Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Phone Spam

Most of us are familiar with the spam messages one gets in their e-mail inbox. Fifty percent off some disgusting product you wouldn't buy in a million years! Or a message whose sender is the name of someone you know, but the e-mail address is something weird, and all it has is a strange-looking link. Nope, not clicking on that. I like my computer without the adware and crippling viruses.
But what about phone calls? Yes, the dreaded phone calls that leave us scrambling to answer them, only to discover it's Rachel from Cardholder Services, or that our Windows PC is in grave danger. And how do we respond to these calls? "Oh no, I accidentally hit the 'end' button on the phone." "Whoops, I lost my grip on the receiver and it fell back onto its cradle, effectively hanging up on that very important call!"
But let's go farther than that. Let's entertain thoughts of the ways we'd like to reply to those calls, a few humorous scenarios of how these calls could go.

You're breaking up! The house is going through a tunnel! -Gilmore Girls
Kkkkshskk... (click)

The cell phone begins singing. You don't recognize the number, so it's probably another annoying call. Might as well let it go to voicemail. Then again, someone might be calling in reply to those pet-sitting ads you posted on Facebook. Drat, you've got to answer it.
"Hello, this is the Travel Rewards Center. You have a chance to win a free trip!"
"Really? I do? Can I visit Narnia?"
A confused silence follows before the travel rewards person speaks again. "Excuse me?"
"Narnia. It's so awesome there, I've read. I'd really like to visit that place someday."
"Well, I'm afraid we can't exactly take you to Narnia. You'll have to choose a place that's actually on Earth, ma'am."
"Oh, okay. Hey, how about Fablehaven? Or Hogwarts?"
"I've never heard of Fablehaven. We can take you to the Harry Potter theme park, though."
"I don't want the theme park. I want to visit the actual school."
"Er, I don't think that's possible, either."
"Seriously? What sort of travel agency are you, anyway?" With that, you angrily hang up the phone.

"Hello." an obviously recorded voice says. "You are eligible for a free credit card. This is a 100% risk-free offer! Please hold for the next available representative. Your call is very important to us."
Distorted generic jazz plays for about a hundred years, occasionally interrupted by annoying commercials.
"Hello, my name is Hector, how may I help you today?" a real, flesh-and-blood man says. Amazing, they actually have human beings talk to their customers still.
"Guten tag!"
"Comment allez-vous?"
"Er, are you speaking French?"
"No habla Gàidhlig."
"What? I thought it was 'No habla Español'... Er, let me connect you to somebody who understands... whatever it is you're speaking."
Someone else comes onto the line. "Parlez-vous français?"
"Pedil edhellen?"
A long, confused silence follows. "Uh... what?"
"Êl síla erin lû e-govaned 'wîn."
"Great, I don't think my training covered this language. Hablas Español?"
"Pedin i phith in aníron, a nin ú-cheniog."
"Okay, seriously, you've got to help me out here. Deutsch? Norsk? Anything?"
"Oh man, they don't pay me enough for this job. You know what? I give up."
"Na vedui! I faer nîn linna nan glass."
"Uh, bye."
"Galu. Savo 'lass a lalaith."
The man hangs up, and you laugh maniacally.

The phone rings yet again. Oh, come on. This is the eight thousandth call today, and seven thousand nine hundred ninety-nine of them were pointless.
Wait. There's an important call you were supposed to receive this afternoon. This could be it.
"Hello, Meowmocha's residence."
There's no sound on the other end.
"Hello? Hello?"
Still nothing.
"Five, four, three..."
"Good afternoon. This is Tom, how are you?"
"Oh, hi! It's been so long. How are you?"
"Um, I'm well. I was calling about your Microsoft computer."
"What about it?"
"We received an alert that your security may be compromised. It's important that you follow our instructions carefully."
"Oh no, not again! I knew I shouldn't have switched to Yahoo for my e-mail account."
"Okay... well, first, we'll need your account information for the computer."
"Which one? The Windows 8 laptop, the old Vista desktop, the Windows 7 desktop, or that old 3.1 we've got packed away somewhere?"
"The... Windows 8." He sounds like he's picking a random computer.
"Really? That's strange you didn't call earlier. It stopped working two years ago. Guess it's too late now. Thanks anyway." You hang up the phone, then laugh maniacally. "And we don't even have a Windows 3.1! So there!"

So there you have it. The most evil, dastardly ways to end a phone conversation. This horrible blog post is brought to you by annoying callers, Microsoft, Google, various fantasy writers, and RealElvish.

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