Repeat of an Old Last Laugh!

This Last Laugh! was first posted here in the Digest a decade ago; it came to us from the person who moderated the humor department on Usenet. I discovered it when rummaging around through some old archives yesterday and thought it might be good for a repeat. PAT

From: Maddi Hausmann Sojourner Subject: Tormenting Telemarketers! Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 21:23:39 +0000 Organization: General Magic, Inc. Message-ID: Sender: Lines: 113

I recently posted on the limitations of Caller ID as implemented by Pac Bell.

Our biggest disappointment with the service was that many phone calls were tagged "OUT OF AREA" rather than giving a phone number. In particular, banks of phones behind switchboards or in a Centrex are marked that way, which covers most of those pesky telemarketers that make our lives so miserable.

We've found a way to work around that which others with Caller ID may also wish to use.

When we get calls marked OUT OF AREA, especially at the prime telemarketer time (6-8 pm), we now answer the phone "KDNA, you're on the air!" Usually the telemarketer will be a bit befuddled, and ask for one of us by name. We will repeat that we are a radio station, that the caller is on the air, and is, in fact, the twenty-fifth caller.

Here's a dialog with one telemarketer who bit real hard:

Me: (seeing OUT OF AREA on Caller ID, using bouncy DJ voice) KDNA, you're on the air!

Telemarketer: May I speak to Mad-uh-LEEN So...So...So-johr-NOHR? M: This is KDNA, and you are ON THE AIR! You've just won your choice of a new Ford Explorer or $25,000 in cash!!! T: I have? M: You certainly have. T: Oh my god! M: Happy? Which will it be, the Explorer or the money? T: I don't know! Let me get my supervisor! M: You don't need your supervisor, it's your prize. Are you calling us from work? T: Yes I am. (background voices) My boss says to take the money. M: The money! So you listen to KDNA while you're working? T: I didn't even know we were calling you! M: Well, where are you calling us from? T: M: My, my! I guess you can't pick us up all the way out there! So what's your name? T: Sherry. M: Sherry, tell us here on KDNA what kind of music you like. T: I'm so nervous I can't even think! Nothing like this has ever happened to me! M: Sherry, if you like the kind of music that we play here on KDNA, we'll play one just for you! T: But I wouldn't be able to hear it. Where's your radio station, anyway? M: We're broadcasting out of Silicon Valley, California, at 106.6 FM. [obviously telemarketer isn't smart enough to know FM stations don't end in even decimals.] T: This is just so great! M: Sherry, how old are you? T: I'm 20. M: And what do you do? T: I'm a business student at . M: What will you do with the money, Sherry? Start a business? T: Oh, I just don't know! M: I thought you said you were at work, Sherry. T: I am. This is to help pay for college. M: What's your job? T: I'm a telemarketer. M: You're a WHAT? T: I'm a telemarketer. I call people up and ask them if they want to buy M: Oh, that's too bad. T: Why? M: Because we here at KDNA think telemarketers are the lowest scum on earth, and I don't think we can give this prize to a telemarketer. You folks are always interrupting people during dinner and I think that's rotten. So I don't think you should win. T: But that's not fair! M: Hey, it's my radio show, I get to make the rules. T: But you can't do that! M: I sure can, I'm giving this prize to the next caller. Meanwhile, I suggest you quit your job. Today.

(click) We apologize if there is a radio station actually named KDNA. We picked it both for its closeness to our daughter's name, Diana, and because it shows our disdain for certain folks stuck in the shallow end of the gene pool.

Maddi Hausmann Sojourner General Magic, Inc. in beautiful Sunnyvale, CA 94088 USA If you like this address you will also like Visit my daughter's web page at

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This was pretty funny when it first appeared here a decade ago; I thought newer readers (from less than ten years ago) might like to see it. Take note these _old_ email addresses may possibly not work any longer. PAT]

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Patrick Townson
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