February 28, 2000 12:00 PM

>Tom Mabe

Freelance ad-jingle writer Mabe was working at home one day when he was interrupted by a jingle too many—a telemarketer’s call. “When you’re self-employed,” he says, “you jump to answer the phone because it might be a client.” Instead it was a pitch for home security systems. “First I got mad,” Mabe says. “Then I got even. I told him, ‘I’m robbing the place. Call these folks back tomorrow.’ ”

Now Mabe—who tapes annoying calls (and his slyly satiric responses) on a $37 answering machine—gets even evener with his sweet Revenge on the Telemarketers, Round One (Virgin Nashville). A compilation of hilarious real-life phone encounters, the CD includes a bit in which a burial-plot pitchman calls and Mabe announces he’s about to kill himself. “If I got the paperwork out to you this afternoon,” the caller says, “do you think you could maybe hold off until tomorrow?”

“They’re so obnoxious,” grouses Mabe, 32, who lives in Louisville, Ky., with his wife, Melanie, and their 8-month-old son. “I’d have three or four kids by now if it weren’t for those damn telemarketers calling at the most inappropriate times.”

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