Cold-Calling Philosophy


Some Little Kid: Hello
Me: Good afternoon. Is the head of house home?
Some Little Kid: Just a sec. [in the background] Daaad!! Some guys on the phone for you.
[ A moment later]
Mr Daniels: This is Mr. Daniels. May I ask who’s calling and what’s this about!?!
Me: Uh yeah, my name is Anthony and I wanted to talk to you about life.
Mr Daniels: Life?!? Is this about life insurance?
Me: That’s an interesting question. You know the word insurance comes from the Middle English word “ensure” which in its original commercial context designated a guarantee of compensation against loss, or damage of goods.
Mr Daniels: Huh?
Me: Well no. Uh, I mean that this is not about insurance in the commercial sense, and really its not about insurance in any kind of sense, cause I don’t think the things that really matter can be insured. Insurance kinda just gives a false sense of security. Not that I’m against being prudent when it comes to our resources, but the whole idea of life insurance is kind of funny to me.
Mr Daniels: I’m not sure if I’m following you. What’s this about again?
Me: It’s about life, life in general, like the meaning of life, or what is the good life?
Mr Daniels: Look… is this… are you for real? I don’t really have time for this.
Me: Perhaps you don’t have the time for anything else but this.
Mr Daniels: What?!?
Me: I mean, perhaps by neglecting this matter, and addressing all those other things that seem so pressing is the real waste of time. And, besides, what is time really?
Mr Daniels: Is this some kinda prank? Did John put you up to this?
Me: John? No. I don’t know any John, and if anyone put me up to this, I would have to say it was Wisdom, the search really. I think an essential part of being human is the search for wisdom, but the world too often draws us away with its distractions. Really, it kinda keeps us from our humanity.
Mr Daniels: Yeah… well you’re funny Mr. Wiseguy. Look, you tell John that we’re even now, and that there is no way he is going to get me off my game. When push comes to shove the account is mine!
Me: No really…
[dial tone]
Me: [thinking] hmmm… I guess that could’ve been worse.


Gerald Grow’s Philosophy Cartoons

2 Responses to “Cold-Calling Philosophy”

  1. K.L.B.  


    I thought your other readers would jump on this like a chicken on a June bug! (That’s a pastoral, euphemism of the Southern dialect meaning ‘extraordinarily rapidly,’ taken from observing how chickens devour June bugs. Apparently, they find them quite tasty – an entomological delicacy for avians!)

    How about you try that sometime? Not the June bug, but the cold calling. I’ve considered eating bugs, grubs and worms. I think it’s called “Special Forces.” And, I’ve done cold calling.

    Matter of fact, before the days of Caller ID (CID), we (my brother, friends and I) used to take particular, occasional delight in making prank phone calls. Such typical lines would include calling Kentucky Fried Chicken and asking if they have chicken breasts, thighs or legs, to which they would – of course – respond “yes, we do.” Immediately, we’d ask in retort, “Well, what kind of bra (or pantyhose) do you wear?” Then, we’d attempt to hold our delightful squeals to listen for a response.

    Invariably, it’d seem women would answer the phone, which, of course, made it all the better!

    I recollect one particular prank which I initiated by calling a remotely rural resident in our relatively rural area.

    The homeowner (a male) answered, “Hello?”

    I disguised my voice as well as a mid-teen could, and in a long, thick country-drawl said, “My cow’s in your garden.”

    Not expecting the next response, I was caught off-guard when the man said, “I don’t have a garden.”

    To which I could only respond after a brief pause, “Well… I don’t have a cow,” and proceeded to howl with gleeful delight.

    Thank goodness, the homeowner took such silly shenanigans in stride, and didn’t curse us out, but played along with our silly reindeer games. He too, must’ve been a boy at one time!

    Of course, there remain two unsolved problems from that era.

    One, the refrigerator is still running. However, it remains stationary, apparently having decided to stay in the kitchen rather than run out the door.

    And two, Prince Albert is still in a can, apparently still thriving, albeit with increased taxation.

  2. Anthony Velez  

    So, my prank call back in the day went as follows.

    We would call someone up and say something like, “Good afternoon maam, my name is Bill Williamson, from PacBell, and I oversee maintenance and repairs of phone lines in your area. I am calling to tell you that over the next hour one of our repair men will be conducting routine checks on you and your neighbor’s phone lines, which will result in you receiving occasional test rings. We, therefore, ask that you do not answer your phone as this could put our repairman at risk. Thank you.” Generally speaking the person on the other line would buy into it, and would be agreeable. So, after a couple of minutes we would call back, and the person on the other end would often pick up the phone to which we would respond by saying, “Thanks alot maam! you just knocked that crap out of our telephone man. Hope you have a great day.” And then we would abruptly hang up.