Today is a good day, because I finally scored a victory over one of those telephone thieves.

I just couldn’t resist.

It started when I got one of those bogus phone calls from the Microsoft fakers and I decided to have a little fun.

The caller spoke with a thick accent, and I could hear a lot of activity in the background, tipping me off that this was another of those scams, but this time I was ready, and had a spiel of my own waiting just for them, so I went into action.

When they introduced themselves and went into their phony sales pitch, I listened patiently, wasting their time until they got to the part where they told me there was something that needed correcting in my computer, then interrupted, and said, as if I were scolding a little child, “Don’t you know that every lie you tell is a black mark on your soul, and you’ll never get into heaven when you die?”

There was a stunned silence of about two seconds, and then I got my desired result.

He hung up.

And I smiled.

Y’know, this could be the first time one of these callers was on the other end of a hangup.

Now, I don’t think for a second this will be the last such call I get, but my little gambit worked so well that I think I’ll use it the next time.

After all, fair is fair. I didn’t ask them to call, and they certainly aren’t friends, so there’s no need to be polite. Still, the best part is that I outwitted them.

As they say, "It ain’t no big thing" but this time I’m the winner, and it feels good!

That wasn’t the end of my good day.

Later, when I started to print something out on the PC, the printer balked in the middle of things, swallowing the piece of paper completely!

There wasn’t even a corner sticking out anywhere, and the more I looked, the more I couldn’t spot any way to get inside the darn machine and clean it out.

When in doubt, read the instructions, right? So I went online to the printer company’s Help Site and l found out there was a trap door I hadn’t spotted.

Opening it up, I found the answer. Lo and behold! There was the crumpled-up culprit!

Now there’s nothing to it. Just pull out the paper, make sure there’s nothing else wrong, close ‘er up, and get back to business.

It’s a good day.

Two annoyances, two easy solutions.

But Fate isn’t finished with me just yet, because there’s one more thing that needs attention, and I might as well get ‘er done while I’m on a roll, because I’ve been putting it off since it’s my turn, and I’m not crazy about vacuuming. It’s pretty high on my list of Least Favorite Things, because it’s noisy, it usually raises a dust, and that means I need to change the bag first, and that’s even dustier, which just makes me sneeze a lot, but there’s no way around it.

Twenty minutes later, I’ve changed the full bag for a fresh one, tossed the old one, and we’re ready to get it over with, so here we go.

Things go well enough until we come across one of those loose threads that no vacuum cleaner on earth will pick up.

Back and forth we go, but that thread stubbornly clings to the carpet, so I do what everybody does; I pick up the thread, place it back down and try again.

No soap. The vacuum refuses, but I’m not about to let a measly thread defeat me, so I pick it up once more, carefully place it directly in front of the cleaner, and try once more, and once more, and once more, and the thread just lies there, defying me.

Things have now reached the ridiculous stage, and I’m glad that no one is watching, but enough is enough, so I pick up the thread, throw it into the wastebasket and put that dadblame vacuum cleaner away until next time.

I’ll have to find someone else to do this, but no matter which way things go, you can bet that the next vacuum operator isn’t going to be me.

No way. When the time comes, I’ll just quietly make myself scarce.

No more vacuuming for me, and summing up, I gotta admit that I’m not exactly quitting while I’m ahead – but I’m no further behind, and that’s good enough.

Two out of three ain’t bad.


— Newton clumnist Mike Morton writes weekly for the Kansan. He can be reached at