Nightingale, Winnifred M. “Only A Taunt.” In Humbly Yours. Guelph, ON: Author, 1935.

This self-published collection of poems is largely religious in tone, and quite light, mediocre verse for the most part. I thought this poem might nonetheless be of interest, as it reveals that the problem of telemarketers is not new at all!

Only A Taunt

We had the phone cut out to day;
We decided that last Sunday;
Cause every time the phone bell rang,
Some one wanted money.

Not for things we did not pay;
But for things we did not want.
The stuff they sell, we do not need,
So the bell was just a taunt.

No one called us up to say—
“They had news to change our luck;
They did not say, your uncle’s dead
And leaves you two million bucks.”

The voice on the wire would not say—
“Come over I have half a guinea:”
No, all the voice would ever say;
Is “gimme, Gimme, GIMMEE.”

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