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Summit Up

Summit Daily staff

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that could singlehandedly inspire the complete collapse of WorldCom.

It just depends if these telemarketers keep calling.

In a rare moment Thursday night, we actually answered our phone. Parents of Summit Up Land teen-agers can sympathize: The darn thing rings and rings, but it’s never for us. But all hopes that someone out there actually cared to call were quickly dashed, because the person on the other end of the line was looking for a “Mr. or Mrs.” We all know that means someone you know’s been arrested, died, or worse, you’re about to hear a sales pitch.

This particular pitch was from the crammers and slammers at MCI. Our informed readers know the long distance provider is the core business of WorldCom, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.

“We’re offering you unbeatable rates and a $200 gift certificate if” blah, blah, blah, blah – we’d be able to quote better what she said if we hadn’t started laughing to ourselves.

“What’s so funny?” the telemarketer asked. We explained that her employer had filed for bankruptcy – after admitting they misaccounted for nearly $4 billion – and she happened to call on the same day the company announced it discovered another $3 billion in unreported losses. And she wanted us to sign a contract with them? Not to mention, we told her, that if their company was worth the paper they no doubt shredded, they would have known before she called that we don’t have any long distance service (see previous columns about our 900-number addiction).

She didn’t think this was as funny as we did. She hung up on us.

Now, our good readers are probably saying, “But Summit Up, if you put yourselves on the attorney general’s no-call list, you wouldn’t have to deal with these bothersome telemarketers.”

True, but then we’d be missing the fun, and even worse, giving up our power to fight back. See, the way we look at it, telemarketers are America’s last legal opportunity for prank calls – and the beauty is that they call you! You can’t just go drunk dialing or crank calling anymore; they’ll trace your calls and you’ll get charged with harassment and other such crimes. But, if they call you, there’s no stopping the jaw popping, if you get our drift.

Furthermore, we figure that every telemarketer call to us is at least two or three calls they’ll miss where they could have had a real sale. We keep them on the line, pulling their leg, when they could be making their company money by calling other, more receptive people. Between the wage they pay the telemarketer and the fact they’ll never sell us anything, companies like WorldCom will continue to lose money marketing in this way.

Some call it crazy, some call it genius, some call it anti-corporate guerrilla warfare. We call it a lot more fun than singing “Kumbaya” at a sit-in.

***

Unfortunately we have another Scum Alert!! Scum Alert!! This anonymously reported one gets us right here (you know, right here). The e-mailer said he (or she) had had their new car for only five or six hours when they went to catch a flick at the Skyline theaters. This person parked away from the rest of everybody else, but that wasn’t enough: Somebody nicked the new car down to the paint above the headlight, broke the headlight mount and scratched the lamp lens. Now the headlight points down at the ground. No note, no apology and no checks or cash were left after the collision.

Whenever we get one of these, we always hope the toejam-for-brains is not a resident of Summit Up Land. The thought of it grates on us like … well, a cheese grater. Let’s hope whoever’s responsible pays way too much money for a nose job, only to have it broken irreparably while walking out the waiting room door.

***

Best Quote Culled From Mass Marketing Flyers Sent to the Corporate Suites: “Guys, love only stinks if you do.”

This came from a marketer trying to convince us that AE, a British all-body spray, is making a move on the American, predominantly stick-oriented deodorant industry.

“In short AE stops guys smelling bad and makes them smell good all over, too. Somewhat of a relief, since guys can smell bad in 13 different places. Yikes.”

“Yikes” is right.

***

If your Saturday seems to be falling flat, add an extra half-cup of flower, 8 ounces of water and let simmer on low heat. Tell us how it turns out at summitup@summitdaily.com, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just make burnt-toast-scraping noises on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237.

We’re at home waiting for the phone to ring …


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