Tuesday, September 30, 2014

unusual phone scam

I was just the recipient of an atypical phone scam.  At least that's my hunch.  Mostly grounded in common sense and my fraud detection alert sensibilities.

On September 30 at 4:08 pm, I got a call from someone registered as "UNKNOWN."  Normally, I wouldn't even bother to pick up, but every so often I get unusual calls about the stampede stuff.  So I answered it.


There was a very brief pause which triggered me to start thinking --- for the love of Christ's scarred cock, it's a telemarketer.  But this call instantly got aggressive.

"Yo.  What's your name?"  The guy sounded very hostile and thuggish.  Not to get all judgmental, but he definitely had a black voice.

I reply, "Huh"

"You heard me!  Are you the guy that keeps calling my woman in the middle of the night?"

Me: "Dude, I have no idea what you're talking about."

Him:  "Stop playing with me, man.  I will kill you.  You don't know who you're messin with!"

Me:  "Hey man, you need to listen to me.  I have absolutely no idea who your woman is or what this is about.  You obviously got the wrong number.  Who are you trying to talk to?"

Him:  "You're making this worse.  I'm pissed off man.  I WILL find you.  I WILL hunt your ass down!  I'm not playin!"

Me:  "Alright.  Well good luck with that."  It dawned on me again that I was in the middle of some kind of scam.  "Well, I gotta go.  Hey man, take me off your list.  Later."  Then,  I clicked the off button.

21 minutes later I get a second call from "UNKNOWN."  I thought about letting it go to voicemail, but you know how I am.  Curiosity took over, even though I surmised it was some kind of bullshit phone crap.

I answered, "Hey, if this is that same dude, you gotta believe me, I have no idea what any of this is about."

But this time it's a woman (with a very sultry voice).  "Oh, thank you for picking up.  I really need to see you.  I haven't felt this way about anyone in a long time.  The last time we talked, I knew you were the one for me.  I just want to see you.

Me:  "Uhh, listen.  Not to burst your bubble or anything, but I have no idea who you are or what this is about."

Her:  "I just want to see you.  Please don't say things like that.  You mean so much to me.  You have no idea."

Me:  "Okay.  I get it.  You know, I'm not a complete idiot.  Take me off your list."

I hear her murmur, "Wait.  Wait."  For a second I thought it was that White Lion douchebag.

Just listen to the first 3 seconds.  There is no compelling reason whatsoever to watch that entire video.  If you feel differently, I hope you get beheaded by ISIS.

So I hung up again.

Here's my takeaway from this episode.  Normally, I would have played along just to confirm my suspicions, but they probably keep tabs on how long you stay on the line.  Plus, these days you never know.  It might be some kind of phone sex scam where they automatically bill you $19.99.

I imagine this was all a low-tech romance scheme.  Likely indicative of all those "cat-phishing I will marry you when I get my green card and away from this mess involving a threatening wealthy dictator." 

I think they suck you in with the threatening guy.  Get your pulse and heart rate moving (this part totally worked).  And then, after 20 minutes pass, you get the softer approach from the woman designed to pacify and relieve.  If I had stayed on the phone, I imagine she would have said something along the lines of "I just dumped him.  I need to find a real man like you who's going to treat me right.  If you can just send me the money for a bus/plane/train ticket, I'll be on my way and we can start our new life together.  You want that, don't you?  Don't you want me?"

The Human League crap's not as bad.  It is bad though.  Not as bad as the phone calls, but barely better than the White Lion sewage treatment crapola.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

condom dog

Lately I've been reflecting on some bait and switch schemes.  Mostly intended to spark interest and awareness regarding the prospect of artificially generated stampedes.  Go figure. 

If you wish to skip the stampede preamble, scroll down a few paragraphs.

It might sound unfamiliar, but it's really simple.  Hell, stuff your average 5th grader could decipher.  This ain't rocket science.  You wouldn't try to rescind knowledge of "stop, drop and roll" or "look both ways before you cross the street."  Nobody in their right mind would try to refute "excessive consumption of alcohol could have harmful effects on a fetus."  If there's an emergency, nobody's gonna come along and tell you, "Oh, don't bother calling 911." 

We know these things because the issues are well-defined.  If this suits your fancy, here's another one.   The government has a vested interest in discouraging people from smoking cigarettes.  Because it significantly increases your chance of developing emphysema and lung cancer.  Some might equate this with intrusive government.  Perhaps.  I think it's acceptable because it falls under the heading of helpful, common sense public safety info.  Most rational people would probably agree with that stance.  With an obvious exception for the flat-earther, tea-bagger, abortion clinic bombing types.

But what happens when the government CANNOT disclose reasonable, common sense information?  The AGS easily falls into this category.  Nobody will touch it (warning people that legit venue emergency evac orders don't come from cell phones.  If you get one, it's almost certainly a hoax designed to create a stampede).  I suppose there is one other marginal possibility.  Someone might be trying to evacuate a stadium simply for their own personal amusement.  Either way, the outcome is dire.

They won't tell you because of the catch-22.  Because if you acknowledge the problem, you own it... and if it happens, you're fucked.  Your political career, your existence, your standing, your administration --- you're totally fucked.  These days, the blame game is where it's at.  Just ask Roger Goodell.  Ask the President of GM.  Ask Hillary about Benghazi (what difference does it make).  Whenever there's a tragedy, it's all about assessing liability.  Gotta blame someone.  Trust me, I get it.

Alright Saf... enough with the painfully obvious, incessant chatter.  You sound like an Instagram junkie yapping about spicy clovular nutmegish enhancements.  Egad!  The plague of religious pumpkin rolls will soon be upon us (inside joke). 

In the past, I've come up with all kinds of aberrant, yet amusing, systemic disruptions.  A few have merit.  Others are pathetic.  Among my favorites: alliterative golf ball profanity, anagram generator sign alteration and sharpie cum dumpster.  I don't think I've ever blogged about the last one.  But I'll concede in advance.  It's exceptionally low brow/South Park.  Here's the gist of it.  Whenever you see a metallic green dumpster, whip out your handy black sharpie and scribble the word "cum" on it.  So when people walk by, they'll invariably comment, "Oh look.  It's the cum dumpster.  That's nice."  I've tested it out.  Works best at outdoor rock concerts.  The success rate is in the 20% - 25% range.  Some have even stopped to take pictures.  #cumdumpsterselfie  #garbageglorification  #whitetrashwhore

This brings me to my latest concoction.  And what could possibly be my most shining achievement to date.  That is correct.  I proudly give you...


That's right damnit!  It's a hot dog with an engorged hot dog inside.

I want people to stick them in the restrooms of upscale restaurants and hotel bathrooms.  Anywhere near the toilet, urinal, sink, Malkin hot air blower, whatever... 

Bellagio, Wynn, Phoenician, Venetian.  Pseudo-tasty mid-range dining establishments are cool too.  Outback, Cheesecake Factory, etc.  That Smokey Bones place in Robinson Township sounds spot on.

At this point it's a winner.  The only question is how to twitterize it.  #condomdog or #rubberdoggie would seem to be the best candidates.  For the esoteric... perhaps #syntheticwoof.

Picture a 4th year wedding anniversary dinner party at Red Lobster.  Austin Ray goes to take a piss.  He comes back to the table, "Woohoo!  It's gonna be a good night!  Check it.  I went to take a leak and there was a dang 'ol rubber doggie next to the soap dispenser.  Gonna get me some lovin' tonight!"

I know... right?  No losers here.  It's a win-win.

The beauty of it all --- no video cameras.  It's the only place where you can hopefully guarantee a non-surveillance environment.  Except for the Pentax upskirt weirdos.  So it becomes kind of like an anonymous lavatory mystery.  Nobody can prove shit.  And nobody's gonna voluntarily investigate or willingly touch a condom doggie.  "Dagummit, who did dat?  For Christ sake, there could be semen all up in that shit."  So it just sits there for the duration.  Well... until a janitorial representative picks up the slack.

Alright, now for the pregame.  Go to your local health department.  They give away free condoms in droves.  I already know exactly what you're thinking.  Pray-tell, if only the masses would heed their prophylactic philanthropy.

Next up.  Addressing hot dog turgidity concerns.  I suggest buying a pack of the cheapest hot dogs and hiding them deep in the freezer.  Just before you head out on the town... take out a single frozen dog and wrap that sucker up.  Then, place said condom puppy in a small ziplock bag.  Rinse, wrap, repeat.  Now you're out the door armed with a stash of condom dogs - prepped, psyched and ready to reek havoc.

Here's the best part.  As the evening progresses, the condom dog will take on a less virile, limper disposition.  This makes it even more objectionable and less susceptible to premature eradication (throwing it in the trash).

Like I said at the beginning.  The only purpose for all of this is bait and switch.  The goal of which --- every time someone sees a condom dog, they think about stampede prevention.

Idiot #1: "Dude, there was a fuckin' condom dog on the god damn toilet!"

Idiot #2: "Oh yeah... that's the West Virginia hillbilly queer who wants to prevent artificially generated stampedes.  Nobody gives a fuck about his shit, BUT MOTHER OF GOD!  He's the dude who gave us condom dog.  That's what he's known for.  And deservedly so.  He's as rich in stampede tradition as he is in spirited dog!"

Ominous shades of that Caddyshack moment.

Good stuff.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NFL Covergirl Proposition

Gigi and I were talking about social media gimmicks that could damage the credibility of the NFL.  I thought if someone high profile (like Condi Rice) were to post a video on youtube --- her cutting up her Browns jersey and requesting others do so... until Goodell's resignation or specific demands were met.  Well, that would be a big deal.

She'd never do it, but someone else might go for it.  Maybe an Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O'Donnell or someone of that ilk.

But this morning, I saw something bordering on absolute brilliance.

Then I saw this one.

IF... and I'll concede, it's a big if.  But if someone high profile could "challenge" women who feel they've been impacted by domestic violence or have a friend or relative (which basically means every woman on the planet) who is a survivor of domestic violence...

...to go into their makeup cabinet and do some touch-ups before the big game.  Well, this would be MIND-BLOWING.  Talk about an easy systems disruption.  It would resonate in ways unimaginable.

The NFL camera people would be terrified every time they pan the crowd.  They'd be scared to death that they'll inadvertently show women with punched-out eyes or bloody lips.  Talk about shining a light on an issue.  All of a sudden, ESPN, NFL Network, NBC et al are put in a ridiculously compromised position --- the inability or fear of showing stadium fan reaction.  From here on out, all you get to see is the plays on the field.  And people thought my Trent Dilfer #8 / Trent Dildo 8" secret lift-up sign was dangerous to the NFL brand.   

Normally, most women wouldn't be receptive to portraying themselves as having been beaten.  But if they have a reasonable pretense or passionate excuse for putting on that altered game face, it completely changes the stigma and ensuing dynamic.  It's called... oh yeah, that world I like to use... super-empowerment.

It's one thing to fly a #GOODELLMUSTGO banner over a stadium.

It's another thing entirely to put "boots on the ground" and create a social media frenzy.

Note: this could easily become a popular Halloween costume this year.  Watch for it.  In the meantime, here's the REAL REASON Goodell should step down.  He's a coward for refusing to address the most obvious, asymmetric national security issue faced by our nation.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

the ultimate challenge

I was giving some additional thought to the viral philanthropy concept.  You know... ALS ice bucket challenge and my idea for the motorboat breast cancer awareness challenge.   But how about one that transcends donations and profit?  OMG!  How dare you (Vince McMahon voice)!  Saf, if you remove $ from the equation, how can an act of benevolence be properly assessed and valued?

Wouldn't it be a wild experience to push the individual ethnicity/sexuality/religion/everything angle to the extreme?  Here's my idea for the next big youtube challenge.  It's a test for humanity rooted in one's faith in mankind.  And guess what?  There's no money involved whatsoever. 

I propose a video challenge with an unheralded spattering of diversity that tests "notions of trust" on an unexplored level.

Assemble your group of somewhere between 5-10 people.  Everyone must be acquaintances.  It'll probably be a work environment but not necessarily.  Now here's the catch.  Everyone should be visually different (Asian, Latino, white, mixed, black, middle Eastern, etc.).  And everyone should have a different religious identity (Catholic, atheist, agnostic, Wiccan, Rastafarian, Confucious, etc.).  Straight, lesbian, transgender, bestiality, Chrisagisexual, whatever.  Blond, bald, neck tattoo, lizard wannabe and so on.  And everyone should have different hobbies, fantasies, aspirations, etc.  Scattered agendas and political persuasions as well (Commie, Tea-Bagger, Neo-con, pro-lifer, pot smoking hippie, save the walrus and more).

The idea here is to assemble a vividly diverse, dramatically different group of friends and record a quick video on the dutiful cell phone. 

Each person gets a maximum of 10 seconds to explain "who they are" or "what makes them tick."  You can talk about your family, your education, your job, your dreams, your passion, whatever.  It's 10 seconds to explain to the world exactly what defines you as a human being.  If you're the most boring person in the world and have zilch to contribute to society... that's okay too.  Maybe you'll spend the entire 10 seconds talking about how you like to watch pro wrestling, get drunk and smoke cigarettes.

Now here's where it gets crazilla.  After the introduction phase is complete, the person who coordinated the assemblage picks a number out of a hat.

There are 3 numbers in the hat and each number represents a physical object.

#1 = Driver's license
#2 = Credit or debit card
#3 = Cell phone

At the end of the video, everyone exchanges the item du jour.  On each number is a code, that determines your exchange partner (2 gets 4, 1 gets 6, etc.).  The exchange period takes place for 24 hours or until the group reassembles the following day.  That's what makes the workplace an ideal choice.

Obviously, these items are a big deal.  Each one is specifically designed to defy the very essence of fear mongering portrayed in the news media (the prevalence of identity theft, hacking, exposure of personal data and so on).  Your personal security will be seemingly endangered and completely exposed.  Everything most people hold sacred is relinquished for a specific period of time.  That's the true essence of risk/reward.  Not the inevitability of getting cold water getting dumped on your head.  Brrrrr.  

It's evident that most people wouldn't have the stomach for this.  And that's exactly what makes it so compelling.  What if they scribble down my credit card number?  What if they scroll through my cell phone and find some ammunition to use against me.  This game involves an indescribable level of faith being placed in people who are not immediate family.      

This entire experiment could devolve into stupidity and self-implode.  However, it could become a "hot fad"  (I like that term.  Note to self: use it more often)  There would likely be conceptual spinoff groupings.  Different kinds of fisherman who use different kinds of bait.  Truck people with the Ford and the Chevy and the what not.  Various admirers of Star Trek and all that is Romulan/Klingon/Uridian.  Yeah that's right mother fucker!  The Uridians are "information dealers."  You get the drift - all kinds of angles, all hobbies, fetishes, eccentricities.  All of it.

One thing.  I think it would be important to note where everyone lives.  This gives it a necessary, provincial feel.  Maybe we'll learn that people from Bartlesville, OK are generally more trusting than people from Newark, NJ.  Tangent - they need to reveal the hometowns of guests on Maury Povich.  Seriously, how hard is it to run a tagline that reads Tallahassee, FL or wherever.  The viewing public needs to know where these barfbags hail from. 

On a semi-unrelated note, I think the "ultimate challenge" (that's what I'm calling it) would be a decent, comprehensive solution to the healing process in the aftermath of a dominipede.  Society would need to find a way to rebuild.  People wouldn't trust the government or private industry.  They'd have to rediscover their humanity.  Learning how to regroup and reconnect would be a critical component in moving forward.