How to deal with bill collectors

Have you ever wondered who would come to your funeral if you died? Thanks to my wonderful mail man, Steve (that's right: I'm on a first-name basis with my mail man...we exchanged Christmas cards this past Christmas...awwww)..anyway, thanks to Steve, I have a pretty good idea as to who will be at my funeral:

a collection agent from the electric company
a collection agent from the gas company
a collection agent from AVON (<~~ha!! bet your makeup addiction isn't so bad that your cosmetics company actually sends a collection agency after you!!)
a collection agent from my (former!) mortgage company
a collection agent from Bank of America
and some creepy guy named "Mr. Brooks" who keeps calling my house. I'm figuring that he probably wants money, too, so I never return his calls.

But anyway, I'm guessing they'll all be at my funeral one day to be sure that I actually kicked the bucket & am not just trying to get out of paying my bill. And I don't blame them. I have used every trick under the sun to get them off my tail:

A couple of my favorites:

Collection Agent: Good morning, honey. Is your mommy home?
Me (though I sound very youthful on the phone): Yes
Collection Agent: Oh great! Can I talk to her, please?
Me: Okay. She in the bedroom right now. So is the mailman (sorry to get you involved in this, Steve!). I know they're awake...she's making a lot of squeelie noises.
Collection Agent: Oh no!!! That's okay!! Don't worry about it!!
Me: Are you sure? She not sleeping.... She can talk!
Collection Agent: No no no no, that's okay. I'll call your mommy later, sweetie. Have a good day!

Collection Agent: May I speak to Mr. X? (enter my last name here, though they always mispronounce it)
Me: Which one?
Collection Agent: Mr. Antonio X
Me: Is that Jose Antonio X or Juan Antonio X or Luis Antonio X?? (they don't know that there is only ONE Antonio X that lives here....and it makes it much more fun for me to hear them stumbling)
Collection Agent: I just need to speak to the one who is in charge of the billing for the **insert company's name** account.
Me: Oh...that would be Fernando Antonio X.
Collection Agent: (agitated sigh) Okay then. Is Fernando Antonio X there? (depending on the agent, enter either extreme sarcasm or about-to-burst into tears attitude here)
Me: That good-for-nothing SOB ran off just last month!! You want me to give him a message?
Collection Agent: Yes, please. Actually, can you give me his new phone number?
Me: Well, they ain't got no phone where he's at now. Do you want the address?
Collection Agent: That would be great!
Me: Okay...let me see here....I know I have it here somewhere....he's living back down in Mexico...
Collection Agent: WHAT?! He's not in the United States anymore?!
Me: Nope. He just took off. Left me with two hungry babies & just took off {insert tears and tiny sobs}. Look, ma'am, I can't find his address right this minute, but if you like, I've got a whole collection of messages that I've been writing down for him & I'm just gonna mail him the whole package next week. You want me to include a message from you, too?
Collection Agent: Never mind. Let me just mark this down in my system...'moved to Mexico' Thank you for your time & I'm so sorry to have bothered you.

And that's how I deal with telemarketers.


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