I was averaging two hang-up calls a day. After hopping out of the shower to answer the last one, I decided to get to the bottom of them, no matter what it cost me. This person wasn't a mouth-breather, so I didn't think I had a stalker. There was dead quiet on the other end of the line, leading me to believe a computer was involved. I began hitting *69 every time I got a hang-up call, and discovered that the culprit was Bank of America. I opened a checking account with them in December.

I called customer service to say I wanted to be put on the "do not call list." because my dad is dying of cancer and ever time the phone rings, I jump, thinking this is "The Call." The lady was very apologetic, but told me it would take 12 week for my listing to take effect. As of today, I'm still getting calls.

Three weeks ago, I started getting "creditor" calls from Alliance One. I'd deserve them if I didn't pay my bills, but this company was calling me about a man I divorced in '86. When I called to complain, "Betty" told me she had the "right to call." I was further enraged upon discovering that they had been calling my elderly parents in the days leading up to the surgery to remove my dad's cancerous bladder. I gave Alliance Once a nonstop taste of their own medicine for over an hour. They threatened to call the authorities and the manager called asking how he could help me, then they left me alone.

I did some calling around, and found my ex, who seemed truly shocked. "I've had the same number and address for ten years," he said. "Why would they call you?" He apologized, particularly in regard to my dad. I've had my current number since '94 and it's under another name, so we couldn't figure out how Alliance One even made the connection.

An invasion of privacy? Yes. Illegal? Should be. But big money talks in this country. It means more votes. So decent, tax-paying citizens just have to put up with it. I am happier when poiticians limit their improprieties to dilly dallying with their interns or flying to remote places with their mistresses. At least, they don't disturb my peace and quiet in those cases.

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