“Is Angela Berry there?”
I hear this question at least once a month, sometimes several times a month. Although I have had my phone number for nearly a decade, about four years ago I started receiving phone calls from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) asking for an Angela Berry*. The first dozen or so calls I politely told them that this was not Angela’s number, and that I needed them to take my number off of their list. I hoped this would be the end of these annoying phone solicitors. Each caller was polite, apologetic, and insisted this would be the last time they would be bothering me with a request for Ms. Berry.
Turns out, they are all liars. I kept getting the phone calls during all hours of the day. I think the latest one I ever got was 10:30 PM. Well, as I was sitting down considering the ignored nature of this blog, deciding which of the half-written articles/blogs I should complete, I got another phone call from the DNC asking to talk to Angela. To that end, I decided to employ my continued strategy when speaking with this particularly annoying and persistent phone solicitor.
Making Lemonade with Lemons
I sigh deeply and cough a bit. Then I break the news to them. “Angela died of a snake bite in 2011.” They gasp. Shocked they have tried to solicit money and reach someone who they have learned is dead and won’t be able to donate ever again. They apologize again and again, promising to take my number off of their lists so that I don’t have to be reminded of the gruesome way in which my loved one died.
But they will call again. I am sure of it. Over the years Ms. Berry has died of Dysentery, Cholera, snake bites, runaway covered wagon trains, and boredom. They always call back. Despite the many “Oregon Trail” type of ailments she continues to die from, they continue to call again and again. This could be really frustrating if I had ever heard of Ms. Berry before these phone calls.
At least so far, this strategy hasn’t resulted in the reduction of these calls, but it has made getting them a lot more fun. Each time I get a call from the DNC asking for Ms. Berry now, I smile a little, and try to remember the long-lost days of elementary school when I used the large floppy disks to play the Oregon Trail. Is there a cause of death from that game that I haven’t used yet to make my point to these people they need to stop calling? I think the more unbelievable cause of death the better. No one has yet to say “really? A snake bite? Dysentery? Isn’t that part of the DTaP vaccine? Where did she ever get run over by a covered wagon? No one has ever expressed any doubt for whatever cause of death given.
If I ever do find a copy of Oregon Trail somewhere, I am sure I will include Ms. Berry as one of the passengers in the wagon.
*I changed this name in case the real “Angela Berry” is out there. I would hate for her to learn of her untimely, 19th century style death via this marginally read blog.