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Archive for February, 2006

Fun with Telemarketers

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

I have Caller ID, Anonymous Call Rejection, and I’m on the National Do Not Call Registry. Nevertheless, occasionally, telemarketers get through. Contrary to what you may have heard, I am by nature a polite person. Unfortunately, telemarketers are trained to take advantage of good manners. They use scripted run-on sentences so you cannot get a word in edgewise until they get out their spiel. They employ emotionally manipulative language. They use decision tree software that provides them with responses to every customer objection ever documented, to keep you on the line until they make the sale.

Clearly these tactics are impolite, and this playing field is not level. Today a thought popped into my head as to how I could even things up a little, and in an amusing way.


Telemarketer: So how many ElastaGyms can I sign you up for?

Me: Magnetic banjo monkey nozzle.

Telemarketer: Pardon?

Me: Steering wheel mandible banana meter.


Me: Hello?

Telemarketer: Uh…yes, sir. I was just asking –

Me: Veal shank kaleidoscope phenomenon.

Telemarketer: Thank you for your time. Goodbye.

Me: Mambo.

What I like about this idea is that it doesn’t involve being rude. By speaking nonsense to the telemarketer you’re opting out of the call, not meaningfully participating in their data acquisition of objections, and having a little fun in the process.

Keep a list of fun phrases by the phone. If speaking nonsense is too strange for you, try reading from a children’s book. I recommend Goodnight Moon.

American Exceptionalism – #5:

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

My God. Even our pets are fat…

Virginia Abandons Former Slogan

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

“Virginia is for Lovers” was introduced in 1969 and has enjoyed enduring popularity and global recognition, but legislation before the 2006 General Assembly proposes to replace it with “Biting the Hand that Feeds.” The proposal is attached to SB 648, which would ban smoking in most public areas, including restaurants.

Virginia is the third largest tobacco grower in the country, tobacco is one of Virginia’s most profitable crops, and Philip Morris’ Richmond factory produces approximately 700 million cigarettes per day. In 2004, Virginia increased the state tax per pack from 2.5 cents to 30 cents (HB 5018). Prior to the increase, annual tax revenue from cigarettes was $15 million. The tax increase is projected to yield Virginia an additional $130 million annually.

Competing bills for the slogan’s replacement include HB 2044: “Do As I Say, Not As I Do,” and SB 1026: “Virginia is for Hypocritical Dickheads.”

Poor Man’s Mint Julep

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

For those who don’t know, a mint julep is bourbon, simple syrup, fresh mint and shaved ice. Prepare one properly and you will see the face of God.

Yesterday I invented the poor man’s mint julep by drinking bourbon right after brushing my teeth. I didn’t see the face of God, but when I squinted really hard I swear that I could see Tom Waits.

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