by Angela Kubinec

Dear Editor,

The following text is a summary of an essay I have attached. I hope you will consider it for publication in your magazine, “Aggressive Simplicity.” I have enjoyed your publication for many years and it has improved my quality of life with articles like “Stop With the Coupons: They Make You Look Like a Cheapskate” and “Why It’s Okay to Make Other People Wait.”

Because your personal boundaries likely prevent anyone from wasting your time, I have outlined the essay very briefly below (I struck 257 words). The focus of my work is on ways to lie to telemarketers in a fashion that insures they will quit calling. My query is written in the form of a list because I think is a good way to keep you from destroying this letter immediately. Standard form queries can lack simplicity. Some examples follow.

Tell the telemarketer the target of the call:

died three days ago. Feign near-tear voice.

has cheated on you with your best friend and you never want to hear their name again. Be angry.

has gone on a mission trip with your church to Honduras and that all your giving is focused there. Sound proud and happy.

has just been sentenced to several years in prison. Hesitate shamefully.

has been in an accident and their jaws are wired shut. This may invite future calls, so be prepared.

wiped out your savings by donating it to Scientology, of all stupid things. Pretend derision.

There are numerous other ways to deflect telemarketers permanently using the method of aggressive shameless lies, and others appear in my precise essay which can be read in less than two minutes. As we have all experienced the ineffectiveness of the “do not call” registry, the tactical passive-aggressive lie method is the best approach. And it is fun to stun people who use your time without your permission.

I hope you will enjoy the article in full, and implement this method of throwing innocent people off in your own dealings. They frequently express shock and sympathy. The joke is on them.

Ida Willems


Angela Kubinec is a native of South Carolina who holds a Physics degree from the College of Charleston, and taught Mathematics for eighteen years. Her work has appeared in Carve Magazine and elsewhere.