The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, February 11, 2004  

Show Me Your Number

I’ve never been so popular in my life. Popular, at least, measured by the number of times my phone rings each day. Sure, sometimes it’s a friend or a sibling or an acquaintance. More often, unfortunately, it’s someone to whom I owe money, or, as these people seem to prefer to call it, “monies” or “funds” or “balances.”

I don’t mind really. I don’t have an answering machine or an answering service through the local telephone utility, i.e., Verizon Communications Corp., and they really hate that word, “utility,” over there, at Verizon, so I don’t have to listen to their spew if I don’t want to.

But I still have Caller ID.

And let me just tell you, you generally, and you to whom I might, and I mean that -- might -- owe monies or funds or balances, if you don’t have the guts to show me, on the Caller ID box, who the hell you are, I’m just not going to answer the phone.

And, trust me, when the box shows 999-999-9999, I’m not fooled. I’m not biting. Hell, even the village idiot wouldn’t be fooled by that transparency.

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