The telemarketers are finding me again. They must have missed me terribly while I was on vacation, because all the credit card companies and political causes and newspapers have made a point of keeping in close contact with me all week. I don't hang up on them until they're rude to me, and that hasn't happened for a long time. I do have a few standard answers, though:
"I don't want any service that I have to make a phone call to cancel." That gets rid of the credit card people who want me to buy "protection" from them. They'll give it to me free for a month or two, just to give me a chance to see whether I like the service. Well, I don't like it, and I know that without giving them their trial period. Count me out.
"I'm not in a position to make a contribution just now." That takes care of the Democratic Party. How can they argue with that? If I were rich enough to give money away, wouldn't I be a Republican?
"I live too far off the road, and your carrier won't come to my door." That's all I need to say to the newspaper circulation departments trying to get me to subscribe. Give it a try, they'll say. I've tried. I don't want to have to slog through the mud all next winter just to get a wet paper, when I go to the post office every day. There's a newsstand there where I can buy a dry copy of the later edition for half the delivery price.
Believe it or not, all three of these stock responses invariable get me off the hook (and off the phone). I don't have to whine or plead or snarl. I can be myself, tell the truth, and get through the conversation with some dignity. That makes the annoying calls a little easier to take.