As a general rule, I don't answer phone calls from numbers I don't recognize. But, with the passing of our beloved dog, its been getting pretty lonely in the ol' house and I needed a writing break.
"Hey, there! Can I speak to the woman of the house?"
"I'm sorry but she's not here right now," I say. "Can I take a mes--"
"How 'bout the man of the house then?"
It's weird already, 'cause I'm pretty sure I don't sound like a teenage girl. "This is he."
"Oh, great! Say, who'm I talking to?"
"Well, Stu, can I call you Stu?"
"Actually, I'd rather--"
"Stu, do ya' like country music? Who doesn't like country music?"
"I don't. Never have. I think it's--"
"I hear ya', buddy, I hear ya'." He chuckles. "I think it's great, too. You like Garth Brooks? How can you not like Garth Brooks?"
"I don't! I really can't stand country music and--"
"That's just fine, just fine. Say, I'm calling on behalf of the Kansas City Police Department and in honor of supportive citizens like you, Garth Brooks is gonna do a concert in conjunction with the Kansas City Police Department. What can I put you down for, Stu? Hundred bucks? How 'bout a hundred bucks? Garth Brooks is worth that and more and you and me both know, buddy, that our local police department is priceless."
I have to be careful now. He's drawn in the local cops, someone you don't want on your bad side. "For the final time, I don't like Garth Brooks. Please stop--"
"Any contribution would be nice, Stu. Don't be one of those people who don't support the community."
Silence. Long pause. I'm considering what an awful citizen I am for loathing country music. "Um, I gotta TV dinner in the--"
"Just a small donation, Stu. What can I put you down for? One hundred? Two hundred?"
Like arguing with a brick wall. Yet, I imagined a police raid in my future if not handled cautiously.
Quietly--polite as those two gentlemen cartoon chipmunks--I uttered some sorta lame apology and hung up on him.
I showed him. This time, he'd dialed the wrong victim. To let him know I'm no one to be trifled with, I stewed quietly in a mature hissy-fit. Country music. Hmmph.
Usually I shut these guys down quickly, hit 'em with the "I'm on a no-call list and I'm going to report you" spiel. A trick I learned from my wife, an expert at dealing with these spammers.
But this "good ol-boy" guy? I couldn't get my spiel in around his spiel. Non-stop, he rattled on and blind-sided me with his horrific accusation that I actually enjoyed country music.
Turns out he's relentless, too. I get about four calls a year from him. We're buddies now. Or maybe more like casual work acquaintances. Last time he called me, I hit him with, "Yeah, I remember you, you've called me three times already this year. I'm on a no-call list and--"
Then he has the gall--the absolute GALL--to hang up on me! I've NEVER had a spammer hang up on me. Next time I'll show him! I've got his number tagged as "Good Ol' Boy Spammer" and look forward to his future calls! So I can handle it maturely and responsibly and hang up on him before he does it to me first!
Clearly, some spammers were raised in a barn.
Speaking of all things mature, why not check out my first children's book, Don't Put Gum in the Fish Bowl? (Although written under the name "Wesley Stuart," that's my mug on the back cover.) Give it to your children or the immature man of the house. But it at Amazon or the publisher's website.