Earlier in the year — Vent #721, to be specific — I rattled off a list of people who would, I believe, greatly enhance my existence by bringing their existence to a speedy conclusion. On lists of my Best-Argued Premises, this one would not have ranked highly, but that wasn't its purpose; once in a while, I do end up using The Vent to, well, vent.

And I'm not entirely unaware of the karmic consequences awaiting me for reviving this topic. Somewhere in my distant past, I remember being cheesed off at a difficult corporate customer, and saying something to the effect of "There's no problem with these guys that can't be solved by [head honcho's name] dropping dead." (It's the Pareto principle in some Bizarro World inversion: 20 percent of our interactions produce 80 percent of our grief.) Shortly thereafter, [head honcho's name] actually did drop dead, and, to put it mildly, things did not improve.

In that previous episode, I singled out Caller ID spoofers. However, one can be a pest without spoofing Caller ID. Consider, if you will, the Zombie Debt Collectors:

[C]ollecting on old debts is a rapidly expanding industry. Aggressive companies can buy charged-off credit card accounts from the original lenders for pennies on the dollar or less. Then, they use credit-scoring and other new technologies to identify which debtors are most likely to pay. The players in this "junk debt" market range from fly-by-night outfits to well-established companies funded by Wall Street investors.

The major problem with this is not so much that bottom-feeders exist, but that they go to the absolute minimum of effort to verify things before they call. They always call; it costs too much for them to write, and besides if they sent a letter, it would identify the person from whom they're trying to collect, who very likely is not the same person whom they keep calling at regular intervals. Now a Federal court knows to whom I owe money, and under their rules, I can't be touched, so whatever record they're trying to foist off when they call me I can safely assume to be bogus. In their next lives, the spa is filled with muriatic acid, and it's open 24/7/365.

Purveyors of malware, of course, are high on my list, especially when they provide it to me. Unlike some such, the remote-controlled spam I get seems to be exclusively for pricey erectile-dysfunction tablets of probably dubious and almost certainly unauthorized provenance. Now spammers in general deserve some horrible end — crucifixion, perhaps — but spammers would not exist were there not a handful of Actual Customers. Supply and demand, doncha know.

And to be out front about it, I resent like hell being taxed to pay for someone's inability to rise to the occasion; imagine how I feel about the same someone desperately searching the Web for something, anything, that will buy him a brief ejaculation. Sorry, Poindexter, it's not my problem. Had I my druthers, you'd be granted an eternity of genital herpes, and a statement to that effect burned into your forehead, so as to warn prospective companions in advance.

Christmas being just around the corner, I think I'll leave it at that for now. There will almost certainly be more to come.

The Vent

  8 December 2011

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