Death of a salesman

Ed
Ed Smith
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

I am not a cruel person. Really, I'm not. I don't enjoy tearing the wings off flies or bottling up moths in a mayonnaise jar until they pass on from lack of oxygen. That's for kids. I play a more adult game when given the opportunity.

The opportunity came earlier today. A call came in from this person to whom English was as mysterious a language as the Northern dialect of Canton province in the north of Inner Mongolia is to me. Nevertheless, he tried valiantly to interest me in a super platinum, interest-free, stupendous monthly awards, gold bond credit card.

I am not a cruel person. Really, I'm not. I don't enjoy tearing the wings off flies or bottling up moths in a mayonnaise jar until they pass on from lack of oxygen. That's for kids. I play a more adult game when given the opportunity.


The opportunity came earlier today. A call came in from this person to whom English was as mysterious a language as the Northern dialect of Canton province in the north of Inner Mongolia is to me. Nevertheless, he tried valiantly to interest me in a super platinum, interest-free, stupendous monthly awards, gold bond credit card.

During the following conversation, Other Half was out in the living room in stitches. My assistant was in the study in hysterics as this chap responded to each of my totally ridiculous responses with not a glimmer of anything but robot-like questions, no matter what I said.

Trying to reproduce this in print loses much of its humour value, but perhaps you can get some idea of how the thing went. And yes, I do know the poor bugger was only trying to make a minimum-wage dollar. But hey, I can't take part in sports or anything, so give me a break.

Is this Mr. or Mrs. Edwards Smith?

Yes. (Long pause)

Is this Mr. or Mrs. Edwards Smith?

Yes. (Long pause)

Which Mr. or Mrs. Edwards Smith is this?

Yes. (Longer pause)

So you are Mr. or Mrs. Edwards Smith? (It was at this point I decided not to hang up) We are going to send you a Super Platinum, ultra awards winning, interest-free, gold bond credit card. I will need your help in making out the application form. Here are a few questions.

How do you spell your first name?

E ... D. No, that's wrong. It's C ... D.

Is that Charlie Delta...?

Wait just a minute here! How did you know my name is Charlie?

(Pause) Is that Charlie Delta...?

No, it's Charlie Edward Delta. But how did you know my name is Charlie? Do you have private information there that you should not have about me?

(Pause) How old are you?

I don't know. I was born in 1910.

You were born in 1910? What do you do for a living?

I work for my mother.

And what is the nature of this work?

It's fairly pleasant - we get along pretty well. She's a bit younger than me.

I see, and what is your yearly salary?

$27.10

(Long pause) So your yearly salary is $30.

No, my yearly salary is $27.10. If I had $30 I'd be much richer. As it is I find it hard to get by.

Can you give me your street address, Mr. or Mrs. Edwards Smith?

Yes, 4178 Fishguts Rd., John Brown's Body, Fogo Island.

And what province is that in?

Nunavut.

(Very long pause) Could you spell that for me?

Haven't you ever heard of Nunavut?

Is that spelled Norway-United States-Norway-Alaska-

(Admiringly) Gee, your geography is very good.

Is that spelled Norway-United States-Norway...

Yes, that's right. That's very good.

Can you tell me the address to which to send your new credit card?

No, I'm not very bright, which is perhaps why my sister keeps me locked up in this house.

What is your postal code?

I don't have a postal code because this is the only house on Fish Guts Road.

What is your street address?

4178 Fish Guts Rd., John Brown's Body, Fogo Island, Nunavut - that's near Iqaluit.

Do you spell that Italy-Quattro-Alaska...?

Yes, I really am impressed.

What is your SIN number, Mr. or Mrs. Edwards Smith?

I don't have a SIN number because I have never sinned.

You don't know your SIN number?

Yes, I do, but I don't have one.

I see. What is your postal code?

I don't have a postal code. We're the only house in this community.

How do you get your mail?

I don't know. It just appears on the floor in the porch.

What is your postal code, Mr. or Mrs. Edwards Smith?

Look, I'm still concerned about how you knew my name is Charlie Delta. Are you sure you're not a spy or something?

(Long pause) Could you wait a moment, please?

Certainly, but first there's something I need to know. Are you having a good day?

If you will wait just a minute, Mr. or Mrs. Edwards Smith, I will get that information for you.

OK, but hurry up. This information could be critical.

(Long pause) Is this Mr. or Mrs. Edwards Smith?

I'm not sure. Would you like me to get them for you?

No, would you tell them if they would like a new super platinum credit card to apply to this phone number

I'm sorry, I don't have a phone.

Click.

Ed Smith lives in Springdale. His e-mail address is edsmith@nf.sympatico.ca

Organizations: John Brown

Geographic location: Canton, Inner Mongolia, Nunavut Fogo Island Norway Fish Guts Road Iqaluit Springdale

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Robert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Thanks Ed! I don't know how many times I have wished that I had the skill and patience to deal with these unsolicited phone calls in a similar manner. That was probably a new experience for him too!

  • Robert
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Thanks Ed! I don't know how many times I have wished that I had the skill and patience to deal with these unsolicited phone calls in a similar manner. That was probably a new experience for him too!