I’m not a huge fan of being around humans. I’ve probably mentioned it before. I mean, as a mammal, they are highly overrated. In fact, I just spent this past Saturday on Georgia’s largest barrier island, Cumberland Island, which allows only about 250 or so folks on it a day — or as I like to call it when I’m there, about 248 too many.
I don’t like small talk. I don’t want to talk about the weather. I don’t like to hear your opinions on the game last night. I certainly don’t want to talk about politics, especially when I’m the only one who’s right. Discussing politics with someone whose politics are wrong just means you have to wait until they finish their incredibly idiotic point so that you can rebut it with common sense and facts, which means they just start talking again on a completely new idiotic line of reasoning — or lack thereof.
Many times I’ve seen someone I know a block ahead on the sidewalk or on another aisle of the store and immediately go into CIA covert mode, ducking behind shrubs and clothing racks like I’m a fugitive from the law.
“Who is that?” my wife will ask, figuring the gig is finally up.
“It’s someone I know, and they might want to talk. Ditch the buggy! Let’s get out of here!”
Folks I used to work with at the Ledger-Enquirer can vouch for the fact that I liked to slip out for lunch breaks around 11:15 a.m. Or so, before all those other humans came out. In Columbus, at 11:59 a.m., no one’s hungry. It hasn’t even crossed their minds. But at high noon, there’s a mad dash for the door of the office so that everyone can go stand in lines to get their lunch.
And what happens while they’re standing in line? Talking. Talking to the folks they went to lunch with. Talking to folks they know from around town who just happened to pick the same restaurant at the same time. Sorry, not interested.
If I go to all those lengths to avoid talking in person to you other humans, do you think I get excited when you call me? Um, no. Sorry.
Perhaps it’s a flashback to my teenage days when my dad would get the phone bill and find out I spent 55 minutes trying to talk a girl who lived 20 miles away into going out with me. You kids today might not understand, but 30 years ago, 20 miles was something called “long distance” and it cost our parents a fortune. It’d have been a lot cheaper if I could have simply asked these girls from other towns to go out with me (girls in town knew better) and they simply said, “Sure, sounds like fun.” But, no.
Any time my phone rings, my first thought is “Great! Just great!” And in case you can’t read sarcasm, that is pure sarcasm and not excitement. I don’t want to talk to folks who are actually in my contacts list. But my line of business requires that I sometimes have to talk to strangers, which means that an unknown number might actually be relevant, if not equally annoying.
Lately, telemarketers have taken to masking their locations by appearing as a number that has the same area code as your own. I’ll reluctantly answer it and then get some spiel about how I’ve won a stay at a resort or a cruise. Note, they never say I’ve won a free stay or cruise. That’s the catch.
But I don’t hate the telemarketers. They’re getting paid very little to aggravate people. I am, however, quite perturbed with you folks who buy things from them, who believe them when they say the IRS is after you or who think that Nigerian prince finally is ready to pay up.
Please, y’all. Just stop it! If you quit talking to these folks, no one will pay them to call you — or, more importantly, no one will pay them to call me. They’ll be forced to get another job like coal mining or alligator wrestling. And we can all live in peace and use our cell phones for their primary purpose — taking photos.
If you do, however, insist on listening to these calls, I have a great vacation opportunity for you. Can I interest you in a week or perhaps years in a luxurious suite at a resort we’re calling “Guantanamo?” Great, now that I have your attention …