Columns share an author's personal perspective.
“Hello?” I said, picking up the phone from an unknown caller.

“We’re calling about your car’s extended warranty,” said the robotic female voice on the other end of the phone.

“STOP CALLING ME!” I shouted to the Bot who clearly couldn’t hear me and didn’t care. I hit end, but wished I still had an old-fashioned phone so I could slam the receiver down with satisfaction. Not that it mattered, because the caller was a Bot and they would neither be offended nor likely to call me back and say, “Ouch.”

Meanwhile, the number of calls I received about my car’s extended warranty was out of control. As soon as I blocked one number, they switched over to another. I couldn’t not answer the phone for a variety of reasons, so I was stuck at the mercy of the extended warranty robocallers who clearly were on a mission to harass me until I bought their extended warranty, or poked my own eyes out, whichever came first.

I tried to think of what I might have done to offend the extended warranty gods. Was it because I left French fry grease on the dashboard? Or maybe because I plucked my chin hairs in the rearview mirror? Or perhaps it was because I routinely left an old cup of coffee in the cup holder for two weeks until it grew legs and could throw itself out on its own.

Wait … hold on, the phone is ringing.

“Hello?” I said answering the phone from an unknown caller.

“We’re calling about your car’s extended warranty.”

Okay, back to this column. Somehow, I had gotten on the extended warranty call list and I didn’t know how. At first, I felt special, like, maybe, they had chosen me, only me, because I was so funny on Facebook. Or perhaps it was because I could name all 50 states in 15 seconds. Or maybe it was because I had a cool dog who could say, “hello” (no, really, he can). But then I asked around and it turned out everyone I knew was getting the same calls. So that blew that theory.

Rather than focusing on why they were calling me, though, it seemed I was better off focusing on how to stop them from calling me.

I searched around but there didn’t seem to be a number you could call to report Excessive Extended Warranty Calling or Wanton Extended Warranty Abuse. I tried answering the calls with an air horn, but I'm pretty sure the bots didn’t care, although my husband did. I tried answering a call with “GO AWAY,” instead of hello, but it turned out not to be an extended warranty call and my gynecologist was deeply offended.

And then, while I was still trying to figure out how to stop the extended warranty calls, I accidentally dropped my phone in the toilet. As I cursed and fished around for my drowned phone, I realized I had actually solved my problem.

No phone … no calls.

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