Friday, April 22, 2011

Can you hear me now? Now? NOW?

Unlike most people, I love telemarketers. Truly, I do. How can you not love people who's job is to allow you to prank call them? And the best part is, I don't even have to call them. They call me. 

Now i'm proud to say that I've never intentionally prank-called anyone. Well, not unless the phone was handed to me, and usually that involves being forced to impersonate a clinical surveyor and interviewing the crush of the person who handed me the phone about which flavor of bubble gum they like better: Strawberry Peach or Lemon Delight? Needless to say I usually throttle the person who handed me the phone after I politely end the conversation.(You know who you are). But besides those increasingly frequent phone calls, I'm usually scott free in the mischievous telephone area.

I can't say i'm so innocent when it comes to telemarketers. We moved to my current house when I was nine and my brother was 12. Bored stiff during the summer and with nothing better to do than answer the phone, we devised a new art of amusement: The Reverse Prank Call. Every time a phone would ring we'd scream "IT'S MINE!" and run for it. Most of the time we'd pick up, our smiles would dim, and we'd promptly hang up. When Mom would ask us who it was we'd reply, "Oh, just Dad. He wanted something." and lie in wait for the next ring. When a poor, unsuspecting victi- i mean, telemarketer, would call we'd answer and our real fun would begin. Here are a few of our formulas:

The Foreigner
T: "Hi, i'm Susan. Would you be interested in purchasing a Tiger Deluxe Vacuum Cleaner with disposable filters and complimentary ski jacket?"
Me:"(Speaks in random, complicated sounding Japanese)".
T:"Er...Hello? Do you speak English?"
Me: "(More utter gibberish)".
 T:"Hello? Ah, snap. Um, er. DO.YOU.SPEAK.ENGLISH?"
Me:"(Frenzied talking)!"
T:-Hangs Up- and never calls again. 

The Refugee 
T:"Well, howdy! I am Lily Connors with the Spam Animal Activist Group. Remember: Spam Animals are People too.
T:"Is this (papers shuffle) Mr.Musick?"
Me:(serious voice)"How did you get this number?"
T:"Well, I-"
Me:"They told me this was a secure line. They promised i'd be safe!"
T:"Oh, i'm not su-"
Me:"The Witness Protection Program said no one had this number. How did you find me? Are you working for Slim Jim Joey?"
T:"Oh, gosh. I'm so sorry. Really, we had no idea."
Me:"Sure! Listen up, chick. Tell Slim Jim that nothing will keep me from testifying to what I saw! Not even if you hunt me down!"
T:"We will NEVER call again, Sir." -Hangs up-

The Orphan 
T:"Hi there! This is Peter Polanski and i'd like to offer you, yes you, an opportunity to purchase some glowing sunglasses for only $19.99! Could I speak to your father or mother?"
Me:"I don't think they need sunglasses."
T:"Everyone loves sunglasses! No matter where you are or what you're doing you can use a pair of Glo-Glasses! Now, where are your parents?"
Me:"They're dead."
T:"Oh. Oh my.."
Me:"(Burst out with theatrical crying)."
T:"Um, er...there, there. Have a"
-Hangs Up-

The Chef 
T:"G'day, ma-am! I would like to offer you a-"
Me: "(In a Jersy accent) Oh, Martha. I'm so glad you called, darling! I bet you want that recipe for Spicy Beef Loin, don't ya now?"
Me:"Of course you do! Lucky you, I have it right here. I'll just read it to you, ya?"
T: "Um, I-"
Me: "Preheat the oven at 360. Pull frozen pork out of freezer and allow to thaw overnight. Ya with me so far?"
T:"I don't-"
Me: "Oh, i'll just move on. Next you take a variety of spices lightly coat the meat. Then...(keep reading the recipe)."
T: -Hangs Up_ 

 The Vader
Simplest one in the book. Simply answer the phone silently and wait to confirm its a telemarketer. Then breath loud and raspy in a perfect imitation of Darth Vader. You might even want to mumble something about the force or the 
dark side being sensed on the other end of the line. 

The Questioning Toddler 
Enforce the time-tried practice of a curious child with your telemarketer. After every sentence just ask "Why?". And nothing else. A variation of this would be saying "Maybe" after every sentence. 

The Natter 
  Easy. Just share whatever childhood stories and or the woes of your life come to mind and spill them with your lovely listener. 

The Opera Trainee
T:" Hi there, this is-"
Me: (Begins to sing opera) "Do not liiiiieeeee toooo meeeee, Telelelelemarketer! The Phantom of the OOOOOOOppppppperrraaaaa is there, hes innnn you miiinnnnnndddd!"
(And so on.)

As you can see, the possibilities are endless for reverse prank calling. With a little imagination and a public land line your boring summer afternoons will be full of frivolity and fun. Just remember not to do anything too extreme or someone could be knocking at your door the next day and asking if you were the individual that asked if you could pay for your illegal goods with a Visa card. 

Saved by the Catchy Ringtone,


  1. You are just TOO funny and SUCH a hoot!!! I can imagine you doing all of these!!!