Silly rabbit… You’re better than that
(Right? I mean… you have to be… right?)


The other day, my phone rang.

(I know. Hardly shaking the ground beneath our feet with that announcement. Phones ring all the time.)

When I glanced over to it though, the display didn’t show any information and I didn’t recognize the number. So, I ignored it and turned back to the project at hand.

(Again. Yes. Nothing unusual. Something you likely also won’t find unusual is the next thing I did…)

When I finished the work I was doing, I decided to look up the phone number to see if I had missed anything by not answering the call. This isn’t something I do all the time, but every so often, if they don’t leave a message and the number has a somewhat familiar feel to it, I wonder if a few of these unidentified calls are actually worth the time. I’m not a big believer in the possibilities when the percentage of nonsense calls from unknown numbers is higher than the legendary purity of Ivory soap. Still… you never know if a doctor’s office might have called, or if a friend used a work phone to reach out. Since most reputable places will show up when you plug their phone number into your search engine of choice… there are times when I check.

When I do check… most of the time… nothing. Which is enough to convince me I made the right decision not to answer.

Every so often though, a few details emerge. It’s a business calling from an office in a different state, such as the car you recently purchased or the gift basket your recently sent a friend. Perhaps it’s the mortgage company or a credit card provider. And quite likely, if there is some information and it isn’t something obvious to you, this is where your investigation will take a humorous turn.

If there is something, and it’s not a name you know, pretty much without question you wind up with references to scams and conspiracy theories. The links from the searches in these cases often lead to pages promising everything from phone directories to details. And that fun I promised is found in the comments, which can be outrageously funny. (And frighteningly scary.)

Usually the comments fall into one of two camps. (1) “No message. Blocked.” This group is your standard, just the facts, no middle ground group. Kind of follows the idea that if the call wasn’t invited or initiated on your end, and comes from an unknown source, nothing good can come from it. And the advice is simple: Wash the hands, down the drain, finished. (2) The gotcha. In this case, the person commenting tends to try to explain how smart they are at having discovered some nefarious evil-doer, and the steps they used to uncover the truth behind the mystery of the call. After spending several sentences covering their adventures, pretty much without exception they end up proving exactly how dumb they are.

One time, while scrolling through a few comments, I saw a person mention how the caller was her mortgage company and she asked them not to call her again. You know, she put her foot down and made her statement by telling them she wanted to be put on the do not call list.

If the comment ended there, I would be willing to give you tremendous leeway in sending along your thoughts to me. And you just might. It’s possible you would try to quote sections of do not call laws from memory, or perhaps even cut and paste exact wording defending your examples of why telling the mortgage company not to call might just be allowable.

If the comment ended there, and I was saying she was a gotcha idiot, you could build a solid argument against me.

It didn’t end there.

She said she told them to place her on their do not call list. Then, she began explaining that she figured a company of such national stature would keep better records in their computer system, since she had already told them several times she would send them a payment when she could and they were wasting their time calling her for money she didn’t have.

I’ll pause for a moment.

Because we could go on. I could tell you about the guy who claimed he wouldn’t be fooled a fourth time just because they changed the company name. I could tell you about the person that claimed to have turned the tables by not accepting the original offer and instead talked the representative into giving a better deal on the bigger (and more expensive) service package.

We could go on. There’s another possible funny little twist, and you likely are already thinking of it in some way. Are the comments real? Because lord knows we have fake commenters out there as well.

We could go on.

But I paused for a moment.

I paused because a woman requested a mortgage company place her on their do not call list because there was no need to keep pestering her. She would send along a payment whenever she was good and ready to do so, and didn’t need their calls or questions.

I suppose that’s what leads me back to the silly rabbit start of this essay. It’s not about answering phone calls or falling for scams… not about being gullible or being smart. In the end, just about all of it is about patience. It’s about clear thought. The silly idiots are just that… idiots. But no matter how we all laugh and smile and chuckle and point, funny thing, it could be any of us.

On any given day, at any given moment, each and every one of is vulnerable. We’re vulnerable because we have needs. We’re vulnerable because we have desires. We’re vulnerable because we have hot buttons and cravings and more. And the question is… simply… can you step away from that for a moment? Can you separate your motivations from your actions for just long enough to make a sound decision? Can you, without exception, do that all the time? If not… I don’t care how smart you are… you’re at risk.

Mom and I talk on the phone fairly often. And every few calls, she’ll mention an e-mail she sent me. Usually it was a link to a video or such, and she sent it with no subject line or any explanation. Just a quick e-mail to me with the link. And she’s always stunned when I tell her I deleted it. But the really funny part is that I usually didn’t even know she was the one that sent it. E-mail, no subject, link only in body section… delete. It’s automatic.

Does that make me smart? Nope. I’m just another silly rabbit… like you. In this instance, and perhaps one or two others, I just spotted the string attached to that carrot before I pounced on it.

Hopefully, I can continue making smart decisions. (But you never know when the company that sends those muffins will have another special offer. I don’t want to miss that call.)

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at