The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

A Game Of Phones
by Dave Collins

I received a call from a man with a thick accent informing me that my computer had recently came under a severe security threat. This had to be a scam and I should have hung up but played along just to see what would happen. He assured me that he wasn’t selling anything and there’d be no cost. He directed me to go to my computer where I was to find the key identified as Ctrl and another labeled Alt and then press those to keys at the same time along with the digit 7. It may not have been this exact combination but something like it. He asked if I was doing that.  I replied yes. 

He then asked if I had a new screen on the computer. I replied no. He advised trying it again. I told him I did with the same results. A pause on his end of the phone followed, which I quickly capitalized on. I asked if he would call me back after I did a disk clean up and run the defragmentation program. Yes, he’d happy to, said goodbye and hung up. The conversation on my end had been fictitious. I’d been standing on a stepladder waxing the top of my Jeep the whole time. I lied, of course, but so did he. That kind of makes us even. I may have won the game by a notch though. While I had him on the phone he wasn’t calling someone else who may have fallen for this scheme, whatever it was.

That should have been the end of the story, but wasn’t.

Two days later came a call from the same caller, same accent, which began with the same pitch about computer security with mine being at a particularly high risk. Am I at home? Yes.  Actually I was in the Wal-Mart cracker isle searching for a box of Cheez-its, the kind with the Scrabble letters on them. I assured him that I had no concerns about any risks or computers. He began a lecture about how the security protection one buys doesn’t cover everything. I had to interrupt his monolog. 

“Sir”, I said. “I don’t even have a computer. I heard those things cause cancer and wouldn’t have one in my house. Besides that, it might kill my dog.”

This time, I received no polite goodbye, only a click. I doubt he’ll call again, though I kind of wish he would. If he did I’d take on the role of a senior with a few memory problems and a lot of money. I’d want his product or service in the worst way but couldn’t quite get the credit card information right even after six or seven tries. It might be an interesting way to spend forty-five minutes or so and get the material for my next story.