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    Telephones used to be easy. You looked up a number, dialed it, talked with the person on the other end of the line, and hung up. The only aggravation was the occasional prank that kids pulled on Halloween. Usually, one of them called, said something stupid such as, “Is Mickey Mouse there?” They all giggled and then hung up..ONCE!

    Last week, my phones were gas lighting me—-trying to drive me crazy!

    Tuesday evening, as I was drifting off to sleep, a loud alarm blew me out of my bed. Was the house on fire? No!  I ran lickity split all over to find out what was happening. The noise quit. I stared at my home fire alarm, but it was silent. The house was dark. I went back to bed, and the piercing alarm went off again. I leaped out of bed and realized that the screeching was coming from the innards of my purse. I grabbed the handbag, opened it, and saw that my tiny, dumb cell phone was shrieking at the top of it’s inner lungs. It was an, “Amber Alert.”
    Someone was missing, somewhere, but obviously not in my house. I disabled the function, and prayed that I could go back to sleep and that the missing person would be found—but not on my property.

    Cell phone problem fixed! However the next day, I got a call on my landline from myself. Yes, my name and phone number were calling me. Strange call indeed, but I was sure that I wasn’t calling myself. I ignored it the first time—the second time—the third time, but on the fourth call, I picked up the phone. No one was on the other end of the call..except me..maybe. Throughout the day, I kept calling myself..NOT!

    I finally called Comcast, my landline provider, and gave the Comcast Robot all of the information about me, my account and life history, before I was finally connected to a live person in the Philippines. When I describe the problem to him, he suggested I block the number. I replied, “If I put a block on the number, no one will be able to call me, because it’s my own number.” “Oh,” he replied, and connected me to the Big Cahoone, in the Philippines,
    who helped me register on my computer to NOMOROBO.

    Now, the phone rings once, and Mr. NOMO gives a karate chop to the ROBO and I am treated to blessed silence.  Finally, I found technology that I like..So Far!

    Esther Blumenfeld

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