This Last Laugh! was first posted here in the Digest a decade ago;
it came to us from the person who moderated the humor department on
Usenet. I discovered it when rummaging around through some old
archives yesterday and thought it might be good for a repeat. PAT
From: Maddi Hausmann Sojourner <email@example.com>
Subject: Tormenting Telemarketers!
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 21:23:39 +0000
Organization: General Magic, Inc.
I recently posted on the limitations of Caller ID as implemented by Pac
Our biggest disappointment with the service was that many phone calls
were tagged "OUT OF AREA" rather than giving a phone number. In
particular, banks of phones behind switchboards or in a Centrex are
marked that way, which covers most of those pesky telemarketers that
make our lives so miserable.
We've found a way to work around that which others with Caller ID may
also wish to use.
When we get calls marked OUT OF AREA, especially at the prime
telemarketer time (6-8 pm), we now answer the phone "KDNA, you're on
the air!" Usually the telemarketer will be a bit befuddled, and ask
for one of us by name. We will repeat that we are a radio station,
that the caller is on the air, and is, in fact, the twenty-fifth
Here's a dialog with one telemarketer who bit real hard:
Me: (seeing OUT OF AREA on Caller ID, using bouncy DJ voice) KDNA,
you're on the air!
Telemarketer: May I speak to Mad-uh-LEEN So...So...So-johr-NOHR?
M: This is KDNA, and you are ON THE AIR! You've just won your choice of
a new Ford Explorer or $25,000 in cash!!!
T: I have?
M: You certainly have.
T: Oh my god!
M: Happy? Which will it be, the Explorer or the money?
T: I don't know! Let me get my supervisor!
M: You don't need your supervisor, it's your prize. Are you calling us
T: Yes I am. (background voices) My boss says to take the money.
M: The money! So you listen to KDNA while you're working?
T: I didn't even know we were calling you!
M: Well, where are you calling us from?
T: <some place thousands of miles from us>
M: My, my! I guess you can't pick us up all the way out there! So
what's your name?
M: Sherry, tell us here on KDNA what kind of music you like.
T: I'm so nervous I can't even think! Nothing like this has ever
happened to me!
M: Sherry, if you like the kind of music that we play here on KDNA,
we'll play one just for you!
T: But I wouldn't be able to hear it. Where's your radio station,
M: We're broadcasting out of Silicon Valley, California, at 106.6 FM.
[obviously telemarketer isn't smart enough to know FM stations don't
end in even decimals.]
T: This is just so great!
M: Sherry, how old are you?
T: I'm 20.
M: And what do you do?
T: I'm a business student at <some college>.
M: What will you do with the money, Sherry? Start a business?
T: Oh, I just don't know!
M: I thought you said you were at work, Sherry.
T: I am. This is to help pay for college.
M: What's your job?
T: I'm a telemarketer.
M: You're a WHAT?
T: I'm a telemarketer. I call people up and ask them if they want to
M: Oh, that's too bad.
M: Because we here at KDNA think telemarketers are the lowest scum on
earth, and I don't think we can give this prize to a telemarketer. You
folks are always interrupting people during dinner and I think that's
rotten. So I don't think you should win.
T: But that's not fair!
M: Hey, it's my radio show, I get to make the rules.
T: But you can't do that!
M: I sure can, I'm giving this prize to the next caller. Meanwhile, I
suggest you quit your job. Today.
We apologize if there is a radio station actually named KDNA. We
picked it both for its closeness to our daughter's name, Diana, and
because it shows our disdain for certain folks stuck in the shallow
end of the gene pool.
Maddi Hausmann Sojourner firstname.lastname@example.org
General Magic, Inc. in beautiful Sunnyvale, CA 94088 USA
If you like this address you will also like email@example.com
Visit my daughter's web page at http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~ds/
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This was pretty funny when it first
appeared here a decade ago; I thought newer readers (from less than
ten years ago) might like to see it. Take note these _old_ email
addresses may possibly not work any longer. PAT]