It was as predictable as Niagara Falls. We had just sat down to a
piping hot dinner, so of course the telephone would ring. My wife
reminded me that just because the phone rings, doesn't mean we have
to answer it, but...
"Hello," I answered.
"Good evening, sir. I am calling to let you know about a fantabulous
new insurance program that will protect you, your family and
everyone you ever meet from warts," The Voice declared. "Isn't this
an exciting time to be spending on this planet?"
"Are you trying to sell something?" I asked suspiciously, knowing
that the answer would be...
"Not at all, sir," The Voice assured me. "I am just calling to let
you know that you can now be protected against warts for much less
than you would think."
He greatly overestimated my fascination with the actuarial aspects
of living wartlessly. "And you are not trying to sell me anything?"
I asked hopefully.
"Of course not," The Voice repeated. "I am calling to protect your
entire family from warts forever."
"My grandmother is already protected against warts forever," I mused
Complete silence. "How did she do that?" The Voice asked with
"She died," I replied. "She's been protected for forty years, now.
We suspect that she will remain protected forever."
"Uh. I see," The Voice replied. "You, too, can be protected against
"You want me to die?" I asked.
"Honey, this telemarketer is threatening me," I called out into the
"Well get back here, then," my wife responded. "Your dinner is
"Now look here," The Voice began.
"Now see what you've done," I scolded into the telephone. "You've
upset my wife. You could at least have waited until after dinner to
My wife called out again. "Why do you have to answer the phone
during dinner? Just because it rings doesn't mean you have to answer
I shouted back. "It would be rude not to answer. The Voice took time
out of his busy schedule to warn us about warts - the least we can
do is take the time to thank him. Now," I said into the phone.
"About those threats."
"See here, I did not threaten you," The Voice tried to explain. " I
am simply trying to help you get rid of your warts."
"Do I have warts?" I asked in amazement. "Sa-ay, how would you know
if I have warts?"
"I don't. I mean, you might. That is..."
"Have you gotten rid of the telemarketer yet?" my wife called to me.
"Not yet, honey. He's diagnosing my warts," I called back.
"No, you misunderstand," The Voice began.
"What warts?" my wife
asked, as she came into the room.
"He says I have warts," I explained.
"I did not say you had warts," The Voice tried to interject.
"Well, tell him you don't have any," my wife said.
"OK. I will," I said to my wife. Then into the phone, "I think you
have a mistake. I don't have warts. Where did you get my number
"I have this list of names..." The Voice tried to reply.
"Could you please hang up?" My wife begged. "Just because the
telephone rings does not mean we have to answer it."
"OK," I said.