Gentle Reader, are you familiar with televangelists? Are you familiar with how they harangue you for money, as that’s sort of their job? They will sit on their golden thrones if you don’t and cry, you know*.
They’ve been known to prey on the vulnerable – which is why, as my father lay dying, Maman spoke at length with one, and purchased something called “Miracle Bread”, which didn’t save his life. It’s also why, five years after my father’s passed away they still call my mother five nights a week, with a very personal recorded preacher, with his loving message that if only she’ll send him $48, an angel will come knocking on her door.
Well, last night, she’d had enough. That’s right, my mother stood up for herself. She’s slow to anger, but when she explodes, she doesn’t do things by halves.
Maman called the recorded preacher back, and predictably was directed to a poor call-center employee, who asked how much she’d like to donate. Maman asked to speak to the preacher, and was put in a hold-loop with the same recording she’d been hearing every day for the last few years. When she got through to another human being, it was the same employee, who asked how much she’d like to donate.
Maman, who is rather devout, told the charming story in the picture above. She was hung up on.
She called them ten more times – she asked if the people manning the phones believed what the preacher was saying; she asked if they thought an angel could be purchased for fifty bucks, she asked to be removed from the call list. Every time the conversation deviated from money, she was disconnected. That’s when she got creative.
Fake names, cell phones, blocking caller id – all within the realm of possibility. She finally got through to someone in charge, under the name “Milly Watson†” who said that he couldn’t put her through to the man in charge, because it was quite late, and he was at home in bed. She asked why it was alright for his recording to call her quite late, when she might be in bed, every night for years.
He made the mistake of saying that it was different for them to call her. Maman, naturally, lost her shit.
We’ll see if they call her back tonight.
* I know that the Pope also has a golden throne, but Francis seems to want to strip the gold and jewels from certain, non-historic, churches, cathedrals, etc. and use the proceeds to feed starving children. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a pretty damned good use of a throne. Also, the Pope’s throne has been around for hundreds of years, and not just as a prop for the television.
†Milly and Watson are her cat and dog, respectively.