Betty Ago: Phones

Telephones used to be black and heavy. In fact, I think that there must have been at least one murder mystery in which a telephone receiver was the blunt instrument used as a weapon. Can’t you imagine Det. Columbo turning around, hand on forehead, saying, “Check that phone for blood and hair…”.

On the other hand, the contents of phone calls were seldom a mystery, especially if you had a party line like my family did. No moralizing here. We were equally “listenee” and listener.

Fast forward to today and calls from telemarketers. We complain, we hang up, we put our numbers on do-not-call-lists: All to no avail. I have solved this problem for myself! Now I actually look forward to receiving calls from all of those unfortunate unprepared callers. My husband laughs like crazy. I NEVER give out information, never shout, never insult, and seldom hang-up before they do. So, here’s what I do.


Caller: “This is Name from the XYZ Corp. How are you today?”
Me: “Oh, I am so grateful that you have inquired about my health today. Thank you so much for calling me. So few people actually care. In fact, I’m having a lot of problems … (continue here with a long list of vague ailments) … Try not to laugh while doing this.

Caller: “Hello…”
Me (interrupting): “Are you a person? Prove it.” Ask a lot of personal questions.
Me: “You sound just like a guy I went to high school with. Do you remember the time that we climbed up to the roof and …?
Me: “Huh?” Keep repeating this. It’s great for times when your imagination runs dry.

Caller: “Your computer needs to be fixed. Just …”
Me: “What’s a com-pu-ter? What’s it good for? Why should I have one? Is it an instrument of the devil? It’s contrary to my religious principles …”
Caller: with anything that is related to money like credit cards, loans, etc.
Me: “Oh my goodness. Can you help me? I’m sitting in my cardboard box under a bridge. I have nothing. Worst of all, I lost my phone yesterday.”

OK. You get the idea. These calls are opportunities to exercise your imagination and waste the time of the telemarketing agencies. If we waste enough of their time, maybe they will stop wasting ours.
You have been reading today’s lemonade.


Betty is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale entry fee communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.

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