Telemarketers have started calling my house again even though we’re on the Do Not Call list.

Some people get really upset about this sort of unsolicited phone call, which I understand completely when the call comes in the middle of the night or wakes your baby during the day, but so far these have been normal sales calls during the work day and there’s been no harm, no foul.

Some people get so irate that they swear at the caller, or deafen them with an air horn, or generally vent about the state of the universe, but I’ve never done that because, seriously, it’s just someone trying to do their job — and probably not their ideal job at that. Everyone has to pay their bills somehow, right?

That said, I don’t want to buy anything over the phone, I don’t care to participate in a survey, and I’ve already donated directly to any causes I care about and can afford to donate to, so the calls are kind of a waste of time for everyone involved.

People who have known me for a while will tell you that my sense of humor is a little weird, which is probably why I decided a while back to have a little good natured fun with the caller while asking to be taken off their list.

This morning’s call went something like this:

Phone: Ring, Ring, Ring!

Me: Hello?

Happy Lady: Hello sir! This is not a sales call. We’re conducting market research about a product in your area and would like to send you a free sample, all you pay is shipping!

Me: Wow, that’s very nice, but you’ve reached a business, not a residence. We’re a clown hospital.

sad clown

Happy Lady: Oh… what?

Me: Yes, and we’re very busy, I’m sorry to say. Bozo is on life support and might not make it.

Happy Lady (laughing): Oh, that’s terrible!

Me: Would you mind taking us off your list? There are a lot of sick clowns out there and I just don’t think we’ll have any free time to try a new product.

Happy Lady: Not a problem, have a nice day!

Phone: click and dial tone…

We’ve also been a groundhog rehab center, a home for speaking mimes, the accounting department for the nation’s largest retailer of irregular socks, and whatever random things I think of while the caller starts their sales pitch.

Some of the callers laugh and some just hang-up, but I figure this approach is kinder and it makes me happy, so what’s the harm, right?

My only concern is that I’ve heard of people who have jokingly said, “No hablo Ingles” and before they knew it, all of their telemarketing calls were in Spanish. So I guess there’s a chance we’ll start getting calls from clown related organizations next. (“Save the Clowns,” perhaps?)

That, of course, would teach me yet another lesson about thinking I was funny.

(P.S. Seriously, is that clown photo not the creepiest thing ever? I almost posted just that image without any text to see what people would say, but I was afraid everyone would unsubscribe from my mailing list.)