Allow me a pre-villainous moment. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had run-ins with the scammers claiming to be from Microsoft. I’ve tried to take the high road. I told one guy “I’m a programmer, dude.” One time I just laughed and laughed and laughed without stopping, frustrating the guy to no end. It wasn’t as fun as I’d hoped. Yesterday one of these clowns woke me up, and the spiel was even lamer than before calling it the “Windows Anti-Hacking Center”; I just hung up on her for lack of anything clever to say.
In spite of the fact that I am not a mark, these animals keep calling. And I’m deliberately not calling them “people”, because I no longer think of them as such. They’re criminal scum who interrupt my day, and they’ve actually successfully targeted a friend of mine not long after the first time they called me. So I’ve decided I’m fed up, and I want blood.
Therefore my new goal with these swine is as follows: I want to inflict maximum emotional damage in retaliation for each call, until one of them is so bothered by the experience they deliberately take my number off the list. Will it end up back on the list again? Maybe. Lather, rinse, repeat. I have not yet tried simply telling them I’m not going to bite and they should take me off the list, but I assume that would be ineffective, nothing but a wasted opportunity.
I’m a religious man, and even apart from that wish to do no one wrong who means me or others none, but in this case I have no qualms with striking. They’re committing a terrible act and they would gladly rip off anyone who falls for their scam. Hurting them might well help somebody else, and if nothing else they deserve some kind of punishment they’re not going to get otherwise. Remember, one of my first acts as a supervillain will be to legalize hunting their ilk; so I don’t think it’s unfair to make them hurt with sharpened words. Rudeness is perfectly legal in the meantime.
There are two ways to go with this. One is the cheap shot, a phrase so offensive and foul that it will lodge in their brain like debris from a wound. I’ve considered something along the lines of “May your mother come back as my cheeseburger”, which I think might have widely offensive potential in India, but not only is that iffy, I’m not sure it’s strong enough. Whatever I choose, I’d love to translate it into the local language, but India is a pretty big place and there are many different languages spoken; I’d have no idea which one was appropriate.
Another option is to go with something deeply unsettling, possibly instigating actual fear. I don’t love that option as much, but nevertheless it remains an option. Comedian Tom Mabe did this with telemarketers sometimes, leading them down twisted paths, such as the time he asked a carpet cleaning service (who, mind you, called him) if they could get out a lot of blood. I’m not sure what would be an appropriate creep-factor trigger for most Indians, though, so this too leaves me on the wrong side of a cultural divide.
Obligatory disclaimer: If these rats were Ukrainian I’d look for ways to offend a Ukrainian. If they were French, I’d try to offend them on that basis. Chinese, I could probably deliberately reach into the vast well of stereotypes from old movies and cartoons to piss them off. And for most Americans or Canadians, I’d already know how to offend them. The point is to push buttons, any way possible.
The lesson must be taught: When you reach blindly into a basket, sometimes you get bit by a cobra. When you reach repeatedly into a basket you know has nothing good in it—for I am not their victim—you get a bear trap.