"Hi, this is Kit Bond and I'm here to annoy the crap out of you!"

Column written by Martha Throebeck on Saturday, November 2, 2002

from the there's-got-to-be-a-better-way dept.

It's a heated mid-term election. The winning party will enjoy opportunities in the next two years for pork-barrel spending that exceed their wildest fantasies. The losers go home in defeat unless they can find a way overturn the results of the election through the creative use of lawsuits and fraud.

The Republicans see this election as an opportunity to thumb their nose at history and gain seats in Congress during the tenure of a sitting GOP President. The Democrats hope they can retain enough seats so that they can withstand the next two years until they can find a way to sneak one of their own into the White House.

As a result, potential voters in every state -- particularly Missouri -- have been inundated with a never-ending stream of pre-recorded, annoying telemarketing calls. In the opinion of this biased reporter, this scorched-earth policy of annoying everybody is the political equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot... repeatedly.

Here is what my morning has been like:

  • 9:01 AM -- Phone rings. "Hello, this is Amy from the Coalition Of Associated Missouruh Taxpayers That Formed A PAC To Avoid Federal Election Laws. Our organization recognizes the contributions Jim Talent has made toward reforming our tax laws and we hope that you support his candidacy for US Senate..."

  • 9:03 AM -- Phone ring. "Hello, this is Amy from the Coalition...". Hang up phone.

  • 9:13 AM -- Phone rings. "Hi, this is Kit Bond and I would like to urge your continued support for Republican candidates in this critical election..." Hang up phone in fit of angry rage.

  • 9:20 AM -- Phone rings. Pick it up and answer, "[Expletive], if this is another [expletive] political call, I'm going to take this [expletive] phone and shove it up your ass!" Voice at other end turns out to be my mother who advises me to wash out mouth with soap.

  • 10:15 AM -- Phone rings. "Hello, this is Amy from..." Hang up phone in rage, breaking phone cradle. Find replacement rotary phone from attic and plug it in.

  • 10:32 AM -- Phone rings. "Hello, this is Bill Clinton, America's first black President, calling in support of the Democratic candidate for New York Governor..." Yell in response, "I live in Missouri, you intern-bonking, scandal-loving, truth-impaired liberal freak!" Hang up phone in disgust.

  • 10:47 AM -- Phone rings. "Good morning, this is Bob from the Missouruh Campaign To Elect Jim Talent, and I would...".

  • 11:01 AM -- Phone rings. "Hello, this is Julie from the Bogby Research Company. We are taking a poll to see which Senate candidate you will vote for this Tuesday..." Repond, "I was voting Republican, but after all of the unsolicited phone calls I've received this morning, I'm voting for the Libertarian -- whatever his name is!"

  • 11:03 AM -- Phone rings. "Hi, this is Eric on behalf of the Libertarian Party. We would like you to please consider voting for our candidate for US Senate, whatever his name is..." Hang-up phone. Drive to nearest mental institute and check myself in.

I can't possibly be the only Missouri resident driven to distraction at the hands of political candidates who would do anything to get elected. The TV commercials, junk mail, and spam email are bad enough.

Of course, Missouri has a "No-Call List", but political campaigns (and many companies) were granted exemptions large enough to drive a double-wide through. While I have received fewer telemarketing calls recently as a result of the law, this also means my phone line is less likely to be busy when a political campaign calls, and I am more likely to answer it thinking it might be an actual, bona-fide call from a real, breathing human instead of a machine. As a result, Missouri's "No-Call List" has been a boon to politicians that enjoy annoying the crap out of their constituents through the use of telemarketing.

What Missouri voters need is an option on our ballots to vote for "None of the Above" so we can send a clear signal to these bastards that we've had it up to here with their attempts to waste our time and dominate our lives.

At least Mr. None of the Above won't try to call us during dinner.