Every night, my landline rings at least three times.

Natalie calls while I am cooking dinner. Her robotic voice accompanies me as I pour rice into a pot of boiling water, or crack eggs into a frying pan.  Natalie is from Central Blood Bank, and she tells me how blood donation saves lives until my answering machine cuts her off.

As I sit down to dinner, an alternative electricity supplier calls to let me know I could be saving millions on my electric bill. This is probably true, although I think it more likely I would save a few dollars rather than millions.  But savings is savings, right?

Not for me. How much would I be saving, and for how long?   Is this some cheap introductory rate that will last for a year and then my bill will skyrocket?  Am I signing up for a gazillion year contract that will require a huge cancellation fee once I figure out the catch?  Are these people going to come out and restore my power when it goes out?

Honestly, I’d rather just pay an extra five dollars a month not to have to figure this all out.

I make sure to pick up while I’m washing the dishes. I don’t want to miss my call from the guys with thick foreign accents pretending to be from the IRS.  When I’ve had a bad day at work, there’s no better stress release than unloading on these scumbags who try to convince me the IRS is about to sue me over my non-existent back taxes.  I wouldn’t dare talk to anyone else the way I do these jokers.  Last week I asked the guy if he had a grandmother, and how he would like it if I called her and conned her into giving me her credit card number.  The guy actually hung up on me!  I considered it a badge of honor.  He hasn’t called since though, and I’m getting a little tense in the shoulders without my daily round of verbally abusing him.

Election season brings a whole round of bonus calls. Just last night a man had a few survey questions for me, which may have been a subtle attempt to influence my vote in the upcoming Pennsylvania senate race.  For example, did I know that Pat Toomey planned on breaking into the home of every middle class family, stealing all their money and giving it to Wall Street crooks?

I thought that fact made my decision easy. But soon after, I received another call informing me that his challenger, Katie McGinty, was going around kidnapping kids so she could “tax their energy.”

Isn’t it nice they’re helping me make an informed decision at the polls?

I have more to tell you about—the hang-ups, insurance quotes, and automatic services offering to pray for me—but I have to cut this short.

My phone is ringing.