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."
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
"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
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
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
"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
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."