In any event, that's why we're just sharing some general silliness today...
One of the many, many, many things we hate about election years is the unending stream of political phone calls in which volunteers try to talk us out of our time, money, and IQ points. And frankly, we'd like to enjoy a little revenge rather than just hanging up. But, assuming you don't have an ear-piercing boat horn handy, what can you do?
Well, Jarlsberg Enterprises has just what you need! It's our new "Thank You for Holding" recording, and it works like this: when you get a political or sales call, sound very, very interested and then say "hold on just a minute while I find my charge card!" That's when you play this recording into the phone, repeating as often as necessary...
Wasn't that fun?
And now a little backstory. We're always coming up with harebrained ideas for products and projects, mostly just to amuse ourself. This is one of those. The recording above was a simple "proof of concept" for a product which would actually run about 15 minutes, have boring "on hold" music rather than the goofy tune here, and which would very slowly start working in odd messages along with the perfectly straight ones, building in insanity the longer someone listens.
Not only would this be a fun way to get rid of sales calls, but it struck us that we'd also like to be on the receiving end of something funny when an actual company puts us on endless hold. That's where there could be a potential market: customizing and selling to companies to show that they have a sense of humor and care for their customers. Or alternately, that they don't care for their customers and are just assholes. It wouldn't make any difference to us as long as we got paid!
By the way, the operator on the line isn't me...or anyone, really. We just fed the script into a computer program that spits out human sounding speech, and somehow this absurd stuff just seems funnier with a British accent. There's an American female version, too, with different jokes. We're too lazy to build another video, though (grin).
By the way, if there are any app developers reading this who want to make this concept into an annoying smartphone app which would make us mutually wealthy, make yourself known in the comments.
Or give us a call...
That last line ("Or give us a call." is the perfect capper! I particularly liked "Don't think about spiders crawling on your neck..."
Loved the 'hold msg.' I recorded it on to my home answering machine tape to replace that 'not available, leave msg.' regular msg.
Very clever. I loved it
I'd love to hear the long version.
YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!!!!! If we still used answering machines, THIS would be on mine, eternally!!!!
I knew it! Lefty Lucy is a hotty. Also, has anyone seen Busty Ross and Lefty Lucy at the same time?
Suggest an edit for the first graphic.
Instead of the joyful socialist, masses celebrating under the banners of Bernie, Fauxahontas, Vlad or "Uncle Joe", perhaps the toiling illustrations of the toiling masses in the gulags, or the killing fields(piles of skulls?) might be a better choice?
For quite some time now my method of thwarting unwanted calls is simply to not answer any that are not in my contact list. If they truly need to speak to me they can leave a voicemail.
If a messenger does turn out to be a solicitor or similar, I then add their number to the probably hundreds I have already blocked.
I used to answer calls if they were from my local area code, but they have evidently caught on to that trick and somehow buy local numbers even though their call originates in India or wherever.
I have my doubts that the National Do Not Call List that I eagerly signed up for years ago actually screens a single call.
Hahahahaha, wait, wait, wait ........ HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!
BWAH HAW HAW HAW HAW!!! Brilliant.
@Geoff: I do the exact same thing. Caller ID is your friend.
My answering machine message starts with me going, "Hello? Hello?" This gives the drone time to start their spiel. The message continues. "Oh! Hi! This is XXX-XXX-XXXX, (me) speaking. This is a personal call line only. For all business related matters, please call XXX-XXX-XXX." (my attorney's number) "Thanks, and have a great day!" (beep)
It amuses me to listen to some robocaller talking to my machine, each blithely blithering on, ignoring each other...
And, of course, my Caller ID gives me a fresh new number to add to my blocklist...
I cant believe I'm saying this, but now I cant want until I get my next phone call from a telemarketer
I've used a similar ploy, "Oh gee, I'M GLAD YOU CALLED! Hang on a minute..." while I go get my trombone. I don't play the trombone, but I have one for just such occasions. I plan on getting rich by putting stolen ideas like this in my new book:
One Million and One $1 Ideas.
Great concept! Sadly we mostly get robocalls, and this humor would be lost on those soulless creatures. But I will probably be thinking about those spiders...
This is off topic, but does the Iowa Democratic Party plan to hand out Participation Trophies in lieu of declaring a winner?
Also off topic, did you hear the story about Elizabeth Warren walking into a NH restaurant? No one booed her, shamed her, or tried to force her to leave. A remarkable contrast.
For hours of unbridled fun, search for "hello this is lenny" on YouTube. Lenny is a chatbot and strings along the callers for up to 15 minutes.
Check out the jolly roger telephone service. It is an AI program that will actually talk to them
Genius idea.... and great fun. Thank you.
In Iowa & New Hampshire the Dims with the larg-EST (but really small) vote count are claiming great victories at 26-27%. I'm still stuck on thetwo-party thing where 50/50 is a tie. On the Rep. side Trump in Iowa was sitting on ~97%. That's a win I can understand.
I kind of like the "what are you wearing" non-sequitur approach.
Well I don't go down and volunteer at the local soup kitchen so...
I answer all calls and act like I'm Soooo grateful they called and keep them talking as long as I can trying to provide them with the perfect response. My best is around 15 min. Now I know it takes time, but while they are talking to me, they can't call someone else, my version of public service, and funny, the calls have all but stopped, I wonder why?
Loved the video.
@Geoff. I have received calls that showed on the caller id as being from me and at my number. No, I didn't answer it. Too much like time traveling or twilight zone moments.
You win the Internet today, Stilt!
Lefty Lucy (I presume) does a killer Katherine Timpf impersonation!
Back when junk phones calls were humans, I would say that I charge $5 to accept unsolicited telephone sales calls and ask how they would like to make payment. Stopped 'em in their tracks.
Now it's robots, not much you can do.
@Unknown said... "I knew it! Lefty Lucy is a hotty. Also, has anyone seen Busty Ross and Lefty Lucy at the same time?"
I, for one, would be happy to share my phone booth with either/both of them(wink wink). But where do you find a phone booth these days? Have cell phones done what Kryptonite couldn't - take Superman off the crime fighting beat?
@Colby, Jack et al: Check out https://www.payphone-directory.org/ which allows you to search an international database of pay phone locations. These days, most are niche-style mounts rather than a full phone booth—I know one listed for my location is not in a booth; it's mounted on the wall under a porch awning at a local establishment.
I've seen people using it multiple times, while others in their (presumably tourist) party take pictures with a cell phone of them with the handset to the ear...
Answering these calls validate your number as a real number and paints a bigger target on your back. If only you could send a 2400 volt pulse back to the robocaller... THAT would fry a server!
Bernie proudly announced that this is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump. Really, Bernie? You win one lousy primary in a liberal state next door to yours, and now you're David to Trump's Goliath? It's a little to early to start puffing out your bird chest, ya old fart.
But frankly, I hope ol' Bernie is the dim's nominee 'cause I believe Trump would murdalize him at the polls. Unfortunately for poor Bernie, the DNC has already picked their New York billionaire to compete with our New York billionaire. Bernie's going to be the bridesmaid yet again.
Regarding unsolicited calls, Mrs. Muenster and I stopped answering the land line years ago, letting the machine do the talking. Our current message is the Strother Martin quote from Cool Hand Luke (y'all know which one, right?). But now, we have a MUCH better message to put on that machine. Thanks, Stilton!
New Hampshire: Fascist Fauxahantas got tomahawked. Biden didn't even bother hanging out and hopped his private jet for the Carolina's. Comrade Bernie took the day.
The Phone: Roughly 90%, if not more of the calls I get on my home, office & cell phone are phony. I no longer answer unless I recognize the number. One of my failings as a Christian are the dark fantasies I have about what I'd like to do to the people responsible.
Every so often, I get campaign robocalls for jurisdictions I don't nor have ever lived in. I think there ought to be a law that says that I should be able to vote in any jurisdiction I get a call from, just so I can vote against whoever is annoying me.
The fact that politicians exempted themselves from the DO NOT CALL list is simple proof that government is fundamentally incapable of acting in the best interest of citizens. Agents of government will always choose their well being first over yours.
Thank you for posting.
Your humour is important to us.
I would like to complement you on this...wait, the phone is ringing...
@John the Econ
RE Agents of Gov't Will Choose Own Well-Being Over Ours
I defer to economist Thomas Sowell on this point - "No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems - of which getting elected and re-elected are No. 1 and No. 2. Whatever is No. 3 is far behind."
Interesting. But have you ever tried to change into your stretch superhero costume in a phone "niche?" I didn't think so ;-)
The latest update to Iphone operating system is the greatest development in the history of telecom: if the calling number isn't in your contact list the call goes DIRECTLY to voicemail without ringing at all. Spammers NEVER leave a message.
Jack Colby's quote from Sowell's genius is right on the mark. This begs the following question: Why do otherwise intelligent people the world over continue to put politicians into office? There is something genetically defective about nearly all of that breed, particularly when their universal rallying cry is, "Screw the populace!" Which they promptly proceed to do, and very successfully, due to all the practice they get because we the people continue to return them to office. The obvious takeaway from the superb Trump Presidency is that we should be putting ethical, successful BUSINESSPEOPLE into office! Successful businessmen/women know that if it doesn't square with the bottom line, it doesn't get done. Period. End of pork, end of debt, and the end of perennial swamp dwellers who make a career out of spending our money in order to manipulate the rest of us. ENOUGH!
@Phil said that was a great Kat Timpf impression. I've only seen her a few times and only with blonde hair, but right away I thought that was her, too.
As for the phone call issue, I have an answering machine for a reason. Probably 90% of the phone calls I get are robocalls and I can tell by the lack of any message being left. Most of the time if a message is left that's a robocall too, just a machine that wanted to leave me a message. Sometimes I think I don't even really need a phone at all.
It is my theory that certain jobs draw certain personalities to them, ie, a job as a politician draws weasels and grifters to those openings/positions.
Love the ‘hold’ message idea! I did something similar years ago, assembling a montage of goofy stuff and using it as my work-phone answering machine message. People loved it! Had to take it off, though, after some co-workers figured out how to patch it into the PA system. Fun while it lasted!
Re: Phone: After moving to Utah, we started with our "home" phone set on the default 4 rings, then take a message. But after a bunch of calls missed due to being outside or upstairs/downstairs when it rang, I figured out how to switch it to 6 rings to give more time. We added extensions upstairs and downstairs, so we don't need to hustle quite as much to answer, but even so, if the phone fails to ring the 5th time, I don't bother to pick it up—I think the robocaller programs all assume that default 4-ring setup. And of course they don't leave a message...
In a year and four months here, we've only received seven "real" phone calls!
@Anonymous: Fame fortune and glory await the person who can come up with a device/system to send a 'zap'to a spammer/scammer.
Sadly the plague of telemarketers, et.al. has also impacted the ability of the 2020 Census to hire people. Some return calls come too late(position filed) as the caller thinking a call from the Census to offer employment was just another spam call.
I like to just hit 1 as soon as the recording begins, and set the phone down. Sooner or later a real human picks up and I get to waste there time as they figure out what's going on and hang up.
I used to tell folks on the phone at work, if I needed to look stuff up or whatever, that I'd put them on hold. My phone didn't have a hold feature of which I was aware, so I'd just voice the Jeopardy "thinking" music (which, at the end, reminded me of "tip me over and pour me out").
@Dan: I bet you heard some interesting stuff from those folks who thought they were on hold!
I have to share this great joke on Candidate Warren from The Blacksphere:
My neighbor just got a brand new Jeep. I stopped to admire it, and she mentioned she found the perfect name for her new ride. “I’m calling her Elizabeth!”
“Really... what made you pick that name?” I asked.
My neighbor then cracked me up. “She’s pure white, but they call her a Cherokee.”
For the whole essay, see:
@Pat Cummings- The "spiders on the neck" line is one of my favorites!
@Velveeta Processed Cheese Food- I think the longer version could approach being an odd form of art, with the waiting time between gags adding to the tension.
@j- You perfectly summed up the problem with many of my ideas when you said "IF we still used answering machines." A lot of things I find funny relate to a world that isn't really here anymore. Still, I have my fun!
@Unknown- I assure you that Busty and Lucy are two different - VERY different - women. Albeit both attractive in their own way.
@Fish Out of Water- That WOULD be more accurate!
@Geoff King- Probably 80% of the calls I get these days are from a**holes trying to sell me something or steal my personal information. And you're right that the Do Not Call registry doesn't do crap anymore. I've used and like the NoMoRoBo service - free for landlines.
@Bobo the Hobo- The secret of comedy is...is...is...is...TIMING!
@M. Mitchell Marmel- I like the way you handle the calls, but I think these days the telemarketers generate fresh (and faked) numbers for every call, making it awfully hard to block them.
@Gary- I'm sure it won't be a LONG wait.
@Studebaker Hauk- Isn't there a 7 day waiting period before people can legally buy a trombone?
@Anonymous- I saw the video of Lyin' Liz in that restaurant. Everyone was very civil to her...and anxious for her to leave them the hell alone.
@John- I'm listening to, and loving, the "Hello this is Lenny" youtube videos!
@Anonymous- Holy crap, the jollyrogertelephone.com stuff is HILARIOUS!
@Rod- I believe I heard that the number of people showing up for the Dem races is lower than it's been in the past. Promising!
@TrickyRicky- That's especially good when combined with heavy breathing!
@Anonymous- You're definitely providing a valuable public service by wasting the time of those morons.
@Sortahwitte- I've gotten those calls too. Well, not from YOU, but you know what I mean.
@Colby, Jack- "Tell him what he's won, Johnny!"
@Phil- Actually, the Kat Timpf lookalike on my video isn't Left Lucy...though I'm sure the two would get along!
@Don in Oregon- I wish we COULD charge the bastards for invading our privacy! And you're right that the true robocalls aren't much fun to screw with.
@Colby, Jack- In lieu of a phone booth, I suppose a shower stall could work...
@Pat Cummings- It's odd that something I grew up with (phonebooths) now seem as ancient as cave paintings. Sigh...
@Anonymous- If someone would come up with a TeleTaser that could deliver that jolt, I'd buy it in a heartbeat!
@Colby Muenster- I agree that it's pretty early for Bernie to start crowing. Especially since the DNC will not let him get the nomination. And yes, I know what Strother Martin quote you're talking about - it's perfect!
@John the Econ- Great point about politicians exempting themselves from "do not call" lists. I very specifically DON'T contribute to the GOP because I'm sick to death of hearing from them.
@DougM- Well played, sir!
@jojotom01- That's okay, I'll wait...
@Colby, Jack- That's a great quote from Thomas Sowell! Granted, he produces a lot of them!
@Gorgon Zola- That's pretty sweet! Unfortunately, my main phone is a landline and I'm still trying desperately not to give my smartphone number to anyone. And I'm not talking "iPhone" smart - I'm talking "$25 Tracfone" smart.
@Sue Speck- Excellent observations and I completely agree!
@JustaJeepGuy- The "Kat Timpf" look is popular these days - and it's a danged cute look. Except when Marie Harpf (or whatever the heck her name is) tries it. She's a nasty little thing.
@Anonymous- You're right; the qualities that make for a good politician don't tend to be qualities we should encourage in anyone.
@Pat Cummings- I should consider that "6 ring" policy for my answering machine. I'm always lurching out of my La-Z-Boy to try to beat the 4th ring that will trigger my answering machine...and 90% of the time, it's just some pest.
@Fish Out of Water- I'm in favor of people getting jobs, but can't actually feel bad about the Census having trouble filling positions. I think it's more of a political tool than a useful metric anymore.
@Kerry Soileau- I'm going to try that!
@Dan- Brilliant! And Mrs. J and myself watch Jeopardy every weeknight (on Tivo, so we can pause and wrack our aging brains for answers) and BOTH of us sing the "tip me over and pour me out" at the end of the final jeopardy "thinking" song!
@Pat Cummings- I will always enjoy Liz Warren jokes!
Sometime last year a telemarketer posted on twitter that people hang up on him because they know that they will not be able to resist his superior salesmanship.
I told him it's just that we will not allow idiots like him to steal our time, PERIOD!
I've called myself at least two times, but I refuse to take calls from that a$$.
My Digitone call blocker picks up the call at the first ring, keeps the line open for 8 seconds, then disconnects the call. This creates a charge on their phone bill. They soon quit calling.
Last week I received a message that said I should stop calling her. That means that someone is hacking my number as their called ID. Nothing I can do about that.
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