Is There a Doctor in the House?
Originally published on update #106, 11/25/2005, reprinted by special request
So, I've added another alias to my repertoire. In addition to Conceited Jerk, Kotatsuneko (which rarely gets used anymore), Dezorian (on certain mailing lists and newsgroups), Pope Antiquitus I (my Discordian name), and Royal Bastard, I am also known as Dr. Turnip Q. Moron on ********** Groups (the "Q" stands for Quinine, the ingredient that gives tonic water that awful taste!).
The good Doctor first came into being one cold February morning a couple of years ago. I was registering an operating system (Solaris 7) online, and I didn't feel like using my real name (although for some unfathomable reason, I used my actual address). So, I used "Turnip" for the first name, "Q" for the middle initial, "Moron" for surname, and "Dr." for salutation (I'd originally intended to put "Ms.", but the mouse slipped). So I hit "send" and my newly formed identity's personal information was sent to the manufacturer.
A couple of months later, I received a letter in the mail. It was an application for a credit card, addressed to Dr. Turnip Q. Moron"... It started out with "Dear Dr. Moron," and frequently called my alter ego by first name.
"Turnip, you won't find lower interest rates on any other card..."
The introductory letter was a right hoot to read! I was in tears for hours from laughing so hard! It was pretty obvious that the letter had been completely computer generated, and it's likely no human checked the thing... print, process, put into envelope, send. No humans required, the perfect model of industrial-commercial efficiency.
I blame the human element, however, for the doc not receiving any telemarketing calls. Someone has to check those lists! Although if he did receive a call or two, I imagine I'd handle them with my usual lack of decorum, and an impenetrable, indeterminately foreign false accent:
Operator: Good evening, how are we doing this evening?
Doc: I am fine.
Operator: Good. My name is Janet, and I'm with Meiwaku Research Associates. Am I speaking to Turnip Q. Moron?
Doc: (angrily) Whaaa? Moron?!! Ees pronounze MORONE!!! How dare you!
Operator: (mortified) Uh... oh... my goodn- errr... I'm terribly sorr--
Doc: (yelling into earpiece) I don' wan' to hear eet! (slams phone down)
Oh, the fun I could have...
Incidentally, meiwaku means annoyance in Japanese, which, as I'm sure most people would agree, suits telemarketers to a tee. I swear, these people come from the same rung of Hell as salespeople, prop comedians, labour unions, communists, and drunks on the bus.
That's why I love Caller ID and voice mail ;)