The Telemarketer

By: J.T. Evergreen
The poetry in writing is the illusion it creates.
(© 2019 by the author)

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

After multiple annoying telemarking calls, I decided to do a little role-playing in an attempt to discourage them in the future.

The next afternoon when the phone rang, caller ID did not look familiar, so I put my plan into action. I turned the tape recorder on and answered the phone.


"Yes, may I speak with … Paul Smith?"

"Who's calling, please?"

"This is Mike Cline, and you've been awarded a complete satellite digital system for free. With this you're going to get…"

"Excuse me, Mike. Let me ask you something. Did you know Paul Smith? Are you a friend of his?"

"No, I'm not. I'm just calling to …"

"Hold that thought, Mike. Hold on a second. Hey guys make sure you get photos of the body; don't disturb those blood spatters. And dust everything down for prints.

"Mike … let me bring you up to speed. You've actually called into a murder scene. Mr. Smith is no longer with us. I'm conducting the homicide investigation. I'd like to ask you a series of questions. What was the nature of your business with Paul Smith?"

"I had no business with him. I'm sorry to have bothered you."

"No, no. I want to ask you to stay on the line. This call has already been traced and we may need you to come in for further questioning."

"You don't understand, I'm just calling…"

"No, no. YOU don't understand. Unless you want to be charged with obstruction of justice, it's imperative that you keep your ass on the phone."

"Why don't I let you talk to my supervisor?"

"No, no. We'll get to your supervisor in a second. First of all, give me your whereabouts."

"I'm at work."

"You're at work?"

"Yes, sir."

"What are you, a smart-ass?"

"No, sir."

"Let me put it to way this way, Mike. Say I wanted to mail your ass a letter. What would I write on the outside of that envelope to ensure that it would be delivered right to your ass? Geographically speaking. Mike, where is work?"

"Forty East Fourth Street, Trenton, New Jersey."

"Mike, hold on a just a second, all right?"

"Yes, sir."

"Hey, Charlie, get the Trenton, New Jersey Police Department on the phone, Homicide Department in connection with a fatal homicide and aggravated robbery.

"Mike, how did you know Mr. Smith again?"

"Wait! Hold on a second. You're calling the Trenton Police Department? I don't even know the guy. I'm in New Jersey for God's sake."

"Don't let that scare you. It's just a formality. Tell me, where were you last night between the hours of 10 and midnight?

"I'm not feeling very comfortable about any of this."

"Have you ever even spoken with Mr. Smith, Mike?"

"No, I haven't. I don't even know the guy. That's what I've been trying to tell you."

"Calm down, hold on, let's back up. I got one more question for you Mike. As you well know, Mr. Smith was a flamin' homosexual. Now there's no easy way, and I don't want to embarrass you, but were you Mr. Smith's gay lover?"

"What? NO! What kind of a question is that?"

"Perhaps you're a closet case? Doin' things I hadn't thought about myself. Perhaps y'all met in Las Vegas for a few drinks; picked up a cheap little Mexican midget to play with."


"Damn! He hung up. I have his call-back number. Naw. He's probably freaked out enough."


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Posted: 03/08/19