Wanna buy a crate of roller covers?

I used to regularly get a phone call that would go something like this:

“Hey Brian, how’s the weather there in Houston.”

“Fine,” I would say, even if we are in the middle of a hurricane. (I sometimes like to be sarcastic.)

“Recognize the voice?”

“Yes. I didn’t think that you were getting out for another six months.”


“Never mind. I’m not interested in your crate of roller covers, your pallet of drop clothes, or whatever other garbage you are hawking today.”


At first these boiler room salesmen amused me. They all have the same spiel. Start with some comment about the weather, followed with “recognize the voice?” Initially my reaction was probably typical. I would say that I didn’t, and they would they feign being insulted by my amnesia.

But I can be pretty sharp sometimes, and after about 50 of these calls I caught on. These guys get in a boat load of some painting product and then they start calling every painting contractor in the country trying to unload them. At first I was tempted. Who wouldn’t like to buy 1,000 roller covers for 50 cents each? And I wouldn’t even have to pay for them for 90 days. What a deal!

I have to assume that they find enough contractors who need a lifetime supply of roller covers to make it worth their while. And when I find out who these contractors are I’m going to make them a real sweet offer on some swamp land.

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