My Phone Calls

Some calls I never take.

Some calls I take but later regret and other calls I have to take but regret even more.

Most of my calls come from telemarketers. I know not to take them because they come from area codes outside my region.

But lately these telemarketing scoundrels have gotten creative. They spoof my wireless provider into reporting a caller ID with both a local area code and a local exchange.

And the calls usually start something like this:

You recently stayed at one of our resorts…



As a result I only take calls from numbers that I recognize. Any other callers can leave a message. I found one such message on my voicemail a while back. It went:

You need to talk to Stan.

It was an old friend, so I returned the call.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you are the only one he will talk to.”

“Apparently you have never heard our conversations,” I told him.

“You still need to talk to him.”

“What about​​?”

“He refuses to listen to anyone.”

“So you want me to talk to him?”


“What do you want me to tell him?”

“Tell him to move out of my house.”

It is not unusual for Stan to be living someplace other than home because his wife kicks him out from time to time. It is not that she doesn’t love him or that they have a contentious relationship. It is more that there is only so much of Stan that any one person can endure.

“I suppose Daphne kicked him out,” I said.

“Not exactly,” the mutual friend replied.

“How so?”

“She moved in with him.”

“Into your house?”

“Yes, they are remodeling their house and the project has run over time and budget, so they just showed up one day and now I need to get them out.”

When Daphne gets really angry at Stan, she takes it out on the sheet-rock.  Shifting walls around is her preferred method of communicating with Stan and given the growing popularity of HGTV, this is becoming more and more common.

“Can’t you just ask them to leave?”

“Stan simply ignores me.”

“And Daphne?”

“She tells me to talk to Stan.”

“So that is why you are calling me.”

“We have come full circle, haven’t we?”

So I asked myself, what would HGTV’s megastars Chip and Joanna do?

“The solution seems obvious,” I told him, “If going all HGTV is the only way to communicate with Stan and Daphne, that is what you need to do. Toss a plastic sheet over all of their stuff and start painting the spare bedroom. They will be out of your house in hours.”

After I hung up, I called my wife.

She still takes my calls.

“Honey,” I told her, “You know that painting you wanted me to do?”

“Uh-huh, like since we moved in.”

“It’s happen’n.”

“Why now?”

“Don’t ask,” I told her, “and honey…?”


“Don’t take any calls from Stan or Daphne.”

Author: Almost Iowa

32 thoughts on “My Phone Calls”

  1. Normally, if it doesn’t come with a name, I ignore it. Even local. Peggy always says if it’s important they will leave a message. Most telemarketers are out of there after three of four rings. Stan is a horse of an absolutely different color. Hilarious, unless of course you are on the receiving end. Good suggestion of the remodeling and pretty dar hilarious. –Curt

  2. Hahaha! That sure sounds like a good way to get someone out of the house! And it’s too bad telemarketing has mostly converted to robots. Back when it was actual people, I used to mess with them. “Hi, I’m calling from so-and-so, how are you?” “BOY AM I GLAD YOU ASKED….”

  3. Good idea to begin the remodeling before Stan and Daphne show up! I’m going to remember this solution the next time a few certain relatives come to town, looking for a place to stay. (And I can’t duck their phone calls because our house phone is on a land line, with no caller ID. Telemarketers love us!)

    1. I drove by Stan’s place to verify that it was a construction zone, I also confirmed that Stan and Daphne were living at our mutual friend’s house. You never know what lengths your spouse will go to in order to get you to do something around the homestead.

    1. I wrote to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking them to require HGTV to scroll the following warning at the bottom of the screen.


  4. You need an alert system in your network. I would say the presence of a dumpster at Stan’s would be the equivalent of DefCon 2, edging toward 1, if you answer that phone.

    1. Stan doesn’t use dumpsters. With all that orange equipment he has, he just digs a hole and dumps it in. The city gets cranky when he does this – but it is just one more thing that they and Stan disagree about.

      🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. I’m like you in that the only calls I answer are from known callers in my contacts. Otherwise, leave a message if it’s important. Just FYI, my calls come from Veronica, not Todd.

  6. The first thing that occurred to me after reading this is that Stan and Daphne seem much more real to me than Chip and Whoever. I can’t remember her name. Of course, I had to look up HGTV, so there’s that. Still.

    The dumpster was a stroke of genius, as long as Daphne doesn’t decide it would make a cozy Little House, move in , and start redecorating.

    1. It’s amazing. While you were reading my blog, I was reading yours.

      You description of Dirty Dale:

      “Sliding into a seat next to an unaccompanied woman, he’d murmur, “Hey, darlin’. I’m here to improve your life.” Most didn’t feel the need for improvement, but he remained willing to try.”

      I wonder if Dale and Stan know each other.

    1. I got rid of my landline twenty years ago but I still get eight or nine telemarketing calls a week. The wireless system allows number spoofing by stuffing the packet headers (it’s a technical thing). The providers could stop this but it would cost them money and bandwidth.

    1. Just to make sure that Stan and Daphne don’t move in when we are out of the house, I had a large dumpster dropped into the driveway – then I left a message on Stan’s email asking if he could help me do some demolition work on the basement. That ought to hold him off for at least six months.

  7. This is hysterical!! I’m surprised Stan and Daphne didn’t show up at your door. Has anyone suggested anger management classes to Daphne? 😜 Maybe not. That might be like having a death wish!!

    Great post to read on ANOTHER snowy day. 😡😡

    1. There is always a risk that they might show up – but then Daphne knows that my wife is a YUUGE fan of HGTV. It’s the only thing she will watch. I doubt if Daphne will take the risk.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: