“Can You Hear Me?”

Are David and I the only ones who still have a landline?

I’m not sure why we do, but if I asked David, he’d patiently explain it to me while my eyes glazed over and I nodded as though I were actually listening. Then later on, I’d ask him again because I wouldn’t remember anything he said, and he’d say he already explained this to me. Then he would ask a silly question like, “Weren’t you listening?” So, I figure I’m better off just not asking.

Anyway, I woke up with our landline ringing last Wednesday morning. Early. Most of the time it’s people wanting to sell us something we’re not interested in. Occasionally, though, it’s a doctor’s office.

Also, my dad will call that number when he wants to get in touch.

I really haven’t heard much from Dad since he was an utter jerk to me several months ago. I wrote about it on Wayward Sparkles, but it wasn’t my finest hour — more therapy than anything — and … well, I’m not interested in re-hashing any of that.

Now, Dad and I are more or less estranged.

He’s only called me once since — to brag about something expensive he’d bought. That was a couple of months ago. I told him I was happy for him and it was nice hearing from him, too. He called mostly to brag, though. He also mentioned that he was using his neighbor’s phone because his phone “broke.” Then he admitted he’d gotten mad (presumably at his phone) and slammed it to the ground. “So if you try and call me, it doesn’t work anymore,” he said. After that, he needed to go.


That’s a couple of the reasons we keep the landline, I suppose. Just in case Dad calls. Or a doctor’s office. And whatever other reasons David might have in mind.

And maybe because it’s been so long since I’ve heard from Dad, when the phone rang so early, I thought for half a second it might be him. I looked at the screen to see who it was. “Law Offices.” I took a deep breath and answered, wondering why “law offices” would be calling us — and first thing in the morning, too.

This could not be good. I worried it might have to do with Dad.

“Hello,” I mumbled, barely awake.

The woman on the other line said something like, “Blah, blah, blah … Access Health….”

Crap. It was one of those calls. The call says one thing, and then you answer and it’s someone else. Ugh.

Then the woman said, “Can you hear me?”

Could I hear her?

That was an odd question. We never have problems with hearing others or others hearing us over OUR LANDLINE. My cellphone? That’s a whole other story. Don’t get me started on the connection issues it has! But never our landline.

Okay, that’s another reason we keep the landline. Cell reception is lousy in our house.

Anyway, my ears perked up. Even in my sleep-addled state, I knew better than to say, “Yes.”

I hung up.

There’s a scam going around where the caller tries to get the recipient of the call to say the word “yes.” This isn’t a new scam, although, I’d never heard of it before last week when Lauren and I were discussing this. I think I heard or read about it online or the TV, and I wanted to make sure she knew about it. She had. Then she told me not to ever say the word “yes” over the phone to a stranger.

We already don’t confirm or deny any personal information when we get calls. Now, we can’t even use the word “yes.”

What is this world coming to?

Apparently, once the caller has you recorded saying “yes,” that opens up a world in which nefarious scammers can do all sorts of things to make your life a living hell.

Life’s hard enough. No thanks.

I was discussing this with a friend and asked if she’d ever heard of this scam before. She said that these scammers tend to target older people.


How old do these scammers think I am?! Don’t they know that fifty-something is just the more interesting side of twenty-something?

My friend told me this is a huge problem in Florida, which is where her dad lives. He fell victim and she had to go out there and sort things out. Someone had used his voice to authorize fraudulent charges.

Anyway, it’s fortuitous that Lauren and I discussed this last week. I’m thankful I was alert enough to not fall prey early on a Wednesday morning. Otherwise, I fear that 2024 would not have gotten off to a good start.

Before last week, I wouldn’t have thought twice about saying “yes” to a “Can-you-hear-me” question.

Not anymore.

“No” is going to be my go-to word from now on. Damned scammers. They’re turning me into a curmudgeon long before my time.

Surely by now my Dad’s replaced his old phone, but he hasn’t called me.

It’s too bad it wasn’t Dad who’d called. I could have told him not to ever say “yes” over the phone. Knowing Dad, though, he’d probably do it, anyway. Like me, his eyes tend to glaze over when someone goes into too lengthy of an explanation — or tells him not to do something. In hindsight, maybe his not calling is for the best.

Hope he’s doing well.


So do you still have a landline? Any particular reason?

Do you know anyone who’s fallen victim to this or other scams? (Details, please!)

How is December going for you so far?!

And music —






24 thoughts on ““Can You Hear Me?””

  1. We still have a landline…of sorts. I think it’s considered a landline. Anyway, we have a MagicJack phone because we rarely use a phone for calls. It makes no sense to pay out the yin-yang for something we barely use. The MagicJack costs us $40 a year. Sometimes the reception is spotty because our wifi isn’t the best. We get calls from doctors, clinics, vet, etc., and we don’t give the number out to just anyone. I usually give my cell phone number for people I may not necessarily want to talk to so I can screen the calls. I hate, I mean really, really hate talking on the phone. My teenage self would be aghast!

    • Hey Deb,
      Isn’t it funny how we change so much from when we were teens? We rarely give any of our numbers out to anyone, but scammers and robo-calls seem to find us on both landline and cellphones these days! I don’t remember this being an issue growing up in the 70’s or the 80’s. But what a huge problem now! Hugs, Mona

  2. Hello, Mona! We just, just, just bid adieu to our landline after months of debating. It became a nuisance for all the reasons you mentioned — most everyone who needs to reach us knows how to do so on one of our cell phones. My disabled sister, Lisa, was the most confused because she still isn’t quite sure about cell phones – preferring the certainty of a landline and being able to picture us at home when we’re speaking with her.
    Thanks for the reminder about scammers and that ‘can you hear me’ ploy. Sigh. ☹

    • Hey Vicki,
      When people we love have issues as things in life change, it can be challenging. The reason I don’t Zoom is because my son who has autism made me promise not to. He was incredibly upset and adamant at the time, and so I promised. Some I know have been annoyed with me, but I haven’t missed that technology, so far! Hugs, Mona

  3. Landline went away years back but the connection is still around in case we want to fire it up again…I don’t see that happening…cell phones have changed the world to be sure. For the better? Not so sure…especially with the scammers everywhere. We get our fair share.

    • Bruce,
      I’m not at the point where I’m ready to go back to the days of rotary phones, but I’m much more wary of just how great tech has made life. A lot of good things, yes, but a lot of not so good either.
      Have a great week ahead, my friend! BTW, what happened to the Eagles last week? Well, it happened to us when we played San Francisco, too. Looking forward to this evening’s game! I think. 🤔 Mona

  4. We haven’t had a landline in years. But when we did, we got plenty of spam calls. So much so, we never answered the phone. Once we realized no one (other than the damned spammers) we knew was calling it; we pulled the plug. But they are now attacking our cell phones. I just never, ever answer. Ever. I figure if they can’t speak to me, they can’t trick me into saying yes! 😉

    And I had heard about the “yes” thing a few years ago; but it’s good to be reminded.

  5. Gigi,
    David’s in the camp of — if he doesn’t know who’s calling, then they can just leave a message. And I agree with that — mostly. Still, I have a fear that someone will need one of us and that loved one will have to use someone else’s phone…and we’ll miss their call because we’re not answering. 😢 Totally irrational, I know, but it’s something I just can’t shake. Have a great week ahead! 😀

  6. I’m sorry to hear about all the trouble with your father. And sorry you’re getting scam calls that are trying to make you answer affirmatively. We do still have a landline but the beauty of caller ID is that if a number pops up that I don’t recognize I just don’t answer. Most people who really need to reach me for legitimate reasons are going to call my cell phone anyway, and it works fine even though I’ve been tempted on a few occasions to slam it down.
    And speaking of that things were going great until just a few minutes ago when I got a new computer. This mostly seems to be a good thing but the display is different, so I’ve got to get used to that, and I need to restore all my settings. Technology. Ain’t it a thing?

    • Hey Chris,
      It takes a minute to re-adjust to something new but you’ll do it in no time flat. But how exciting to get a new computer! Hope the rest of your week is peachy! (Provided that you like peaches!) 🙂 Mona

  7. I have not heard of that scam! We do not have a landline, but we did right up until July of this year, when we moved. Honestly, I can’t remember why we kept it. Oh wait, yes I do. It was because we had a digital phone line that was bundled with our cable/ internet/ whatever package, and it was some kind of ridiculous thing that if we got rid of the landline our actual monthly bill would go UP. What even. Anyway, the only people who ever called that line were telemarketers, scammers, and the library. I could have changed with the library, but by that point I just didn’t care anymore.
    Sorry about your dad. Sometimes it is just better to be estranged, but that doesn’t make it any less fraught.

    • Nicole,
      Now that you mention it, I think we have that same bundle thing. And I’m sure that’s David’s reason for keeping it. Ha! Also, me, too, about my dad. Have a great week ahead! Hugs, Mona

  8. We didn’t have a landline for years…until we moved to Minnesconsin. Apparently it has something to do with being sort of out in the country and needing it for our internet (per Mr. None of the Above, though I don’t recall specifics. Like you, my eyes glazed over while he was explaining it to me). We bought an actual phone but haven’t plugged it in. I couldn’t even tell you what my phone number is! Anyway, I’m sorry about the estrangement with your dad. That’s such a bummer, especially this time of year. Hugs to you!

    • Rhonda,
      Welcome to the eyes glazed over club! That’s funny that you don’t even know your home phone number! Yeah, about my dad, it is a bummer. I figure that as long as he’s healthy and, presumably, happy, then that’s the important thing. Last year when he spent Christmas with us, he stayed an extra couple of days, and we really enjoyed his visit. We will miss him this year. Or at least I will. He’s really upset other people in my household who are not as forgiving as me. Maybe 2024 will be a better year. Anyway, I think I smell snickerdoodles coming all the way from your house to mine! Yum! Have a great rest of your week. I’ll keep looking for extra posts from you this December. Hugs, Mona

  9. Hi Mona – sorry about your current situation with your dad.

    I finally gave up my landline a few years back. I enjoyed doing interviews on that thing…you’re right – the reception was better. But so far, so good with recent cell phones. Also – I just heard “Under My Wheels” on SiriusXM the other day. Brenda and I went to see Alice open for Rob Zombie for their “Freaks on Parade” tour with Ministry and Filter (both of which we missed because we weren’t in a real hurry to get to the venue).

    Damned scammers…

    • Roger,
      Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie! Now that would make a helluva Halloween concert! 🎃 I’m just starting to learn a little about John 5. What an amazing guitarist! Ooh, and telephone interviews! That sounds exciting! I hope you blog about that one of these days. And thank you for your kind thoughts about my dad! Have a great weekend, my friend! Hugs, Mona

  10. We gave up our landline about a year ago. Haven’t missed it a whit. If someone wants to call us, they have to know our cell number, and if they’re not in our address book, well, they can leave a voice mail message and I’ll return the call. Maybe. 🙂

    • Pam,
      That does make sense. You make a strong argument for getting rid of the landline. Have a wonderful New Year and I hope your Christmas was very Merry! Mona

  11. We have a landline. Hell, the only internet connection out here is broadband so I have to. It’s the number I give when businesses ask for one because I don’t want all that spam clogging up my cell. But you’re right, the clarity of calls is superior to our mobile since we live in the country.

  12. River, I can still hear the sound of the phone connecting to the internet from a long time ago. I remember trying to bid on Ebay auctions. Oh my goodness! Did we even call it the internet back then? Maybe it was the worldwide web. Have a great January 2024, my friend! May all of our connections actually connect! Mona


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