Call Me Lazarus

My ongoing battle with telemarketers continues.

I don’t know why they love to bother me so much. It’s as though I won some sort of lottery where the grand prize is daily harassment instead of a few million dollars. I have tried every trick in the book to shake them, but nothing has ever worked. A few months ago I even died, but I must have risen, Lazarus-like, because after a one-week reprieve they were hounding me as if resurrection were a perfectly normal and acceptable thing, no more unusual than ants invading a picnic or politicians bending the truth or [insert cliche of choice], trying to sell me Viagra.

That’s another thing. It’s always Viagra or Cialis they are pushing. Maybe Levitra on occasion. Talk about rising again! I’m trying not to take this personally, but it would be nice if just once they offered me pills that weren’t blue, you know what I mean? Maybe a medication designed to decrease my studliness or something. My ego can only take so much bruising.

Earlier this week, after yet another phone call in which I toyed with them a while before growing bored and hanging up, my coworker suggested the next time they call, I tell them I have a terminal illness. “Maybe that will be enough to convince them to stop bothering you,” she said. I had my doubts. After all, if dying didn’t do the trick, would dying in the near future work? Still, it was worth a shot.


I didn’t have long to wait. I never do, unfortunately. The next morning, there they were, calling me like clockwork. This is how the conversation went.

Them: Are you currently taking any medications, sir?
Me: Yes. About 57 pills a day.
Them: That’s a lot of pills. Can we interest you in some Viagra or Cialis?
Me: I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass. I’ve just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. My doctor has given me three months to live.
Them: No problem.

This pissed me off. What nerve, right?! I was legitimately angry over this guy’s blase attitude about my impending death and got so caught up in my own sob story, I forgot that my illness was fake and I wasn’t actually dying. This caused me to go off on him a bit.

Me: “No problem“?! Maybe not for you, but you’re not the one dying. I am! It’s a big problem for me!
Them: I understand, sir. When would be a good time be to call you back?
Me: I don’t think you understand at all. Given that I will be dead and buried in less than ninety days, I’m thinking a good time to call back would be NEVER. Unless, of course, you can sell me a pill that will cure death!

I seriously cannot believe this guy was trying to sell boner pills to a person staring down his own mortality. I mean, I essentially told him I’m going to be dead before Christmas, and he’s still hawking those little blue pills. I dunno. Maybe he thinks I want to go out with a bang?

At least my coworkers found the whole scene entertaining. Nothing like a little bit of levity to break up the monotony of the day, I s’pose.

Yesterday was our 3rd wedding anniversary. It was pretty much just an ordinary day for us – work, grocery shopping, etc. It’s tough to celebrate when it lands in the middle of the week like that, though we did go out to dinner here. Great meal, by the way.

We actually celebrated last weekend with a three-night getaway to the Oregon coast. Ended up renting a house in Yachats, an area we had never been to before, and had a wonderful time. This home was situated on a bluff with a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean and downtown Yachats (pronounced Ya-hots) and was gorgeous – hardwood floors, fully appointed kitchen with modern appliances, gas fireplace, clawfoot tub, slate shower, large deck. The works. All for only $125 a night, which isn’t much more than you’d spend on a motel room. We spent one day exploring the area and hiking, and another day relaxing and reading. Turned out to be the perfect little retreat. We definitely plan to go back. Feel free to check out my pics on Instagram if you are interested (adios.ghost).

Until next time…

Wait. I’ll be dead soon. I keep forgetting!


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

14 thoughts on “Call Me Lazarus

  1. I say no to heart association. I have heart disease. I say no to cancer. I have cancer in remission. Cops, no, been arrested half dozen times ,. Then there’s “to stop hungry children”. Does that mean stop giving them food ?


  2. You need to specialize your comebacks.
    For instance,
    THEM: “Good day, sir. I’m calling on behalf of ABC Window Replacement Inc. and would like to give you a free estimated…”
    YOU: “I’m sorry. I rent. I have no say in what kind of windows I have.”
    THEM: “Hello, sir. Would you be interested in free samples of Erecto-Pill?”
    YOU: “I’m sorry, but I’m actually transgender and will be having my penis removed very soon.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HA. Yes! I am so going to use that last example next time!! So long as my boss isn’t within earshot, of course….

      Every time we go through Costco and the gutter salesmen try to sell us their product, I tell them I live in either a teepee or an igloo. Works like a charm always!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gotta admire telemarketers who know how to cling to a call script. And by admire I mean pity those poor souls chained to a 2 x 2′ cubicle forced to make call after call while their supervisors get to play big brother in the other room. And by pity, I mean loathe and despise the entire industry that keeps them employed.


  4. What the hell? I’ve never heard of someone selling pharma by phone! And isn’t it a HIPAA violation to ask you what meds you’re on? That’s just some crazy crap! Since we’ve got NOMOROBO, our telemarketing calls have gone down by 75%. It’s been a godsend.

    And a happy anniversary to you both! XO


    1. It would be a HIPAA violation in the U.S. for sure. This is a Canadian pharmacy (though oddly enough, the people that call me always speak in a thick Indian accent) so I’m sure our laws don’t apply.

      What’s NOMOROBO?


      1. It stops robocalls. When we get one, it rings once and then stops. Get at least three a day!
        It’s free for our landline. Not sure about cell phones. I rarely get any sort of spam on my cell, but I don’t give out the number to anyone but close friends. It’s why I keep the landline.


  5. “Them: I understand, sir. When would be a good time be to call you back?”

    OMG, Mark, they are friggin’ HEARTLESS, aren’t they? I can’t believe that was his response!!! Yup, it would have pissed me off too!

    REALLY enjoyed your photographs of your Anniversary weekend trip to the Oregon Coast. They were all stunning! I could tell you and Tara had a great time!

    Happy Anniversary to you and Tara!


  6. You have a lot of hope ahead of you. You’re a beautiful soul.

    Living with HD (Huntington’s Disease) is hard. I know I’m only 23 years old, but the majority of my life consists of a battle between depression, anxiety, and reality.

    I knew that I was going to test positive. In some ways it was a relief because I had an explanation for my bouts of insanity. In more ways, it was a nightmare. A nightmare that lived and breathed through me and my family.

    My mother is my life, and watching her turn into someone I don’t know causes me to have a mental breakdown at least once a day…on top of an overload of classes at a university that curses me with a financial responsibility I don’t know I will be able to carry through.

    It’s hard to get out of bed. The worst kind of sickness is a disease that consumes your mind. So you might have regular mental illnesses, and then you have mental illnesses caused by HD, and then you have to carry the burden of being a caretaker, finishing school, and becoming sick yourself. Not to mention the fear of never finding a husband who wants to deal with your degradation; and even if you were to find someone, you would have to carry the guilt of handing him the responsibility of taking care of you.

    And what about kids? I’ll be 24 in two weeks, and I was always sure that I’d be married with kids by now. But to ensure that they are healthy costs more money than the debt I’ve surrendered to in exchange for an education. I’m only growing older.

    Time is my greatest enemy. You can’t fight him. There is no winning. And the worst part is, people attempt to provide comfort in the phrase, “It’s all in your head.”
    I can’t imagine feeling worse. I can’t imagine being taken care of. I had a dream that I was in the later stages, and it was horrible. I couldn’t even tell my dad “I love you.” I couldn’t stop moving. There was no rest. And I am petrified.

    The only comfort I find is in my HD community. I find solace in reading other people’s stories and knowing that I’m not alone. I love all of you more than you can imagine because we are the same. We understand each other, and empathy is HD’s greatest reward. It has given me a family.

    So please, share your story. It will give strength and hope to others who are suffering…people like me. I urge you to let your voice be heard. I’m tired of being silent, and I know you are too. Speak for those who are too afraid. We are a family.


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