Every time I answer the phone, it’s an adventure. Who will it be on the other end? The solar people are regular callers, as well as the contractors who just happen to be in my neighborhood this week, or the professional fundraisers who kindly ask for me by name and wonder if a $100 donation to save pygmy anteaters would fit my budget. Sure every once & awhile a friend calls, or a receptionist confirming an appointment, but those are rare.
My favorite calls are from strangers telling me I’ve won something; a three-day Bahama cruise, a hundred-dollar gift card, a free wireless alarm system, a lawsuit from the IRS, and so forth. But recently I hit the jackpot, when a couple of good old boys rang me up and announced, “Congratulations, you have won $1,000,000!!” Here’s the way the conversation went:
Them: (in unison, almost a scream) Congratulations, you have won $1,000,000!!
Me: This must be a mistake, somebody called yesterday and told me I just won a million dollars.
Them: (silence, then rattling of a call list) ah…ahem…wait a minute…
Me: Nah, fellas, I’m only kidding. You’re the first. Will it be cash or check?
Them: (a little rattled) Aren’t you just thrilled to win?
Me: Overjoyed. Yahoo! Okay, what’s the pitch?
Them: Great. You have won an opportunity to get up to a 30-year million dollar home variable loan from the ABC Company at the unbelievable rate of 1%. What do you think about that?
Me: Wow, you are right. That is unbelievable.
Them: And what’s more, we don’t care about your poor credit rating, there is no paperwork to fill out, no closing costs, no pesky appraisals…we only require 1% fee to get this great deal, and then we send you the million.
Me: So I send you $10,000 and you send me $1,000,000, no strings?
Them: That’s right. We don’t even care if buy a home with this loan. We prefer a cashier’s check made out to Billy Bob Smith and mailed to P.O. Box 6969, Decatur, Georgia 67845.
Me: Why don’t you just deduct the 1% and send me a check for $990,000?
Them: (awkward silence)…uhh, no that’s against company policy.
Me: I kind of expected it would be. Are you calling me from a pickup truck by any chance?
Them: Damn it, Darrell, I told you to turn off the engine!
Me: Look, boys, this has been entertaining, but I have important things to do….like rotating the coasters on my coffee table.
Them: So you’re not going to send us the money?
Me: What do you think?
Them: How about $5,000? $1,000 $50 bucks??
Me: You’re going to have to find your beer money some other way, because I’m turning your name, cell phone number, and P.O. box over to the police.
Them: (in unison) Damn!
Me: You all have a nice day now.
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