Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 11.03.06
Stanstead, Quebec


This column may be recorded to ensure quality service

"Hello? Hello…?"

"Ah… yes, hello? Can I speak to Rose Mary, please?"

"Ross Murray?"

"Oh yes, I'm sorry, Mrs. Murray."


"Yes. Mister. So Mister Murray, how are you this evening."


"Fine. Good. I'm glad to hear it. Mr. Murray, I'm calling this evening on behalf of Belle to offer you some very interesting new services which I'm sure may interest you. You are already a Belle customer, Mr. Murray?"


"Good. We thank you for your patronage. May I ask you if you have Internet service in your home?"

"Yes, I actually have Belle Stacatico."

"Very good, sir. Thank you. Is it a ULY plan, sir?"


"Yes. 'Uber-LightYear speed.'"

"No, it's one down from that, I think. The DSL plan."

"Ah, yes, the 'Dumb Slow Loser' plan."


"Mr. Murray, you know I could upgrade you to a ULY plan for only $4 more a month for the first three months."

"And how much after that?"

"Mere pennies, Mr. Murray."

"How many pennies."

"Sixteen hundred a minute."

"No, I'm pretty happy with what I have."

"But Mr. Murray, do you have children?"

"Yes I do."

"Don't you want them to love you?"

"I guess so."

"Then you must have ULY. Otherwise they will be filled with rage and I don't want to be held responsible for the consequences."

"It's okay. I'm good."

"Very well, Mr. Murray. Now, Mr. Murray, do you subscribe to Belle's DistressVu?"

"No I don't have satellite. I don't even have cable."

"Don't have…! Mr. Murray. Remember what I said about your children."

"Look, really, I'm fine. Hey, I don't want to be rude but my supper's getting cold…"

"Yes, I understand. It is good to eat. I look forward every day to earning enough money to feed my own children, all seven of them."

"Uh, yeah…"

"You know I'm calling from overseas, Mr. Murray. Very poor country. I wish I had cable."


"Yes, so Mr. Murray, I have a very special offer for you this evening. As you know, our customers in Quebec must now dial the area code for all local numbers."

"Yeah, and it's kind of a pain in the butt."

"Ha-ha. You are a man of wit, Mr. Murray. While this new dialing procedure has greatly improved efficiency, especially for us, it is already having an effect on individual telephones. Specifically, telephone number pads are wearing out."

"You mean people are dialing the area code so often they're busting the numbers on their phones?"

"Yes, in your area, the 8, 1 and 9. The situation is quite critical in the 514 area. In fact, the 1s in general are in crisis. It's called RDS - Repetitive Dial Syndrome."

"You know, I did notice my 8 getting a little wobbly."

"Of course you did, Mr. Murray. Which is why Belle would like to offer you DIP, the Dialpad Insurance Plan. For just 17 cents a month, we can provide you with 24-hour access to fresh dialpad numbers."

"It's okay. I think I'll take my chances."

"Demand is going to exceed supply, Mr. Murray."

"I'm fine."

"Think of the 1."

"I dial gently."

"Your children…"

"Thanks anyway."

"Mr. Murray, can I interest you in Belle's new short-term disability insurance?"

"No thanks."

"Cellphone ringtones as sung by our CEO?"


"A zero-percent interest MBNA credit card?"

"What? No."

"Mr. Murray, there is clearly no pleasing you. I'm going to hang up because you are now just wasting my time. I certainly hope that nothing 'unfortunate' happens to your phone service."

"Wait, don't go. Let me tell you all about my kids."

"I'm sorry, my meager supper is getting cold."

"I have to have an operation. Can I tell you all about it?"

"Have a good day, Mr. Murray, and thank you for 'choosing' Belle."