell me a burial plot. I’m only forty-something. Does he know something I don’t know? The only upside was, if I bought it, at least I know I’d use it for sure. I couldn’t get the guy off the phone. I finally told him, “Oh, you know what, my parents gave me one of these for my birthday last year. Can’t wait to use it.”
I get a lot of calls about solar energy. Maybe it’s a good idea, possibly not. I just know they look ugly on houses. And looks are everything. It’s why I dye my hair. My electricity has been working fine as it is. The television and lights go on. Solar energy could be one of those things that comes back to bite you in the ass. Whenever I change something that has been working fine for me, because I wanted to save a few bucks, it’s almost always a mistake. I did that with cable, and I’m still kicking myself. I lost my Hallmark channel. I loved Christmas movies in July.
There was only one important call I received this week. Lately, I’ve had trouble sleeping, and one day, thankfully, I fell into a well-needed, nice deep sleep on the couch. The ringing of the phone startled me awake. When I answered it, it was the pharmacy letting me know my sleeping pills were ready for pick-up. No, I didn’t fall back asleep.
Typically, I just don’t answer the phone. Through trial and error, I know what evil lurks on the other end; a scammer, a carpet cleaning company, a non-profit charitable organization. I’m no fool. Once they start talking, it’s hard to be ruthless and hang up. I’ll feel guilty, believing I may have made the caller cry. But, I must admit, I’ve gotten better at it. I’ve come to realize my time on this earth is finite. There’s a cemetery plot waiting for me with my name on it. I live alone, and there are times when I do answer the phone, knowing full well someone is craving to sell me something. I get lonely, and it’s just nice to talk to someone.
I’ve signed up on that “Do Not Call’ list numerous times. It’s weird, every time I sign up for it, the calls increase. And we want to put the whole medical system under the government? They can’t even block a number, and I’m going to trust them with my cancer results? The list is worthless. I’d have a better chance of getting the things on a list I made for Santa.
Sometimes I’m in a nasty pissy mood and the phone rings, and I angrily pick it up and, before they can say one word, I blurt out something like “Hey you pain-in-the-ass. I’m tired of y’all bugging me. Whatever you got to say I don’t want to hear it. Leave me the f… alone!” And, almost every time, I hear this on the other end, “It’s your mother. I was just calling to see how you’ve been sleeping. Do I bug you?”
Most of the calls are known as “robo-calls.” Great, I can’t get along with humans and, now, I got a beef with robots. I believe the robots are tipped off because you searched for something on the internet and Google rats you out. I know because one day I was browsing for squeaky toys for cats and, low and behold, I get a call within hours of someone who sells pet supplies. I became really suspicious when the sales dude said “We have cat food, litter and… the greatest squeaky toys in the whole world. You don’t, by chance, need any… squeaky toys?” You SOB, I thought, playing the squeaky toy card. I told him to put that squeaky toy right up his… well, I’ll leave it at that. That night I went on-line and searched “female escorts.”
Sadly, it’s reached the point where I can’t even answer the phone in my own home. And, with cell phones, these dogs can hound you wherever you are. “No, I’m sorry, I can’t talk solar energy right now, Father O’Donald is in the midst of a sermon.” I know there are people out there who answer every phone call. They have a need to know who’s on the other end. Then they’re mad when they find out it’s some robo-call. Play the odds, man. They are so against you. I also wonder how many accidents these bothersome calls have caused. I can see unsuspecting people in their bathtubs, porches, sitting on toilets rushing to answer the phone believing it’s an important call then tripping over furniture or a dog, and breaking a leg. Then, come to find out, they missed a call regarding medical insurance plans. I get a lot of calls on my cell phone from someone named “Scam Likely.” I have no idea who this cat is, but he’s a persistent SOB. With a name like Mother Theresa, I can trust that, but Scam Likely, I don’t know, I just have a bad feeling.
I could see Alexander Graham Bell’s face if he came back from the dead. “They use the phone for what? I invented that device strictly for gossiping and ordering top hats.” I’d like to go back to the good old days when someone had to go through the operator switchboard to place a call. That would give you a heads up and these intrusive sales folks an extra step. “Mr. Charlebois, I have a call for you. It’s Mr. Johnson with garden supplies.” “Mabel, tell him I refuse the call.” I need a reliable middle-woman to do my dirty work.
I used to think something was wrong with me like I had a punctured eardrum or brain tumor because every day I hear a ringing in my ears. Come to find out, it’s just my phone.
by Jeff Charlebois