Blogger’s Note: The first time I took one of these calls I was terrified.
I spent the better part of my thirties in a briar patch of debt. I didn’t owe a lot, but I wasn’t making a lot, paid child support and owed a lot of different companies (mainly utilities) small amounts. Then I went into default on my student loans which, if you’re not familiar with the caste system of credit, is less preferable than being declared “dead”. I have since fought my way back to mediocre credit, but I still get calls from credit companies demanding money for debts I’ve challenged or paid off years ago. I also have scammers calling me posing as creditors.
I’ve gotten over the fear after some research into how they work. Now…(Answer call)
Dude: May I speak with Mr. Jason Smith, please?
Me: (immediately know where this is going) May I ask who is calling?
Dude: Is this Mr. Smith?
Me: I assume I may NOT ask who is calling. That’s not very nice of you.
Dude: This is David with [redacted] about an important legal matter that has come across my desk and it is urgent that you resolve this issue immediately today because a process server is on his way to your place of business right now with a warrant for your arrest related to your property at [redacted, but I’ve never lived there]. Now, sir, you have one opportunity to stop the server from coming to your office…
Me: A process server? Oh. Dear. With an arrest warrant? Well, we can’t have that.
Dude: It is important that you resolve this matter of $625.75 today. Are you willing to pay your obligation and avoid being arrested at your place of business?
Me: My place of business is the International Space Station. Are you sending the server up in a rocket?
Dude: Excuse me?
Me: I am currently in low Earth orbit, David. It might be easier if you contact my attorney and send him the paperwork and we’ll work it out when I get back. That’s if we can destroy this asteroid before it hits…oops, I wasn’t supposed to say anything about that.
Dude: (pause) Mr. Smith? I am trying to assist you from being arrested today. Do you wish my help or not?
Me: Sure. What’s the case number? Who is the plaintiff?
Dude: I do not have that information. You will need to call the 800 number I’m about to give you.
Me: Oh good. I’ll forward that to my lawyer and the local sheriff’s office and they can call for me. I’m a little busy saving the world.
Dude: You may not wish to do that. You may want better to settle this matter quietly.
Me: Really? I’m sure they’ll both be interested to learn someone is acting on arrest warrants without them. What’s your last name, Dave?
Dude: Sir, if you contact the police directly they will be forced to enforce the arrest warrant. You will not want that, I think.
Me: That’s okay. There’s no Space Sheriff in my jurisdiction anyway. And if things go “boom” it won’t matter anyway. Your last name, Dave?
Dude: Will you take down this number, please?
Me: By the way, are you within a thousand miles of Mongolia?
Dude: Mr. Smith…
Me: Because if you are, I envy you. If this thing hits you won’t even realize it. Me? I get to sit up here with five desperate assholes and watch the world burn.
Me: I mean, you’ll see it coming. You’ll look up and see this giant gray peanut rising in the east…just getting bigger and bigger until it’s like the only thing in the sky and then… “Squish”. The entire atmosphere will crush you with the asteroid still like ten miles up. Maybe the oxygen will ignite first…not sure how all that stuff works. I’m just the trigger man on the nukes. If I’m lucky, we’ll be screaming over Asia when it hits and get obliterated when the planet’s core reaches up and boils us alive. Otherwise we’ll be orbiting the ruins of Earth until we run out of air or eat each other.
Dude: You are…
Me: …probably eat each other after drinking all the scotch. Space scotch.
Dude: Why you lie to me, sir? You are in trouble and are making jokes.
Me: You have to have a sense of humor when you’re sitting on 500 megatons of atomic death facing a rock the size of New Jersey. If we do survive this, the radical freons bleeding from the warheads will kill the five of us within a year. I’d almost prefer it if we can crack this rock open, come home and just take a bullet to the head. I mean do you know what happens to a person soaking up this many RADS? I might come home looking like Sloth from The Goonies. I’ll be shitting bones. Commander Cornholder just wants to get naked, open the airlock and die jerking it fifty miles above the burning Earth.
Dude: … So you are not willing to settle this debt today?
Me: How about I settle it by saving the god-damned world, Dave? How about I drive these nuclear warheads into the heart of a mother-fucking asteroid and keep you and your whole debt collection scam from becoming cosmic vapor? Call it even, there, slappy?
(end of call)