Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm Really Quite Bitter About the Whole "Do Not Call" List Thing Because it's Ruining All My Fun

Wowee.  Yesterday's post was super exciting.  And thanks for helping me get to my all time record high month!  Sigh.  I was so close to negotiating my first endorsement deal.  But as you know, it didn't work out.  I got one last email I thought I'd share.  They were super-understanding, and it allowed me to respond back to let them know the door was always open.  Want to see what it said?  Here it is:


If anything I can tell u one thing... You are a very funny and witty
blogger and u would do really well in anything that u write about. Just
keep building your subscriber base and keep your list engaged in what ur
talking about and u'll be fine.

Have a great day,


Really nice, right? So I totally understand.  And in fact, they ought to be pretty happy because really, they got free advertising from me.  Notice I didn't block their website?  So all of you can find it, and maybe you can become sales reps for them.  And then to thank me, maybe they'd reopen negotiations.  What?  You don't think I'll get an endorsement deal from them?  Ever?  (Note to self:  Go block website after writing this blog post.)

Anyway, so I promised you yesterday that I'd share some really funny stories about how my family used to handle telemarketing calls.  For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, let me take you back. . .

See there used to be a time when people would call you on the phone to try and sell you stuff.  All kinds of things.  You'll see some examples in a few minutes.  Now they just email you or text you.  But anyway, these people could be very persistent.  Most people, when they would receive a telemarketing call, would simply hang up.  There were some though, who would listen intently to the sales pitch, and totally buy out the company of whatever it was they were selling, because, gee, wouldn't those make great Christmas gifts and all?  Right?  Still following?  And then the whole Do Not Call thing got enacted.  And we lost all those wonderful telemarketing calls.  I'm still a little bitter.  Because my family, although most of the time we would simply hang up on the telemarketers, sometimes, if we were feeling a little frisky and in particularly good moods, we would have a little fun.  See the three examples I give below:

Telemarketing Call #1 - Gardening Books

First of all, I totally know what you are thinking.  How in the world can somebody sell books over the phone?  I mean, don't you want to open books up and look at them, read a little before you decide to buy it?  Isn't that what all normal people do?  Oh no, wait.  Now they just go to Barnes and Nobles and sit with their in-store Starbucks coffee in one of those little comfy chairs and read the book there so they don't have to buy it.  Wait.  You don't do that?  It's just me?  (awkward silence)  OK then. . .

So one day the phone rang at our house and my mom answered it.  And I could tell immediately it was a telemarketer just by the way my mom said, "Yes?"  It was all kind of high-pitched and she was practically trembling with false excitement!  The telemarketer then told her that they were selling some gardening books.  I am not sure if this is exactly right (So mom if it's not, please don't point it out, because I don't remember the exact story or verbiage, but it was something like this, you must agree.), but I think it might have been a series of books and you got one a month or something and the person on the phone selling this wonderful series was super excited about these books.

Of course then, my mom has to either match the excitement, or be even more excited.  She chose the second option.  "You're KIDDING!  I was just saying the other day how I have always wanted some gardening books!  And now you're calling!  Isn't that just the funniest coinkydink?"  (I know she didn't say 'coinkydink', but let's face it.  This is my blog, and I like embellishing the truth sometimes.  Don't. Judge. Me.) 

Now the person selling is about ready to come through the phone and kiss my mother, because I am absolutely sure they thought they were getting ready to make their first sale. Ever.  So the person is all like, "Well Mrs. Y, I am so glad that we are going to be able to provide you with these wonderful books!  If I could just get your information. . ."  at which point my mother interrupts, "OH absolutely.  I just have one little question."

The telemarketer is still really excited and says, "Oh yes m'am!  What would you like to know?"  So my mom pauses a moment and then says, "Now, don't forget, I'm really excited about these books.  I mean, I was just talking about wanting to take up gardening, so these will be really super useful.  But just one thing.  What language do they come in?"

The telemarketer pauses a moment.  "Um.  Well they are written in English."

Mom - (very dramatic here, of course)  "OH no.  That's too bad."

Telemarketer (thrown off now, and is starting to sound a little desperate)  "Is that a problem?"

Mom - "Well yes.  See I don't read English.  I can only read in Swahili (or whatever language she said)."

Telemarketer - "Really?"

Mom - "Yes.  I only speak in English, and I only read in Swahili.  My third cousin was from there."

Telemarketer (now obviously super desperate) - "Well, um.  There are really pretty pictures in here that you could look at."

Mom - "Well it's just so expensive to buy gardening books written in Swahili, that I couldn't afford both.  You know.  Translation's a real bitch."  (OK she didn't say the translation part, but it would have been really funny if she had.)

Telemarketer (totally devastated at losing the sale, and a little perplexed still about the third cousin comment) - "Uh.  OK.  Well I'm sorry we couldn't help you."

Mom - "Me too.  Ciao Bella!"  (hangs up)

Telemarketer #2 - Aluminum Siding

This one was also fielded by my mother.  Everyone thinks my dad is the funniest in our family.  But obviously, he actually has some pretty stiff competition.  This one went like this:

Telemarketer makes initial contact.  Introduces the fact that he is selling some really nice aluminum siding, and that it would protect our home for years to come yada, yada, yada, right?  So then my mom says, "Wow.  That sounds like a really great product.  We have a brick house.  Is it hard to put aluminum siding over brick?" (We, in fact, did not have a brick home.)

Telemarketer - "Um.  You want to put aluminum siding over your brick home?"

Mom - "After you said how well it could protect it, it sounds like a must do thing to me, you know?"

Telemarketer - "Well.  I mean, I guess we could.  I'd have to check on that."

Mom - "Why?  Is it a problem?" (fake concern oozing from her voice)

Telemarketer - "It's just that. . .well, with most people. . .I mean, with most homes that are brick, it usually is not necessary for them to cover that with aluminum siding."

Mom (feigning great surprise and disappointment) - "Oh?  OH.  That's so too bad.  Well how about doghouses?"

Telemarketer - "Uh.  No.  No, I am pretty sure we don't do doghouses."

Mom - "Oh.  How about trees then?"

Telemarketer (perplexed) - "Excuse me?"


Telemarketer -

Mom - "Hello?  Hello?  Is there anybody there?"

Telemarketer - (dial tone)

Telemarketer #3 - I have no idea what they were selling.  It never got that far.

By this time, our whole family enjoyed messing with the telemarketers.  We figured it gave them a good laugh even if they didn't get a sale.  And I am pretty sure that we had been added to a list for all telemarketing firms.  It was probably a much shorter list.  I think we were on the "If You Don't Call Anybody Else, Make Sure You Call These People" list.

This call was one that my whole family was in on.  Except maybe my sister.  I don't remember if she was there or not.  But you'll get the point of why we didn't ever find out what they were selling very quickly.

Telemarketer - "Hello.  May I speak to Mr. Y?" (Oh and this is how we always knew it was a telemarketer - they absolutely butchered pronouncing our last name.)

Mom - "OH.  Yes.  Right away.  Let me get him."  (Does all these fake hand signals to let us know it's a sales call, and she gives us a cue.  We all start talking all at once.  Loudly.)

Dad - "Hello?"  (speaking a little louder over the voices)

Telemarketer - "Hello, am I speaking to Mr. Y?"

Dad - "Oh.  You must want my father.  Hang on a moment and I'll get him."  Pause "DAD!  DAD!  TELEPHONE!"

Now we all shuffle around and continue talking and making farm animal sounds and increase the volume a little.  Dad gets back on the phone.

Dad - "HELLO?"

Telemarketer (who is a bit flustered now) - "YES.  HI. IS THIS MR. Y?"


Telemarketer - "UH.  OK."

More shuffling and longer wait because, obviously, if it's my dad's, dad's, dad, he's certainly going to take longer to get to the phone, right?  And we talk even louder.  More chicken and cow sounds too.

Dad - "HELLO?"

Telemarketer (Sounding weary now) - "HI.  IS THIS MR. Y?"


More shuffling, talking, and now I think we are throwing in zoo animal sounds too.  And that's a shame, because you know what's going to happen next:

Dad - "HELLO?"

Telemarketer - (Dial tone)


I hate to think they missed our zoo animal sounds.  My mom does a mean elephant.

Happy Day!


  1. Love it. I use to mess with telemarketers like crazy, still do it to bill collectors. They don't seem to find anything quite as amusing though.

  2. Mom and Dad say..........Good4u!

  3. I think my husband is related to you all. SERIOUSLY. He often makes me into his elderly relative who has to shout in the background. Or he speaks some other language or.... Gah. He's random and weird. And just like your mom.

  4. I think I'm in a tiny bit in love with you. Not in a creepy stalker way; just in an OMG-you-are-so-funny way.
    Just thought you should know . . .

  5. Awwww, thanks Lisa. I love you in a totally creepy stalkerish kind of way. Just sayin'. ;)


Wanna say something? Cool. But I reserve the right to make fun of you if I want to.