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