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The Two Greatest Inventions, Caller ID and the Do Not Call List

Updated on March 4, 2013
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Do You Remember?

Great inventions can be fairly simple things, and there are two of them that I simply adore, because they go hand in hand. Life was a lot more of a risk before they were brought into existence. In my humble opinion, these are the two most important things that were ever brought into my life. But now that I have them, I lost a little humor in my life, too.

Remember the days before caller ID and the “Do Not Call List”? I’ve got to tell you, we were at the mercy of people trying to sell legitimate as well as non-legitimate material. Not only that, they always called right in the middle of dinner, in the midst of the heat of passion, and even during those times that we were in the bathroom. What was worse, the script was always the same, and that invisible entity on the other end was obviously reading verbatim.

You Just Had to Ask

“Is this the man(or lady) of the house?” You were supposed to say, “yes,” but I would sometimes say things like, “No, I’m the burglar. Where do YOU live, since you’re obviously not home?” Or, I might say, “I’m a serial killer. I just popped in for a snack.”

The shocking thing was, that these people STILL continued with their script.

I had to find a way out, which didn’t take me very long, for I have an answer for everything in most cases. Wait a minute, I thought, why don’t I just play along? I had three little ideas, and I would use whatever happened to strike me when a victim, I mean, a caller happened to be selling something.

My Thoughts and Actions

There were times where I would just say, “hello,” quietly put the phone down, and simply go about my business. I wonder how long this person just read their little sales pitch while I was gone?

Other times, I might just pretend that I didn’t speak English. It was amazing how quickly these people would become frustrated and hang up on me. How did it feel, eh?

If I really wasn’t pressed for time, I might just poll these callers with, “Gee, I really don’t have time for this right now. If you give me your home number, I’ll call you back later.”

Some of them would hang up, others would tell me that they were not allowed to give out their home number, and others still, were flabbergasted and so flustered, they forgot what they were doing. I called that last one my Life in the Fast Lane number.

The Facts, Just the Facts

Then came caller ID. What a blessing for some, but in a way, I missed my little dialogues for the poor, unsuspecting folk that would be trying to earn a living. Not! Quite frankly, Scarlet, I DIDN’T GIVE A DAMN! I was free to have my dinner, go to the bathroom, have sex, or whatever else I happened to be doing. It was my life, and I was sticking to it.

Even better, was the “Do Not Call List.” Of course, these calls still happened for a while after that law came into effect, and there were and still are, heavy fines for those companies in violation. So, now the phone never rings. Never. Nobody remembers me. Nobody cares. Not even those scam artists and those people that sell magazines. Drat, I have nobody to talk with!

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    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thee will always be others just like you, Ahnet. I wish you recovery and may your suffering end.

    • profile image

      Ahnet 2 years ago

      was when my date with NDPH began and to this day and about 20 doctors and what feels like 100 drffeient medications later I am still in horrible pain. I've recently tried botox injection no good for me, and nerve blocks had relief for about 20 minutes. Overall its a very frustrating thing to deal with because its not as if I am looking for sympathy from people but rather for them to understand sometimes I just can't do things because my head hurts just that bad. I had nothing they can find that triggered my headaches which is even more reassuring (not at all). I was told it looks to be a pain management situation. My last option is to get admitted to the hospital where I see my specialist for 5 days and run every single test I have already had, but this time put me on a pain drip so i don't get a headache, this way they can compare before and afters and see if there are differences. I suffer everyday without catching a break from these stupid headaches but everyday laying in a hospital bed for a week looks more and more appealing even though I know there will be no answers, but at least for those few days I will be pain free. NDPH is horrible to live with and no one can understand the pain you go through and how it can change in severity one minute to the next. I'm glad to have finally stumbled upon this page and to see there are more people out there suffering just like me.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, KoffeeKlatch Gals. I really did do some far out things to those people, but sometimes it just strikes one to do it.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I'm with you. I'd never answer my phone if it weren't for caller ID. Great hub.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Your welcome ! And i missed you too.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      LOL, will do!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      rebecca, feel free to use these suggestions. Who knows, it could be someone thinking that it is me...actually that might be a GOOD thing!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Kathleen! I guess I am no longer living life in the fast lane, eh? Like Gilda Radner used to say, "It's always something!"

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Very good! I practically hung up on a telemarketer just this afternoon! Thanks for expressing my sentiments and many others as well.

    • profile image

      Kathleen Kerswig 4 years ago

      This was so much fun to read. Great hub - voted up! I do hope that you are able to adjust now that you won't have these types of calls to look forward to anymore. Of course, if one sneaks through the "Do Not Call" list and you find yourself desperately wanting to have some fun, go ahead - answer the call from the "800" or the "877" number. Live dangerously! Great job! Thanks for sharing.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, torrilynn! Thanks, and by the way, I missed you.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      I completely agree that these are the two best inventions. You know when to answer and when not to answer. haha. Voted up and shared!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Jaye! I have a warped sense of humor, so I come up with a few things now and then that I can publish. I lot o the stuff wouldn't make a lot of sense, unless you knew the specific situation. It will happen again, don't worry.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Caller ID is marvelous! Leslie's "On", then "Off" tip works in more ways than one. It breaks the two-way connection so the unwanted caller can't clutter up your voice mailbox with a digital message you don't need.

      You ARE funny, aviannovice! Why not write some more humorous pieces? By the way, I adore that photo of the little girl with the old dial phone!

      Voted Up+++

      Jaye

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I am a oner, indeed, but as I told you, I was made that way, so why not be me?

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      omg..i used to 'work' on the phone when i sold insurance for 15 years..

      i never ran into a YOU!!! (thank you lucky stars...haha)

      you are just an adorable smart ass - i absolutely love it!

      Usually i just pick up the phone and hang it back up again - OR - i pick it up, say 'NOT INTERESTED' and hang it back up again..

      boring but effective..haha

      sharing

      and - thanks for the link or i'd have never known!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Meldz, I don't believe that for a minute! I do know that life is so much calmer now.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 5 years ago

      Yes this is very true. Inventions are really useful. I miss the times of surprise calls hahahaha.

      Thanks for sharing. :-)

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, shiningirisheyes. Sometimes, my warped sense of humor gets in the way, and these weird things just pop in my head. I happened to be near the computer this time! Thanks for the vote!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Party lines are no longer in SF. Next!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      You should do more of this genre as you have a fantastic writing ability while also providing much laughter. I often rely on something I once saw on Jerry Seinfeld. I ask the caller if I can have their private number so I can call them at home at a better time. When they balk, I ask "Oh, your company frowns on you being bothered at home?" "Well, now you know how I feel" and I hang up.

      Great hub and I am voting up

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Oh ya? What about I can't talk to my girlfriend because the kid who my family shares the party line with is talking to his?

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I can come up with something humorous once in a while. Thanks, Billy, glad that you liked it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's a heavy price you paid indeed! I love caller I.D.....the inane calls drive me crazy, and that's never a good thing. Bev calls me enough so I get my quota of talking in without the other silly callers. Good job, Deb; quite funny at the end.