Monday, July 16, 2012

Crank Calls

We’ve begun getting crank calls again. Thankfully, there’s no nastiness except for the fact that the person is calling several times a day and just listens to one of us say, “Hello? Hello? Hello?” And, since the line is live, someone on the other end is listening.

We do have caller id, but the person has blocked their identification.

But I can’t figure out why anyone does this. Is it somehow fun to hear my voice? I’m not sure why. I don’t have a sexy accent. Does someone delight in knowing they interrupted me chopping onions for dinner? Or folding laundry? Or sewing Shakespeare costumes? (They’re almost done—I’ll post photos this week.)

This isn’t the first time we’ve gotten crank calls. The last batch was about three years ago. That lovely person would call only when Cal was out-of-town and wake me at 2am. The boys were eager to answer the phone and chat with Mr. I (I for Idiot), but they never woke up in time. I took care of him with a whistle blown into the phone (not the first time I had to deal with threatening calls).

But now I’m dreaming up responses to the latest nuisance caller.

1. Hello, this is Bob. Technical support from India. How may I direct your call?

2. I can give the phone to Luke. He can explain organo-metallic bonding with platinum. (His summer research project.) I can guarantee that will end the phone calls really quickly.

3. Matthew could quote Shakespeare at him. “Hast thou ever been at court, shepherd? No. Then thou are damned. Like an ill-roasted egg, all on one side. If you never was’t at court, then you never learned good manners. And if you never learned good manners, then thy manners must be evil. Then evil is sin. And sin is damnation. Thou art in a parlous state, shepherd.” Or, “Art thou the slave that with thy breath has killed?” Or, “Away, you are an ass, you are an ass.” (Matt is a fountain of Shakespearean insults.)

4. I could put the phone next to the stereo and crank 80s pop music. I’m sure I must have a Belinda Carlisle (Circle in the Sand, Heaven is a Place on Earth) tape somewhere.

5. I could pretend to be a police officer investigating my own murder. “So, sir, how did you know the deceased? What were you doing on the night of July 15th?”

What about you all? Any suggestions?


  1. My personal favorites would be the "pretending to be a police officer" or quoting Shakespeare. Or you could pretend to be a Shakespeare-quoting police officer, which incidentally would also make a really fantastic book character.

  2. I'm a fan of the Shakespearean insults. I mean, how classy is that? (Of course, anyone ignorant enough to keep making those calls probably doesn't have the intelligence to appreciate class when he hears it.) We haven't gotten any crank phone calls in quite a while, but a fax machine is forever dialing our number. Talk about annoying! Nothing but a string of electronic beeps and bips when ya answer the phone, and those calls come in clusters, like twenty or so in a day.

  3. When you said you used a whistle, my fertile little mind conjured up a steam whistle.

  4. I like the police one. I'm sure that would solve the problem, but the whistle would be awesome too. I hope one of them works.

  5. I might be paranoid (I do live in a major city with a high crime rate), but I think repeat blocked calls sound like someone trying to see if anyone is home so a break-in can be conveniently timed. You might ask someone in law enforcement what recourse you have.

    My favorite of your choices is the Indian service tech. Love it!

  6. That actually occurred to me too. Fortunately, the dog is always home.

  7. Hahaha I also like quoting Shakespeare and impersonating a policeman.

    Seriously though, I never got why someone would enjoy crank calling. :-/

  8. Sorry to hear about the crank calls. I love the Shakespeare idea!

  9. Our phone tells us who the caller is. If I don't recognize them, I let the answering machine get it. End of story.