Re-Launch: Stop calling me!! (Unless I like you!)

I found this great post that I wrote ‘way back in 2005 that I thought you might enjoy again.  To this day, anytime my phone rings and it’s an 800 number, I remember this ridiculous conversation.

And yes, he truly did say, “You are only harassing yourself.”  


Whenever my phone rings, I check the caller ID. If it’s an 800 number, I usually have a good idea who is calling, so I refuse to answer. More than likely it’s yet another telemarketing company.

Yes, I know about the National Do-Not-Call Registry, but I never got around to adding my number to it. Now I’m paying the price. I get calls every day from various outfits offering me a chance to “Win a million dollars by entering our contest” or “Get a quote for siding on your home” or “Refinance your mortgage.”

Of course, most of these calls are recordings, but the “actors” on the other end have recorded their voices in such a quasi-conversational style that it borders on sickening.

Occasionally, however, I will get a call from a live person, and usually this person is not from the United States. They always SAY they are calling from the United States, but the heavy Indian accent tells me otherwise.

The other day, I made the mistake of picking up one of those calls. I’ve seen this number repeatedly on my Caller ID, so I wanted to know just what the heck they wanted. I also wanted to ask that they remove my number from their list, which they are SUPPOSED to do, but rarely ever follow through.

So I answered the call.

Me: Hello.

Telemarketer With Thick Indian Accent: Hello Sir?

Me: Yes.

TWTIA: I am calling because you have been selected to participate in a contest for…

Me: Hold on just one minute, please.

TWTIA: …and if you act now…


TWTIA: Yes, sir?

Me: I have asked you at least once before to please remove my number from your calling list and you have failed to do so. Please do not call me anymore. I am not interested.

TWTIA: But why?

Me: Why do I need to tell you why? I am simply asking you to no longer call me. I get 5-6 calls a DAY from you, and I am not interested in anything you have to say.

TWTIA: But why?

Me: Are you deaf? I just said why. Now stop calling me.

TWTIA: But why?

Me: (getting extremely irritated) Listen, I am not going to argue with you. You are harassing me. I am not interested in your products or services. Now STOP CALLING ME!

TWTIA: But why?

Me: (now totally angry) STOP CALLING ME!!!!!

I hang up the phone.

The phone rings AGAIN.

I can’t believe this guy. Is he SERIOUS?

I click to answer and hang up again.

It rings AGAIN.

I hang up again.


I go to Google and find the National Do-Not-Call Registry. I sign up my phone number– ALL of my phone numbers. This shit has got to stop.


I pick up the phone.

I answer.

Me: What part of STOP CALLING ME do you not understand!?!?

TWTIA: But Why?

Me: I’m through with you. I want your supervisor.

TWTIA: I am the supervisor.

Me: Then you are an idiot. Why would I buy anything from you? Why would I even listen to anything you have to say? Is this how you do business– to harass people?

TWTIA: You are only harassing yourself.

Me: That doesn’t even make sense! Stop calling me. I will not answer the phone any more. I’ll find a way to report you if you continue. Goodbye.

I hang up the phone.

It rings once more and then I never hear from them again.

I have no idea what the product or service was… but these FREAKS are out there, people. If you haven’t done so yet, go directly to the National Do Not Call Registry right now and add ALL of your phone numbers– Work, Cell, and Home– to the list. It will take 30 days for everything to get squared away, but after that, if you get calls like this one, you can report them and they can be fined for harassment. Don’t put up with what I did. Do it now.

Dearest Mel Gibson: Shut the F**k Up!

Dearest Mel Gibson:

A few years ago, I had to come down pretty hard on your buddy Tom Cruise.  He was getting way out of control, and someone needed to beat him down a few notches.  I don’t think it worked all that well– but it sure felt good to get my feelings off my chest.

Now it’s your turn.

Mel… Enough is enough.  We are done with you.

Your racist rants, your pompous attitude, and your (at times) insanely old-school Catholic beliefs are wearing thin on us.  You’re an abusive, rude and bull-headed individual who thinks he deserves everything handed to him on a silver platter.

Mel, those days are over.  It’s time to shut the f**k up and go away.

You’re an aging relic.  You used to be a handsome, suave and dapper young man.  Charming and extremely good-looking — some would even say hot– as a 20 and 30 year old, you starred in such classic films as “Mad Max,” “Gallipoli,” and “The Year Of Living Dangerously.”  You moved us in “The Man Without A Face,” and you made us laugh while racking up big bucks in the “Lethal Weapon” series.  You won Oscars for “Braveheart,” (not one of my favorites, but I can’t deny that you won) and went on to direct more films.

Then came “Passion of the Christ,” which I never saw, but the controversy around it was so great that it actually turned me away from it.  I can’t fault you for your extreme Catholic beliefs, because you apparently were born into them.  What I can fault you for is anti-semitic, homophobic, and narrow-minded rhetoric that you have based on your beliefs.  This was only the beginning of what has turned out to be a constant string of shooting-off at the mouth and bullheaded behavior.

Thing is, I know you’re a talented director. You truly could be one of the greats.  But your behavior is ruining your credibility.  Unless you make a major change, I don’t see you repairing that anytime soon.

What turned you into such a bitter angry man, Mel?  Was it the constant glare of fame?  Was it the pressure to remain “beautiful” and “sexy” as you got older?  Or were these things always a part of you, just simmering away, waiting for the right moment to boil over?

You’ve had numerous run-ins with the law because of your abuse of alcohol; and every time we’d think you had learned your lesson, you’d get sloshed again and make an ass of yourself.  You never seem to learn your lessons.  Countless DUIs, and more anti-semitic remarks to a police officer later… and your star dimmed even darker.

You once had such wonderful things to say about your wife and family, but then you got divorced.  Now come the reports and audio of you verbally abusing your girlfriend.  I’ve heard the recordings, Mel.  They’re disgusting.  The person on those recordings is not someone I want to associate with, let alone support.  That person needs serious help…  Mental evaluations…  Maybe even some good, hard locking up.

The press is not saying outright that it’s you on those recordings because you won’t verify that it is, truly, you.  But anyone who has heard your voice knows that it’s you.  And not only is it your voice, it’s your words– the words we have heard before and you have apologized profusely for using in the past.  The words that got you into trouble with the law and with numerous groups over the years.  Quite frankly, Mel, you can’t keep you big trap shut, and now it’s getting you into some serious trouble.

I hope everyone hears those recordings, Mel.  I hope they hear them and discover what a monster you really are.  Anyone who threatens to kill another person may as well have done the deed.  To even THINK something like that is revolting.  I don’t care if you did it or not– to say that is abuse.

So Mel, I’m through with you.  I won’t be seeing your movies or supporting anything you do.  Get help.

Please, Mel Gibson.  Shut the f**k up already.

Warmest regards,
Rick Aiello

Look before you leap

CautionAll our lives, we are told to proceed with caution.

“Watch your step.”

Even the boldest of people take a moment to summarize things before going in a new direction.  This is typical.  As human beings, we are survivors above all else.  We don’t want to do anything that puts us in jeopardy.

But when that sense of caution subsides, and we feel comfortable proceeding on our chosen paths, we should proceed with confidence.

This has not been the norm in this country as of late.

“Look both ways before crossing the street.”

Lately, I get the impression that the only thing our country does is look both ways.  We’re doing it so much it’s bordering on an obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Nobody is willing to actually step out into the street, for fear of being hit by a speeding car that they didn’t see the fiftieth time they looked to the right.

We’re one year into the new administration, and nothing has been done.  We are still waiting for health care reform.  We are still waiting for LGBT rights.  We are still waiting for the war to end in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We’re still waiting for all the promises we were given in 2008 to come true… if not all, at least SOME of them.

And now, after what happened in Massachusetts, it’s becoming obvious that people are tired of waiting.

“Be careful.”

I’m a Democrat, and I’m not apologizing for it.  I was born this way, just as much as I was born male, gay, and half-Italian.  Nothing will change my beliefs, and nothing will sway me to the other side.  But this inactivity is getting tiresome.  Waiting for people to agree with your ideas and your policies is not working.  It’s time to get tough.  It’s time to get dirty.  That’s just how things roll in these United States.

If Obama and his administration can’t make that happen, we’re in for 3 more years of ridicule from the neo-cons and the far right.

And then, heaven help us in 2012.

Craig Ferguson: If You Don't Vote, You're A MORON!

On Wednesday night, I watched David Letterman interview Barack Obama, and yes, I was very pleased with how the interview went.  He addressed the “Lipstick” controversy, and even outlined a lot of things in much better detail.  It was a great interview.

After the show, Craig Ferguson’s “Late Late Show” came on.  I usually don’t watch his show, because, quite frankly, Ferguson kind of annoyed me.  But last night he changed my mind. He was ON FIRE, and what he said needs to be heard by a HELL of a lot more people.

Ferguson just became an American citizen, and will be voting in his first election this year.  So you can imagine how seriously he is taking this election.  If you can’t imagine it, watch this clip, courtesy of CBS.

He has a damn good point.

“If you don’t vote, you’re a moron. ‘Not voting is a vote,’ – no it isn’t!! Not voting is just being stupid. Voting is not sexy. Voting is not hip. It is not fashionable. It is not a movie. It is not a videogame. Frankly, voting is a pain in the ass. But here is a word, look it up, it’s your duty to vote!”

After the break, Ferguson went on with the voting ‘rant’ – and hit yet another home run.

Yeah… my approval rating for Mr. Ferguson shot up considerably last night.

Ugh. It's back.

I’ve been out of commission for the last few days, sick with a case of Sinusitis. So I didn’t quite realize what day was approaching until I got back to work today.

The day started off fairly normal. I sat at my desk, went through my email, and started on that day’s projects.

Then my co-worker and I went to get lunch. No big deal.

When we got back, there were little pink cellophane sacks of candy on our desks.

“Oh great,” I said, realizing what day was coming. “Valentine’s Day.”

That’s right, folks. I hate Valentine’s Day.

I hate it with the passion of a thousand burning suns.

I hate it more than I hate winter… and believe me, I’m hating winter pretty hard right about now.

I hate it more than a hangnail.

I hate it more than I hate George W. Bush. And that’s an awful lot.

OK maybe not that much.

But you get the point.

I knew what was coming next… the mail carrier would bring in cartons of roses and flowers for all the lovey-dovey people in the office. Ugh Ugh UGH.

The cries of “Oh my GOD! For ME!?!” and “Oh how SWEET!!!!” and “I can’t believe he got me ROSES!” echoed in my brain long before the first FTD box appeared.

And appear they did– three arrangements arrived within the last hour of work. And surely there are many more to come.

Yes, Valentine’s Day sucks. It sucks for the single people of the world. It sucks for the lonely people of the world. It exists to remind those of us in that pathetic category just how pathetic we are. And serves to remind us how sickeningly sweetly happy the married and otherwise occupied people of the world are.

It reminds us of how much we want to bitch-slap all those gooey-happy-lovey people in the face with a glove full of coal.

What, me? Bitter?

Yeah.. what’s it to ya?