Tag Archives: Musings

Calling All Phone Monkeys

by timo cerantola

Telephone solicitations have become a problem at our house as we’ve been getting far too many of them lately, especially at supper time. As a result, we have now instituted a house rule on all telephone solicitations. The answer is always no. We do not do business with telemarketers and we don’t care whether they’re calling to save us money or give us money.

I even wrote a little poem for when telemarketers call.

“Our carpets are clean, our ducts are sucked and our lawn we never spray. Our driveway is sealed, we’re eating right now so please, just go away.”

So, the other night at supper, when the phone rang as per usual, I answered.

“Good evening Mr. Seranantaranoli, my name is Wilma Flintstone and I’m with “yada-yada” (name withheld to protect the guilty) incorporated. I’m calling to offer you something ‘special’. Do you feel you have enough insurance?”

I used my poem on her. She called me a nut and hung up. So I guess the poem works.

Last night I should have used the poem again but I broke our telephone solicitation rule when I heard her voice. When asked if I had the time, I said, with my mouth full, “(crunch, munch) sure, I guess so (munch, crunch). What can I do for you? She had a really nice voice. It kind of felt like I was talking to Angelina Jolie (whom I’ve had a crush on since I was 43).

“Could you answer a few questions for our survey?” She began with her sexy Angelina Jolie voice.

“I guess so Angelina, uh, I mean, sure, absolutely.” I gushed.

Question # 1 “Do you own or rent?” She asked.

“Are you selling home improvements?” I queried. “No, it’s just a survey.” She said.

“We own.” I replied.

#2. “Do you have area or wall to wall carpeting?”

“Wall to wall.” I replied. “Are you selling carpet cleaning?”

“No!” She said. “It’s just a marketing survey.

# 3. What type of vacuum do you own, upright or canister?”

“Ah ha!” I bursted. “Vacuum cleaners. You’re selling vacuum cleaners.” I exclaimed triumphantly.

“No!!!” She said.

“Canister.” I sputtered.

#4. What brand name is your lawn mower?”

You’re oddly curious, I thought. “The Sears brand.” I answered. “What in God’s name are you selling?” I blurted.

If she wasn’t trying to sell me something, maybe she was surreptitiously trying to indoctrinate me into some weird telephone sales cult. She was trying to turn me into some kind of mindless marketing moonie!

“Hurry up and tell me what it is I’m not buying!” I demanded.

She wouldn’t, so I politely said good night and put the phone down. I never did find out what it was that I didn’t want.

Oh well, the next time some phone monkey calls me, I have a new plan. Next time I’m going to say, “Sorry, I can’t talk right now but give me your home number and I’ll call you back when I’m free. By the way, what time do you usually have supper?

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Advice for the Historically Challenged

Dear Abby,

I don’t want to give my identity away so let’s just say I’m the former leader of a very powerful North American country. I’m writing you because I have a very serious legacy problem. I thought you might be able to help me out.

You see Abby, for most of my tenure as president, I was basically what they call a lame duck leader – not like a real duck that is actually lame like from having a bad leg or being shot by Dick Turdblossom (not his real name), but a lame duck like in the way they call presidents who are merely figureheads without any real power. I don’t really know why they call us that, they just do. Anyways, I am real concerned with how history will remember me.

Now early on, I used to be a pretty popular leader with huge approval ratings. Heck, everyone wanted to have a beer with me. But after a year or so, everyone just thought of me as the village idiot, and my popularity dropped faster than a mob informant in the Hudson River. Anyway, I was hoping y’all could help me out with some advice regarding my historical legacy.

I always wanted to be a leader. My daddy was a leader. I thought it would make me very happy. The leader before me, “Bill Klinton” (name changed to protect his identity) always looked so calm, cool and collected that is, until he got caught with his pants down a few years back.

Seems a lot of those intern girls really went for Billy, though if you ask me, that Veronica Brewinski girl (not her real name either) was easier than microwave popcorn. But I guess beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder, heh-heh-heh, get it?

Anyway, I’ve been out of work for 5 years and I’ve got nothing going on. Ol’ Bill has been out of office for 13 years and he still gets no end of invites to big time universities, fancy dinners and TV interviews.

Now it’s true, my leadership did have a few problems. The people saw me as a witless moron just because I couldn’t pronounciate some words so good. So what, if my vocabulary is as bad as, uh, whatever?

And so what if I got my country mixed up in a couple of really dumb wars – and then declared victory – and then screwed up a hurricane disaster relief thing – and messed up my country’s finances, turning the wealthiest nation on the planet into a economic basket case.

OK, so I made a couple of mistakes.

If only I got an easy ride like another former leader of my nation, “Donald Deagan” (not his real name). Now “Donald” had quite a few laughs, he met the Pope, attacked Grenada, sang some old Irish tunes with a few heads of state and got a ton of free airplane rides. That ol’ geezer was a real character and the people really loved him. Heck, history already remembers him as one of the greats.

But hey, being president in good times isn’t exactly rocket surgery. When my turn came to lead, I had it tough. Really, if it wasn’t one thing, it was two things. I got confused.

People started getting critical of me, going on about how dumb I was and making fun of the way I pronounciated ‘new-cue-lar.’ So I screwed up a few times. Maybe I should never have run for president in the first place. True, I was totally unprepared – except for having a whole lot of alcohol in me.

Now, there’s this new fella, Barney O’Bama (name changed to protect his identity) – just elected for his second term. Everyone’s always going on about how good lookin’ he is, how nice he is and how he’s a hundred times smarter than me! OK, maybe he’s fifty times smarter than me, but not a hundred.

Needless to say, lately, with that O’Bama fella getting all the attention, when I go out in public, I feel about as useful as a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest.

So Abby, if you can, help me. I want to get me some of those real good write-ups in the history books. I won’t make a move till I hear from you.

Signed, Historically challenged.

Dear Historically Challenged,

Like most people, I too find you astonishingly stupid. The best advice I have for you is, for the rest of your life, remember; you have two eyes and one mouth. Keep two of them open and the other shut – and I’m not talking about winking.

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