By LEE SCOTT
A few months ago, my husband’s phone rang, and I heard him answer it.
“Oh, thank you for calling!” he said. “I have been so lonely with no one to talk to today.”
By the time I got to the kitchen to see what was going on, he had already hung up and was standing there laughing.
“What was that all about? Who was on the phone?” I asked.
“A marketer,” he responded, with a big grin on his face. “He laughed and then hung up.”
It seems my spouse had decided not to fight with the marketing industry, but to embrace it. I suggested that maybe he just not pick up the phone, but he thought it might be more fun to play with them.
And so, began Mr. Scott’s Answering Service.
I don’t know why his cell phone gets all the marketing calls and mine does not. Maybe it’s because his phone number was his old business line that he had transferred over. It might be listed in some business directory and a perfect target for solicitors.
Whatever the reason, it was getting out of hand. He was getting at least five calls a day, primarily at lunch and dinner time.
I started to pay more attention to his phone calls. I could always tell if it was a marketing company because his voice would change.
“Bonjour! Comment allez-vouz?” His high school French struggling to say “Hi, how are you?” “Sacre Bleu” he would yell afterwards, “they hung up on me.”
Next he would be the British Butler. “Mr. Scott is out sailing his yacht presently. Would you be so kind as to leave a message?”
He was having so much fun. Some of them did get a kick out of him, but most of the time, they just hung up. After a while, he became more creative.
“Hello, hello, I’m sorry I cannot hear you. Hello, oh wait a minute. I have to turn my hearing aid on.”
It was not long before we noticed that the calls started to die down. We would get through an entire dinner without one phone call.
He was disappointed a bit because he had been practicing assorted dialects. I personally was glad to see the antics coming to an end. After all, aren’t these people trying to make a living.
I think now, somewhere in the Great Marketing World, there is a huge sign that reads, “DO NOT CALL THIS PHONE! It is a prankster.”
The calls have not stopped entirely. We still have the occasional dinner interruptions. But I think they are the new trainees practicing the art of hanging up quickly.
After all, they do not want to get caught in Mr. Scott’s Answering Service.