Tom Mabe - Revenge on the Telemarketers, Round One
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Revenge on the Telemarketers, Round One (Virgin, 2000)

Tom Mabe

Reviewed by Robert Loy

Tom Mabe doesn't like telemarketers. Nobody does, of course. But while the rest of us just mumble "No, thanks" or - if we're real daring - hang up on them, Mabe tries to be even more annoying to them than they are to us. And succeeds utterly.

When a carpet-cleaning service calls, Mabe tells them he needs help getting blood out of the carpet - lots and lots of blood. Oh, and an alibi. When someone calls to offer a cemetery plot, Mabe welcomes the call, saying he'd been contemplating suicide and praying for a sign from God as to what he should do.

It's hilarious, cathartic and at the same time somewhat unsettling. When a researcher asks Mabe's occupation he tells her he's a porn star. She plays along and says she is too. Later Mabe calls her at home, pretending to be a supervisor monitoring calls and fires her for unprofessional conduct. Mabe is so good at what he does that unless you have a heart of stone it1s impossible not to feel a little bit sorry for these people.

Of course, if you have a heart of stone, you probably are a telemarketer. Last year Americans lost $40 billion to fraudulent phone hucksters. These people prey on the most vulnerable elements of our society, the elderly, who receive 56 percent of all telemarketing calls. It's a war, and they've got the technology to fire off 24 million calls a day. The odds for our side have just increased though. We've got Tom Mabe.

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