Unusual question from a ‘zine peddler

At work, our engineers occasionally (as in, all the damned time) field calls from marketing folk offering complimentary magazine subscriptions, as seems to be common practice. The magazines are supported by advertisers and at least vaguely related to our fields. EDN. ECN – with the ‘C’ styled to look like the ‘D’ in EDN flipped around backwards. Design News. EE Product News. Network Computing. Analog Insights. Sensors. Government Computing News, The Big Floppy Magazine That Doesn’t Fit On Any Shelf.

We don’t really find time to read them, so they’re mostly Wastes of Trees that they Won’t Stop Sending unless we Bitch Really Loud. I occasionally take the EDNs to the second office and scan through them there, since that time’s kind of wasted anyway. It has some worthwhile articles, and a Dilbert cartoon each month.

Anyway, today I get one of those dreaded magazine callers, all nasal and fast-talking and sounds like she’s on the other end of a really bad VoIP link, wanting to ask A Few Questions*. After the usual “do you specify equipment for…” stuff is out of the way, she asks: “For verification purposes, what color are your eyes?”

Weird verification procedure. I was in the middle of something, so I didn’t try to have any fun with her. But I couldn’t help thinking, “hmm, I like where this is headed…”

* much to my surprise, this one actually did keep it short. Usually A Few Questions have parts Z through ZZZ, and I basically have to offer/threaten them with a picture of my awe-inspiring physique our existing overflowing table of unread magazines to keep them from chiming in with [“but it’s free!” | “this’ll only take a second!” | “it has relavent news and important information!” | “why don’t you want any?” | “what’s your reasoning?”…]

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