Dialing up retribution for robo sinners

By Larry Simoneaux

I think that I’m going to end up in the confessional for this one or, in accordance with newer practices in my church, doing “reconciliation.”

It’s a Catholic thing, but I think that, even though times have changed, I still prefer the “confessional” method with the priest on one side of the screen and you on the other.

That’s because, if you’d done something completely off the charts, the worst case would be that the priest would shout — loudly enough for other nearby sinners to hear — “You did what?” after which your exit from the confessional was both penance enough and a reminder never to do it again.

I digress.

Still, this one’s likely to come across as insensitive, unkind, and hard-hearted to boot. In fact, to ensure that it does, I’m even going to mention the chain saw my wife made me sell because of “health issues.”

What I’m talking about are “robo-calls” and my accompanying dream for a large, industrial size car shredder. Failing that, I’d settle for a chain saw and a heavy-duty trash compactor.

I dream of these because of the fantasies of what I could do with them were I ever to find the people who thought up robo-calls and their evil cohorts — the individuals who recorded and, then, turned them loose on us.

I know that this election’s over, but something needs to be done to strike fear into these peoples’ hearts before we crank up the next cycle, and, perhaps, having such individuals hear that a few of their compatriots were fed into these machines might just convince them that they need to come up with another — less obnoxious — idea.

As you might guess, I’m not a big fan of these calls. Actually, the words I’d use to describe my feelings on this matter can’t be used here and will never be found in any book on the etiquette of proper conversation.

That’s because I’ve never come across a polite and socially acceptable explanation of the proper words to be used in describing the manner in which to start such individuals on their journey to their eternal and just rewards.

As a minor aside, said rewards would include a visit to hell as merely a pleasant stopover.

I’ve tried the “hang-up quickly” method, but it never gets across the aggravation one feels at having gotten up from a good meal to hear the beginnings of a message asking me whether I knew that candidate such-and-so puts mayonnaise on his hot dogs, beans in his chili, and thinks Elvis is dead.

Caller I.D. also helps, but, again, provides no deterrent to the next robo-call from said candidate assuring me that he knows not of mayonnaise on hot dogs, has never seen a bean in his chili, and stating that Elvis is alive and living on an island in the Florida Keys.

What truly bothers me, though, is the thinking that it’s perfectly acceptable to come unannounced into my home at an inconvenient time to present me with a canned message of half-truths, innuendos, requests for donations, or what have you, and to do it via a recorded speech.

No personal contact. No apologies for the inconvenience. No thought of what someone might be doing. Just off we go into a pre-tested message, delivered with feigned sincerity, that does nothing other than raise your blood pressure because of the imposition.

Yep. Find them all and stuff them into either the shredder or the compactor. Once done, pack the whole mess into the back of a pickup and dump it into some swamp where the alligators haven’t been fed in a while. At least then, this crowd could lay claim to having served a useful purpose.

I know. I know. You’re thinking that I haven’t considered the legal ramifications of such actions, but you’d be wrong. That’s because, in my dream, I’d find a court where the “they sure had it coming, your honor” defense was still held in high regard and used on a regular basis.

My guess is that the worst that could happen — especially during an election season — is that I’d get off with a commendation for public service and, possibly, a key to the city.

Insensitive and hard-hearted for sure.

But it’s only a dream that I enjoy and I warned you.

Now, “Bless me Father, for I have sinned…”

Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to: larrysim@comcast.net