Are You Sure This is What Basho Had in Mind?

October 30, 1998

Salon Magazine sponsored a haiku contest to beautify the work of the minions of Satan, telemarketers. The idea is to express a sales pitch in a poetic manner.

I don't like telemarketers.

Anyone who has ever heard my answering machine message can testify to that.

Instead of submitting things to make their jobs easier, I submitted the following:

After reading your articles about spam on the same evening [as this contest], your challenge seems like a bad joke. [Yeah, I know, it was meant to be a bad joke. Still....] Spam has poisoned the well; telemarketers are not welcome at my number to an extent not seen before the advent of spam. The following haiku are not strictly speaking in keeping with your premise, but to conform to your premise would be to grant a legitimacy to the telemarketers that I am not willing to do. Instead, these are my replies:

Spit out that word in disgust!
Die a painful death!

Connect me to your boss, please.
Call again, I'll sue!

Sell me something? No!
I'd just as soon crawl naked
across broken glass.

It's not in keeping with the spirit of the contest, but I like my approach better.

I don't think I'll win anything, though. (I was right. I didn't.)

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Really! Want proof?