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Press Two For Resurrections

, , , | Right | October 12, 2021

I’m living with some friends in a shared house situation. We have a landline that the married couple living here had installed for cheaper call rates. We are experiencing a rather sudden and heavy influx of telemarketers and scam calls, so we are taking it in turns to answer the phone and mess with them to tie up their time. 

There is one caller who is especially persistent, and with the husband at work for the fortnight — long-distance family macadamia farm — and the caller requesting to speak with him; his wife, our remaining housemate, and I are the only ones answering the landline and holding down the fort.

Most of the scammers request the husband when they call, and as none of us recognise the company calling, we are messing with them, upping the ante each time, making more and more wild tales of where the husband is and why he can’t come to the phone.

Eventually, the novelty wears off and we start getting irritated with the near-daily calls. So, the wife and I decide on one last big hurrah in an effort to get them to stop. She answers the phone with fake sniffles, and when the caller predictably asks for her husband, she breaks into some of the best fake sobbing I’ve ever seen.

Her voice is breaking, she has the quivering lip going, and she even lets a couple of real tears out to REALLY get into the role. Truly, it’s a shame the caller can’t see her at that moment because she… is… selling it!

Wife: “This is a terrible time to call. I’m sorry, but… I just can’t continue to speak with you. I’m passing the phone to someone else.”

As the phone is passed to me, she bursts into fake heavy sobbing and even wails in sorrow as she takes off down the hall, opening and closing a door loudly to really sell the lie I am about to spin.

I take over the call and when the caller asks what was going on I explain that, on the way back from work, her husband had a car accident. He didn’t make it, and the caller has unfortunately called in the middle of his wake ceremony. The caller is aghast and apologises profusely for calling and quickly hangs up.

The wife and I high-five and laugh like a pair of hyenas, bursting into fresh gales of laughter, when our other housemate walks in and asks what we are doing. We explain, and he starts laughing, too. The calls stop and blessed silence descends for a couple of days.

When the husband returns from the farm, we are bouncing with excitement to tell him our escapade of brilliance and are rather dejected when he doesn’t burst into laughter like we are expecting and hoping for. 

Husband: “It wasn’t someone from [Company] calling, was it, by any chance?”

Wife: “It was, actually! Wait…”

She looks at me.

Me: “We didn’t…”

We look back to her husband.

Wife: “How do you know the name of the company when we forgot to… even mention…”

Me: “Oh, s***.”

It turned out to be a call [Husband] was actually expecting, and he had been wondering why they hadn’t given him a call on his mobile all fortnight. The company only had the landline listed and had forgotten to note down his mobile number, apparently.

Oooooh, boy, was THAT an interesting call-back! The girl who answered his call was beside herself, crying down the phone line, saying over and over how glad she was to hear he wasn’t dead, and then crying more. We were banned from answering the landline for a month following that one.