These calls are obscene

    Itís always a little unsettling when you come home after a long day and your spouse announces a desperate need to call an attorney.
    "What did I do?" I asked my wife, Fidelity, as she thumbed through the yellow pages, obviously still burning with anger.
    "Nothing," she replied. "I donít need the phone book to find a divorce attorney. I already know three who are ready to go as soon as I give the signal."
    "Thatís reassuring," I said, giving her an affectionate squeeze on her skinny, fragile little neck. "Then why do you need an attorney?"
   "I want to sue for harassment."
   "What did I do?" I cried
   "Not you. Wells Fargo."
   Now we were talking. Fidelity still appeared very upset. Whatever happened, it was obvious that Wells Fargoís billions were clearly in jeopardy.
   And if my wife was being harassed, then so was I, especially when billions are involved.
   "What did that big, mean, banking conglomerate do to you, sweetheart? It wasnít sexual harassment, was it?" I asked, my emotions flaring in several different directions, most of them noble.
   "No, more like telephone harassment. I got five calls at home today from Wells Fargo, and they were trying to reach you, not me."
   "What did I do?" I asked.
   "Nothing. They want to give you a credit card."
   I gently closed the Yellow Pages and moved Fidelity over to the couch, where I delicately sat her down.
   "Why didnít you tell them to call me at the office?"
   "Thatís my point!" she cried. "First I told them you werenít interested in their stupid credit card, and they said they wanted to hear it from you. Then I told them to call you at work, and they said theyíd prefer to speak with you at home. So they kept calling and theyíll be calling again tonight until they reach you. They just called a few minutes ago and I had it out with them."
   She paused. "I guess Iím still a little upset. Do you think Iím overreacting by wanting to sue their little pants off?"
   Now I was angry. These telemarketers, or whatever they want to be called, are getting out of control. It seems every quiet evening in the sanctity of our home is interrupted by the phone ringing with some sort of solicitation.
   Itís bad enough when some fly-by-night company disrupts your dinner by calling, but when giant Wells Fargo gets into the act, well, itís time to put your foot down.
   "Letís sue the daylights out of them!" I cried, reaching for the phone book and perhaps scaring my partner in litigation, Fidelity, with my vigor.
   "Telephone harassment for commercial gain will become the legal theory of the Ď90s, thanks to us," I continued. "We have a constitutional right to our privacy. How dare they call us in our hallowed home, selling their wares?"
   "I begged them to call you at your office," added Fidelity. "They refused, knowing youíd be more vulnerable at home."
   I held up my hand. "Save it for the witness stand, darliní. Weíre going to court."
   The fact that we were looking in the Yellow Pages for an attorney might indicate we donít go to court very often. Actually, never. But like most Americans, we sure enjoy thinking about it.
   After we had both settled down, we decided someone else had better lead the fight against home telephone solicitations. Fidelity is far too emotional.
   We closed the Yellow Pages for the last time. A few minutes later the phone rang. I eagerly picked it up, hoping it was Wells Fargo. Unfortunately, it was another solicitor, this one telling me I had won an aluminum fishing boat or something.
   Rather than launch into a tirade, I chose the routine I had seen on an episode of "Seinfeld."
   "Gee, Iím really busy right now," I said, cutting off the solicitor. "Why donítí you give me your home number and Iíll call you back later."
   "Iím sorry, sir," they replied, "Iím afraid I canít do that."
   "Why not?" I asked.
   "This is my job. We donít do business from our home."
   I glanced at Fidelity. She would have made a great witness, but this was the best we could do at the moment.
   "Well," I said into the phone, right before hanging up, "now you know how I feel."



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