Please make it stop.
My phone rang today. I made the mistake of picking it up. Or maybe it wasn’t a mistake because if I don’t, when the answering machine kicks in the caller talks and talks and talks for the next 15 minutes until all the available recording space is full.
That’s right: it’s a robocall. You know, one of those computer-generated recorded calls which you can’t shut up because it’s either a real human being playing a cruel practical joke or a computer programmed by a real human being who likes to play cruel practical jokes.
They fall into two categories: politics (including polls and surveys) and “card member services.”
Only one company is responsible for the latter. No one is sure exactly which one (not even the Department of Homeland Security has been able to figure it out) because the calls never come from a real phone number and the recording never gives the business name, just “Rachel” or “Amanda” from “card member services” with an important message about your card so press one now to learn how to qualify for lower rates or press nine to be placed on our do not call list which we won’t do but everyone at this end will get a good chuckle over it.
The political category includes:
1. The actual candidate (This is [insert name here] calling to ask for your vote blah, blah, blah, blah);
2. Famous supporters of the actual candidate (This is Ted Nugent. I’m calling to tell you to vote for [insert name here] and against his demon spawn, hybrid-driving opponent who wants to take away your guns, tanks, and surface to air missiles leaving you helpless against deer attacks);
3. PAC’s started by billionaire supporters of the actual candidate (If you can send $50,000, $10,000, or even $5,000, it will help throw that Socialist Marxist Communist Kenyan out of the White House and prevent the world from being destroyed by an asteroid on December 12, 2012);
4. Surveys paid for by PAC’s started by billionaire supporters of the actual candidate asking completely unbiased questions such as a) would you vote for Obama knowing that he is a Socialist Marxist Communist Kenyan, or b) would you vote for [insert Democrat's name here] if you knew he dresses up as a Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleader for every game? Even if you’re a Packers’ fan?
But all of those things completely overlook the main point. Which is this: what lame-brain village idiot ever thought that robocalls might be a good idea? Seriously – as if a random, anonymous, computer-generated recorded call ever influenced anyone with an IQ over 80 or persuaded them to do anything other than yank the phone from the wall before using a hammer to pulverize it into 10,000 random, micronized, fine particles?
Even if I like a candidate – I don’t want him (or her) to call me.
Worse: I can’t turn them off. I’ve hung up, only to pick up the phone several minutes later and still hear millionaire Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) explaining why global warming is a hoax and tax cuts for millionaires are good things.
And I can’t call anyone to complain because the phone number is “private” and the mandatory disclosure at the end of the message sounds like this: “paidforbycmpnfrzydxwgkl555hukpqds.”
So I have an idea. I’m starting my own. “This is Karl Rove calling to let you know that I invented this system. I’m asking for your support in the fight against big government attempts to make it stop. Call me at 202-706-7051 or make a donation in any amount to help keep my robocalls coming. Paidforbycmpnfrzydxwgkl555hukpqds.”