CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Boiler-Room Calls Still Roil Nerves

0

By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

Sig alert! Call the sheriff! No, scratch that. I don’t think Lee Baca wants to hear from a Japonese these days. Besides, CR2S is now in Los Angeles city territory, so let’s call Charlie Beck. [Was it ever Charles?]

On further thought, there’s no need for gendarmes. A shrink maybe, but not the cops. Dr. Oz seems like a nice guy, intelligent too. Dr. Phil? Naw, strikes me as haiseki, you know, looking-down-his-nose kinda guy, even though an Oprah discovery. And if macho man is showing too many X chromosomes, let it be known I think Judge Judy is entertaining, Dr. Ruth was a kick and Dr. What’s-her-name, the one that just passed, was the perfect original who started the whole TV stuff.

In an effort to maintain transparency, I know of these people but seldom  watch. Including Ellen, Steve, Katie, Anderson. Fact of the matter is, not being in the 18-to-49 viewing audience, CR2S and those of my ilk don’t count these days. We are ignored by advertisers as inconsequential when it comes to entertainment, dining, amusement parks, automobiles and other big-ticket items. But it bothers me not being ignored by Madison Avenue. I wouldn’t be caught with my pants down buying a product endorsed by the likes of Tiger or Kobe.

Anyway, if you were looking for a safe haven or bomb shelter, we started out with a shout out for help. Reason? Unwelcome telephone calls.

Even though retaining my old number, what was a nuisance at the old homestead on Hicks did not follow me to KRH. For whatever reason, the irritating boiler-room calls ceased upon moving to 90033. Until recently.

All of a sudden there were three in a row. The first was a recording in Español. I listened to it only to see how much of the rapid-fire spiel I could understand. Not much. No sooner did I place the receiver onto its cradle than it jingle-jangled anew.

On this call there was the tell-tale pause that follows your opening “Hello.” I think it has something to do with the rotary mechanism these operators use to make non-stop calls until one is answered. So the minute a (male) voice asked,”Is this the Hiri-toe residence?,” I disconnected. Actually, I slammed. I had registered to have these types of nuisance calls blocked years ago, obviously to no avail.

Later came the third call, at 6 p.m., a favorite hour for household promotions. “May I talk to the lady of the house?” a Don Rickles-like voice inquires. (Again there was that momentary lull after the pick-up.) Maybe because of the voice and out of sympathy for a guy who has to do something like this for a living, I patiently replied: “Unfortunately, there is no lady at this household, but I hope your next call does. Have a good day.”

I have two of those wireless contraptions connected to my land line. [I have a cell phone but never use it.] You may laugh, but I have this odd habit of taking one with me when I go to the bathroom. I mean, hey, you never know. So it is, after that last call, I am called by nature.

Upon being seated, the telephone rings. [What were the odds?]

Being preoccupied, I’ve lost some of my friendly aplomb and answer with a bored and listless “Hel-lo?”

So there I sat, berated by the caller for being a grouch as well as a hermit. Not exactly a Norman Rockwell moment.

=  *  =

Call Waiting: With the smash arrival of Yasiel Puig, we have a forgotten Matt Kemp and a forgettable Andre Eithier. As for Brandon League, unforgivable (and forlorn).

The United Kingdom celebrates the 60th anniversary of their queen’s coronation. That same date an eager, young Jappo graduated from USC. All hail.

It seems a contrite 30 Rock network is trying to redeem Ann Curry’s television career with the plum assignment of filling in for Brian Williams.

We now have a Jewish-Mexican mayor.

Cab Calloway’s real first name was Cabel. Vic Damone was born Vito Farinola. [Have you ever heard of a Japanese changing his name? I heard of one but can’t remember details.]

And let’s be honest: When did you become aware that # was a hash tag?

Losing friends is not uncommon these days. Joe T was a strawberry jam lover. And admired because he always held hands with his wife, no matter where or when. A stoic but true Hawaiian romantic.

A KRH friend, let’s call him Chikara (“strength” in Japanese), has an interest in several thoroughbred racing syndicates. CR2S is notified every time one runs. Supportive wager losses became the norm. His discomfort grew with every also-ran, so he said nothing about a recent longshot … which won … and paid $21.40. Which was followed by another … loser!

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached via email. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

Share.

Leave A Reply