It's difficult to choose which articles on my pal Mark Evanier's website are my favorite to read, but among them -- and very possibly at the top of the list -- are when he decides to play along with unsolicited phone calls. Usually these concern contractors, of which Mark (for some unknown reason) gets an inordinate amount.
I admire that Mark is so witty and clever and quick with these play-alongs, though almost more I admire that he takes the time to do so. Me, I tend to say, "no," the instant I get that initial pause and then a voice comes on the line (my "no" means the call is registered by them as having been completed) and then instantly hang up. On a rare occasion when I'm just in the mood I'll hang on and do something odd, but it's very rare. (My 92-year-old dad, on the other hand, tends to get very angry and tells the caller off at length. My most common response when I'm visiting is calling out across the room, "Dad, just hang up the phone!")
But my own efforts, on those rare occasions when the spirit moves me, are paltry compared to Mark. Mark, he's an artist at these. This recent article isn't necessarily his finest -- if there was a Nobel Prize for fake response to unsolicited calls, he'd win it for those -- but it's pure Evanier. And there might well be a follow-up from it, as he points out. I suspect there will be. Basically, he tells the roto-dialer person calling (who clearly isn't a contractor) about how he wants specific work done on his house -- work that he...well, let Mark tell you about i. You can read the latest tale here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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