I’ve been thinking about going off-the-grid, if only I could figure out where off-the-grid is.
The fact is, I have no idea of its location or circumstance, barring one where flowers to the family might be appropriate, and where the term “live streaming” would be somewhat of a contradiction.
But given the nearly complete intrusion into our mortal lives by tech companies, phone service providers, government, retailers, spammers, scammers, robo-callers and other nosey whatnottery, “dead streaming” and other forms of communication with the deceased can’t be too far away.
“Hello. This is Bob’s Big Pharmacy advising you that we called and called about your prescription, but noooooo, you kept hanging up and now look where you are.”
That’s right, there could come a time when you’re drifting peacefully among the clouds only to realize, “Hey, these aren’t just clouds, they’re The Cloud.”
“Good Morning. We see you took a quick peek into Hell on your travels. Here are some items there that may be of interest to you.”
Whether it’s Hell or Hell Prime, with guaranteed one-day delivery and reward points, I’m not interested, which is why I’ve been looking for a place-off-the grid that does not entail anyone having to buy floral arrangements shortly after the moment of my arrival.
Really, it’s the robo-calls that drive me crazy, because I have yet to find a way to stop them on the house phone.
What I mean is I’ve become adept at blocking calls on the cell phone and spotting and deleting hucksters, linksters and trackers who arrive via email.
When, for instance, the email preview pane shows, “Hi, my name is Vishlu, and I say to you many bulldogs for sale I have,” I’m pretty sure it’s not legit. Either that or it’s a secret message from Yoda.
Similarly suspect are any emails that lead with “Girls From China.” You just hit “delete” and move on.
But robo-calls? All I can say is thank goodness we’re registered on the “Do Not Call” list. Otherwise, we would be receiving 50 calls a day rather than the usual 49.
No kidding. The house phone one Saturday rang through eight quarters of college football, the Great British Baking Show (Scones R’ Us) and well into Pit Bulls and Parolees (Tats and No Cats).
Sure, I could have taken the phone off the hook, but then I might have missed that one real phone call: “Hi, this is Missy Plum Lu of China, and I like to …” Just kidding.
The fact is, a recent report from a phone tech company says half of all phone calls to your household in the New Year will be robo-calls or some other kind of automated solicitation that doesn’t care if the baroness of British bakers is just about to announce the winner of the Game of Scones, which means that somebody has to come up with a robo-answerer.
I don’t mean an answering machine, with its standard, “Hi, I can’t come to the phone right now ...” I mean something that will track down the source and send its bony telephony to a place where the sun doesn’t shine.
“Thanks for calling. You are now being redirected to off-the-grid. Flowers to follow.”