“Though automated calls have long plagued consumers, the volume has skyrocketed in recent years, reaching an estimated 3.4 billion in April, according to YouMail, which collects and analyzes calls through its robocall blocking service. That’s an increase of almost 900 million a month compared with a year ago.” —NYTimes
I call bullshit. Or at least, a misprint: the paper left out the “azi” between the b and illion when it wrote “billion.” Counting all the phones in my household, we’ve had at least a bazillion robocalls all by ourselves.
Was a time I had fun with these, when there were marginally human beings making calls. I do a great Peter Lorre voice, and I’d creatively curse their entire lives and gods they worshipped. “You steenking, lying, creeping waste of protoplasmic detritus….” I’d say, a tribute to our shared Hungarian gypsy lowlife breeding. If they stayed on the line, I’d start screaming at them in Lorre’s creepy accent. “You will die hor-ee-bleee in a pit of donkey dung and I’ll watch as maggots chew out your eyes….”
I’d also do a “Hello, I’m Mister Ed” routine. I can do that voice real well, too. No matter what they said, I’d say, “Hello.” “Hello. “I’m Mister Ed.” Timing is important here – pause just enough to make them hopeful. One poor fool put his supervisor on, and when he heard “I’m Mister Ed” he cracked up before disconnecting.
But the new generation of calls uses robots, recordings. It’s not nearly as sporting. Now I just say, “Activate!” to get the recording to play, then hang up and block the number. I got enough numbers blocked on my cell phone to calculate the exact value of pi.
What I’d like is an app that allows me to press a key that send a tone which disables the bot, but there doesn’t seem to be one available yet. Put down your silly superhero games and work on that, willya, Nerds? The world needs you.