Phone Calls

Sometimes it's twice in an evening, then maybe weeks will pass before it happens again. The phone rings, in the middle of a family dinner (yes, we still have family dinners), or when the only person at home is taking a shower, or in the middle of a complicated piece of work, or a long chat, or a good book. Someone wants to sell us something, or wants us to contribute to a good cause.

Advertising makes the world go round. Much that's good in our society depends on persuading people to contribute to nonprofit organizations. But this is outrageous. Just plain rude. If someone sends us something in the mail or buys an ad in The Times, we can pay attention to it when we want to. But we have to deal with the phone when it rings, no matter what is interrupted.

If you feel the same way, don't take it out on the person making the call. It's probably a student in debt, aspiring actor or actress, single parent, or other deserving person trying to make a few bucks. But remember: Advertisers and fund-raisers use this barbarous method because it works. If enough of us refuse to listen to phone pitches, they'll stop.

You don't have to be rude. We just say, "I'm sorry, we don't accept telephone advertising," or "I'm sorry, we don't accept telephone appeals, no matter how good the cause," and hang up.

Is anyone with us? We hope so. Don't bother to call. JACK and CONNIE WILLS South Pasadena

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