One of the perils of retirement is being home during the day, a sitting duck for telemarketers.
Somehow – the details are a closely guarded secret – telemarketers not only know when you’re home, but when you’re eating, taking your bath or toilet, or just sitting down to relax with a cold one.
This column is about how telemarketers can become source of humor and joy in your life.
With only a bit of play-acting and creativity, you’ll find yourself looking forward to telemarketing calls.
First, you must identify the caller as a telemarketer. That’s easy, since they always mispronounce your name. Who else would – or could – mangle Smith or Jones. Or Kaiser, for that matter.
Then, ask her to spell out her name and the name of her company.
“Let’s see,” you say with deliberate lethargy, “that’s B as in bad ass, A as in avoirdupois, R as in wretched, and B as in bye-bye.” After you mumble your way through her name and company, become vitally interested in the caller.
“How long have you been with the company? How much money do you make? Have you had to sleep with your boss?” You get the idea.
All telemarketers ask, “How are you today?” in their effort to cement a close and lasting bond.
“Thank you for asking,” you spout. “My arthritis is killing me, I have gout in my left ear, and my eyelashes are sore. Did I tell you about my appendectomy last month? I think it’s growing back.”
Tell them about your just deceased pet, whom you loved more than life itself. Don’t omit details, especially every eulogy, word for word, at Fido’s elaborate funeral.
STOP SLEEPING WITH MY WIFE!
Every year, so-called police benevolent associations call us for donations. In my mind, these guys are particularly parasitic. More often than not, cops and their families see little or nothing of their collections. Here you don’t want to skimp on originality.
My buddy, J.C. Spitznagel’s spiel goes something like this: “I know what’s going on. I want you to keep your hands off my wife. If you think you can destroy a 50-year marriage with that smooth cop talk of yours, you’ve got another think coming. I’ve put up with 50 years of her crap. I’m not about to let some gumshoe roll in the hay with her now.”
Works every time! By the way, J.C. is single.
Suddenly Trivia: Under law, if you tell a telemarketer to “Put me on your ‘Do Not Call’ list and the company calls again, you may get how much from them for every violation? a) $10, b) $100, c) $500, d) $1,500.
Here a few more ploys next time telemarketers come calling.
- When the telemarketer gives her name, pretend that she’s a long-lost friend. “Betty! It can’t be! How have you been since we served time together at that hellhole prison?” Don’t allow interruptions. Be relentless. “Oh, Betty you always were the kidder. But tell me, what ever became of that no good lousy husband you tried to murder?”
- Immediately, tell the telemarketer that you’re delighted that he called, that you are incarcerated at home wearing an ankle bracelet, and that you’d like him to bring over a bottle of Cuddy and some dip.
- Insist that it’s all a big joke, and you’re not falling for it. “Come on, Marge, I know this is you. So cut it out. Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask, ‘How’s that guy you ran down last week with your BMW?'”
- Tell the caller that you’re busy right now, but if she’ll give you her home phone number, you’ll call her back. When the telemarketer explains that she can’t do that, respond with, “I suppose you don’t want anyone bothering you at home,” When she agrees, give her both barrels!
So there it is, directly from Suddenly Senior’s Domesticity and Duplicity Department.
Suddenly Trivia Answer: c) $500.
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