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Tom Mabe

Revenge on the Telemarketers, Round One – 2000 (Virgin)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Tom Mabe

Tom Mabe doesn't like telemarketers. Nobody does, of course. But while the rest of us just mumble "No, thanks" or - if we're real daring - hang up on them, Mabe tries to be even more annoying to them than they are to us. And succeeds utterly.

When a carpet-cleaning service calls, Mabe tells them he needs help getting blood out of the carpet - lots and lots of blood. Oh, and an alibi. When someone calls to offer a cemetery plot, Mabe welcomes the call, saying he'd been contemplating suicide and praying for a sign from God as to what he should do.

It's hilarious, cathartic and at the same time somewhat unsettling. When a researcher asks Mabe's occupation he tells her he's a porn star. She plays along and says she is too. Later Mabe calls her at home, pretending to be a supervisor monitoring calls and fires her for unprofessional conduct. Mabe is so good at what he does that unless you have a heart of stone it1s impossible not to feel a little bit sorry for these people.

Of course, if you have a heart of stone, you probably are a telemarketer. Last year Americans lost $40 billion to fraudulent phone hucksters. These people prey on the most vulnerable elements of our society, the elderly, who receive 56 percent of all telemarketing calls. It's a war, and they've got the technology to fire off 24 million calls a day. The odds for our side have just increased though. We've got Tom Mabe.