Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Political Dirty Tricks: The Home Version

So, I just got off the phone with a fundraiser working for Mitt Romney. I acted like a senile old man (complete with voice and generational references), flubbed the credit card number, and pretended to have an argument with my elderly wife, Helen---all to waste the GOP's time. I took this fundraiser off the net for at least five full minutes of b.s., and I feel so incredibly happy. Yes. I do this kind of crap whenever I can and it is so much fun!

Becky handed me the phone and I had a few seconds to get myself ready.  Still unsure of how far I would take the whole thing, I decided I would simply try to take the caller for a ride. 

Now, you need to know I have had this call before, and what the Romney campaign does is say you can get a bumper sticker for $3, and then after you press "1" to continue, ask you for $100-$200.  That's where I started.

What follows is the best approximation I can recall as to how our conversation went.  What surprises me most is the desperation of the Romney Campaign to, above all else, hold on to this call in the face of its absurdity. They must really be desperate for the money.

My Conversation with Mitt

The Players:

Fundraiser:  Woman, college educated, mid-late 30's.  

Old Man:  Man, late 70's or early 80's.  Married.  Voice similar to my grandfather's, but without the confidence and swagger he had.  Think of a man on the verge of being diagnosed with the early symptoms of Alzheimer's.

Son:  Belligerent, out of work basement dweller.


Scene:  Late 1970's Ranch Home.  Evening.  The phone rings.  

* * *

Fundraiser:  Can we count on your support for a maximum donation for $1-200?

Me:  You just said the donation was $3.  Why is it $100 now?

FR:  The $3 is to get the bumper sticker.  We . . .

Me: (interrupting) I like bumper stickers.

FR:  That's nice.  We are committed to getting Barack Obama out of the White House. With . . .

Me: (interrupting again)  Good! My grandfather always hated bumper stickers, but I like them.  I have a lot on my car.  I want one.  What do I have to do?

FR: Well, you can give a donation by way of a credit card.  Master Card, Visa . . .

Me:  (interrupting again) I have some of those.  Let me go get my Wallet.  My wife has all of my things.  She takes care of all of the bills.  I have a Discover Card.  Can you use a Discover Card?

FR:  Any card is fine.

I set the phone down to go get my wallet.  I return.  Read off the wrong number (of course) and wait.

FR:  There seems to be a problem with the number.  Can we read back the numbers four at a time to see if there was some mistake?  The first four XXXX.  Is that right?

Me: Yes.

FR:  The second four are XXXX

Me:  I read the right numbers.  I have excellent vision.  I don't know why you'd think I can't read my own card.

FR:  No sir. You don't understand.  I might have made a mistake typing in the numbers and I want to make sure I did my job right.

Me: Oh, Okay.

FR:  The next four numbers are XXXX?

Me: Yes

FR: And the last four numbers are XXXX?

ME: Yes

FR:  And the expiration date is XX/XX?

Me: Yes.

FR: (after a short pause)  The computer is coming back saying that is a bad number.  Do you have one of those other credit cards?  We can use another one.

Me:  That doesn't make sense.  My wife always pays the bills on time.  Let me go get another credit card from my wife.  She keeps all my things.  She takes care of all the books.

(off-line, but with the phone close enough for her to hear)

Helen!  Where's my damned Discover Card?  I've got this lady on the line and she needs . . . Did you forget to pay the bills again?  The other card doesn't work . . .  I need that card . . .  I don't care!  Did you give our credit card to our son again?

At this time, I have to give a nod to my son Kaelan, who, like a brilliant Improv Actor, came out and joined into the fun

Son:  Dad!  Shut up!  Just stop yelling!  I don't have your . . .

Me:  (in the receiver) I am going to have to call you back.  I've got a situation here.


* * *

Becky says she is never going to give me the phone again.

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