I was already in a foul mood when the telephone rang. Grumbling under my breath, I searched for, and finally located, the phone, only able to answer it after six annoying rings. My "hello" was none too friendly, but that didn't seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the person at the other end of the line.
The cheery accents only served to annoy me further.
"This is she," my tone of voice was disinterested to the point of being curt.
"You're in luck! You have been selected for one night's stay at one of our Arizona luxury real estate holdings (location to be disclosed later) - absolutely free!"
"Look, I'm not interested. There's always a catch, and..."
Rudely interrupting me, the telemarketer continued his pitch.
"Oh, no, ma'am! There is no catch. Your stay is guaranteed to be absolutely, 100% free. Now how can you pass up an offer like that?"
"Very easily," the dry reply popped out of my mouth. "Look, I'm busy, and you are wasting my time. I've already declined your gracious offer, and that is the end of the story."
"But, ma'am, surely you can't seriously..."
This time I interrupted him.
"Oh, but I can, and I am. Thank you for calling and have a great day."
I gently hung up the phone, though I really wanted to slam it down instead. Then I headed to my computer, determined that I was finally going to place my phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. I was through with telemarketers!