Talking Story

Like most people, I have a cell phone. Everyone in our house does. It’s come to the point where the only people who call our house line are elderly relatives who think it costs too much to call a cell phone—and telemarketers.

I know all about do not call lists and escalating to call center managers and saying phrases like do not call again, take me off your list, and no matter how many times you call I will not donate/buy/recommend your product/service/time share. With all the loopholes that basically come down to if I’ve used, thought about, or stood in the vicinity of their product, they can call me, it’s a losing battle.

Since I work from home, I’m the one who answers most of the telemarketing calls, about three or so a month. I used to hate them, but now they go something like this:


Long pause while the telemarketer rushes to unmute the mic and swallow coffee, surprised by a live person on the end of the line. “Good afternoon! Is um, La…Lei…um, Ms. Parker available?”

Now I know it’s a telemarketer. Even my ninety-two year old grandmother can say my name.

“Carlotta Tuskadora! Don’t even try!” I snarl.


“You can call from a different number, but I still know it’s you! He’s not leaving me, you hear? I don’t care if the paternity tests came back positive. Those twins are your problem, not mine!”

“Ma’am? I think—”

“You may be my half-sister, but he’s my boyfriend! We’re getting married and moving to Toronto. I’ll get my operation there, and then we’ll see who’s the fat one!”

“I don’t—”

“That’s right you don’t! The solicitation charges didn’t stick; judge gave me probation, so you can just forget about me going to county lock-up any time soon.”


“Don’t call again, Carly, or I’m calling the cops. Oh, yeah. Tell Mama I said hey.”

And then I hang up.

It’s even more fun if the telemarketer is a dude!

Less, if it turns out it really was my ninety-two year old grandma.

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