Soapbox: Give Us This Day Our Daily Insanity

For about three years now, I receive a phone call about once or twice a month, with “an urgent message for the vehicle owner regarding an expired car warranty”.

I tried it all: hang up immediately; let the message play to waste as much of these people’s time as possible; “press 2 to opt out and be placed on our do not call list”, press 1 to speak to someone and then either a) yell at some hapless guy with an Indian accent in a call center to never call me again, or b) plead with them to just please, please, stop this madness.

It doesn’t matter what I do. They’re going to call again. As if, after three years of receiving these calls, I’d suddenly decide: “Oh hey! I want to extend my car warranty!”

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” (unknown)

Maybe it isn’t car warranty. Or maybe it isn’t a scam. Who knows? It doesn’t matter because the world isn’t perfect. There will always be some scam and spam and junk mail and robocalls. But these people are doing the exact same thing for three years now. They’re calling my number again and again and again and again and “Bloody hell!” they say, “He still didn’t fall for it, after three years? Let’s call him again then! Surely THIS time, we’ll get lucky!” It’s like watching a movie again – because you did not like the ending when you watched it the first time*.

But that’s just one example. Take any pamphlet, brochure or flyer that lands in your mailbox. Week after week after week, it’s the bloody same damn thing. Closet World. Your local friendly dentistry. The lawn care guys smiling from page 5 of the local advertising-envelope “newspaper”. The Neighborhood what-fucking-ever deals.

I tried to “opt out” and the only result was that instead of receiving the damn bundle of trash that was addressed to me, I was receiving the neighbor’s. Who in turn received the one of his neighbor, and so on. Until at the end of the street, the mail delivery person found, puzzled week after week no doubt, that they were short by one. They couldn’t mentally opt in to my opting out.

And then there’s the monthly reminder to renew the magazine subscription that won’t be due for another 15 months. And AAA’s life insurance mailing, an enormous, important looking envelope with the idiotic and deceptive “Signature required!” on it. Of course you want my signature, you paper-wasting, nerve-wrecking, sanity-destroying idiots. If there is ONE reason to NEVER get life insurance from AAA, it’s this bullshit.

And the internet provider! Every other week another mailing: “You can save so much money by paying $30 MORE per month when you add a TV subscription to your by-international-comparison already fucking overpriced cable subscription!” – that’s right! They really have the dumbest idiots working in their advertising department because they can’t even come up with something that would just be 1% more original than this endless wagon train of horseshit. Pay more = save money. It’s the insane reality version of Orwell’s 1984 dystopia.

Back to the “car warranty” phone calls though, one might ask: why even pick up the phone? You’re an introvert, aren’t you? Don’t you hate picking up the phone? Why yes, yes I do! But I’m also the current chair of our photo club, and I happen to work locally too. And sometimes, I’m simply in a friendly mood. It happens! 😉 Long story short: I answer these calls because they come from a local number.

Yes. It’s the year 2021 and the number is of course spoofed. You know, “they” can track over the internet when you let go a fart, or when you buy a pair of shoes in a local store the next thing you see on social media is an ad for shoes (another insanity, of course: “he bought a pair of shoes! that means he wears shoes! let’s show him ads for shoes!”) and if you’d do a Google search on how to build an explosive device some three-letter agency would probably come and take you away in an unmarked van, for questioning.

But it’s still possible to spoof phone numbers. And our carriers can’t detect and block that. Really?! I would like to ask Donald Trump to spend the remaining days in office to do ONE good thing, at last: trace these phone calls back to the call center – and order a drone strike. Because I know: he’s getting these calls too.

*) or contesting an election because you don’t like its results. Donald Trump and the Bananarepublicans trying again and again to somehow overturn an election that they simply lost must be inspired by the insanity-steeped tradition of advertising, marketing, and scamming.

Thoughts? Let me hear them.

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