I love caller ID. At work, it keeps me from wasting valuable time with salespeople. At home, it saves me from much more. And the fact that my home answering machine talks to me, keeps me from even having to stop the gourmet feast I have in progress to look at the phone.

True, I don’t always understand the computer-generated voice, but I’ve learned to translate.

“Ed Vilo Vilo” actually means “8-0-0.” In other words, it’s a 1-800 number. Salesman. Don’t answer.

“Hope” and “Mars Hill College” want money. True, I went to MHC and think it’s a great school, but I don’t have money to send them. Again, don’t answer.

“Name Un-a-val-a-bl.” If the name of the joker calling is not available, neither am I.

I get calls from all over the country: Oregon, New Hampshire, Houston, Wyoming, Illinois. I don’t know a soul who lives in any of those places, so you can bet your bippy I’m not answering.

Now that I’m an official senior citizen, I’m probably on the phone list for every scammer in the country, calling from throw-away cell phones to convince me I’ve won a lottery and need to send money to insure delivery of a whopping big check. Sure. They pulled that on my dad when he was in his eighties and took him for a load of money. I don’t plan to give them an opportunity to sweet-talk me.

I admit I feel a bit guilty about the local calls that just show a number since it could be a neighbor calling. But if they really need to talk to me, they can leave a message. And if I really want to talk to them, I’ll call back.


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