Scoundrel Time

Please Leave a Message After the Tone




Hello, this is June Finley of the Internal Revenue Service calling for Dawn and Bill Cramer. I am calling because we have discovered a significant problem with your federal income tax return.  To correct this problem, you must call us back at 888-IRS-FIXR as soon as you receive this message. You will need a copy of your 2018 tax return on hand and will also be required to provide proof of your identities, which includes your address, driver license numbers, social security numbers, and your bank’s routing number.

Let me reiterate that it is extremely important for you to return this call immediately in order to avoid a large fine, and, I am sorry to say, a prison sentence of up to three years if these discrepancies are not corrected as soon as possible.

Again, my name is June Finley and my number is 888-IRS-FIXR.  I’ll be expecting your call.  Thank you.



Hi Grandma, this, this is Kelly. I’m sorry…oh my god, I’m so, so sorry…(sobs) I’m—I’m in Spain and I’ve gotten into some trouble here. I know this is a lot to ask, but could you wire $2,000 to the Western Union office in Barcelona in my name as soon as you get this message?

Please please please don’t tell my parents. I don’t want them to worry and I know they already think I’m irresponsible, but you and I both know that’s not true. It’s so unfair! I just have the most terrible luck.

I went out with two friends for lunch, and one of them brought a Spanish guy she knows, and he took us sightseeing afterwards, but when we were in this church looking at old religious art, his car got broken into, and my passport and wallet were inside and everything was stolen and when we went to the police, they insisted on looking over the car and they found pot in the glove compartment. I have no idea how the thieves missed this, and now (sobs)…I can’t believe this is happening, I’m at the police station and…I need the $2,000 for bail money and a new passport.

So if you–if you could wire me the money as soon as you get this message, I will pay you back as soon as I can. You can call my Spanish friend Marta back if you have any questions.  Her number is 34-814-950-318. I’m so sorry, Grandma (sobs). I just don’t know who else to turn to. I love you. ‘Bye.



Hello Dick. This is your old buddy Saddam calling. And you thought you had seen the last of me! Anyway, I am calling to congratulate you on your success in having made the world over in your image. It is indeed a stunning sight to behold. From the satellite photos, it appears as if some of the land has been torn open by ravenous wolves. Other parts appear to have been scorched by a giant’s torch.

And the oceans! Well, you know what’s going on there. No need to try to convince me otherwise.

Let me just say it is clear to all of us here that the earth’s clock is running down, and although you and I know that every country, no matter how big or small, could be run on sunlight and wind, men like you and I have chosen to run the world on petroleum, nuclear power, and coal because, if we’re being honest here, anyone can pull sunlight from the sky, and the same with wind, if we give them the tools to do so. You can certainly charge people for the tools, but we all know the real money is made from the sale of the energy itself and it helps if it’s actually something you can put into barrels or boxcars.

I’ll see you soon, Dick. Looking forward to it. I have greatly improved my golf swing, believe it or not!  We could even go hunting together, but if you try on me what you did to that poor sap Harry Whittington, I’ll castrate you. You still need your balls here, by the way. Ha. I think you know where I’m calling from.

I happened to notice the other day when I was ransacking the big boss’s desk for poker money that your name is on the list of upcoming arrivals.  LOL, as the kids these days say. I’ve missed you, if truth be told. We’ll have fun after you get here, I promise.



This is June Finley calling for Dawn and Bill Cramer. This is my second attempt to reach you.  It is of vital importance that you call me as soon as you receive this message because you are in danger of being arrested by federal agents who are representatives of the Internal Revenue Service. Upon your arrest, all your assets will be frozen and your citizenship revoked.

My number is 888-IRS-FIXR.  Be sure to have your bank’s routing number and social security numbers for identification purposes on hand when you call. My name is Julie Finley. Thank you.



Hey Dick, It’s Benito. I know we never had a chance to meet in person because, alas, I was long gone by the time you went from fuckup to famous statesman, but I’ve been spending some time with Saddam—we’ve got plenty of time to kill here, no surprise, and he’s been telling me a lot about you.

I’m calling because I wanted to express my admiration for you and tell you how happy it makes me to know that the ideals we both stand for are still alive and well.

As you can probably guess, in my last days, I felt both furious and utterly dispirited. How badly I’d been misunderstood!  Everything I’d accomplished was being blown to bits by…well, isn’t it ironic…your country.  But the tide has turned, no? It’s a wonder to behold.

You’re an Aquarius, I see from your Wikipedia page.  I’m a Leo, and Leos don’t get along very well with Scorpios and Tauruses, but obviously that won’t be an issue for you and me.  I’ve gotten into astrology in recent months, and, to my surprise, calligraphy.

You’d already be with us if it weren’t for that unfortunate young man’s heart in your chest.  Come to think of it, a lot of young men’s hearts have been sacrificed for you, as I suppose they were for me.  Their mothers will never forgive us, but so many of them are gone now too, having taken their bitterness with them to their graves.  Sad, perhaps, but what to do? This is life. Ciao, Dick. See you down the line.



Grandma, this is Kelly again. God, this is so embarrassing and awful, but I need another thousand dollars, well, thirteen hundred dollars, if truth be told. I’m so so sorry. I had to use most of the first two thousand you sent me for both bail money and a lawyer. I didn’t know I’d have to hire one when I called you earlier this week. I need to buy my plane ticket home too. I didn’t realize until the next day that it was also in the car when we were robbed.

Oh, Grandma, it’s been such a nightmare. I’m never coming back to this stupid place.

I promise to make it up to you as soon as I’m home. I love you. And please please please don’t tell my parents!



Dawn and Bill Cramer, this is Ron Williamson calling from the IRS. I’m June Finley’s supervisor and was very sorry to hear this morning that neither of you has responded to her messages regarding your federal income tax return.

Please be advised that this is our third and final call. If you do not call us back within the hour, your assets will be frozen and your passports and drivers’ licenses revoked.

Dawn and Bill, we are extremely disappointed in you and feel personally let down. We truly believed you were better than this.

You know the number here. And we know where you live.



Hi Grandma, it’s—it’s Kelly again.  I swear on Grandpa’s grave this is the very last time I’ll call you while I’m here in Spain.  I’m so sorry to ask you for more help, but I had to go to the emergency room last night for a panic attack due to all the awful things I’ve been going through over here.

If you could wire me $950, I promise this is absolutely the last request I’ll make, and I really will pay you back. I love you, Grandma. (sobs)  You’ve always been my favorite person. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that, but it’s true.  When I get home, I promise I’ll come visit you as soon as I can.



Dawn and Bill Cramer, this is the President of the United States. This is not a crank call, I promise. It’s really me! I saw Dawn’s tweets about two con artists posing as IRS agents who have been calling and threatening you. Don’t worry about deportation, tax fraud, or any of that crap.  I see you donated to my campaign in 2016.

I’ll take care of these crooks if you support me in my 2020 bid.



Hey Dick, it’s your old pal Ronnie. Just wanted to let you know we’re all very excited about your upcoming arrival.  We have the bonfire stoked and are planning to cook up a wheelbarrow full of hot dogs and brats.  We do eat pretty well here, but everything cooks so fast in this climate, and depending on who’s at the grill, the food can get pretty burned—even to the point of being charred beyond recognition, but we manage.

I’m calling because I need a doubles partner. Are you up for it? I don’t know if you play tennis or if you even know how, but I can teach you when you get here. I’m very patient, believe it or not. That’s the key to success, by the way, which you probably know.  Bide your time and eventually people will simply stop caring about whatever bee is in their bonnet or else they’ll forget. They’ll forget everything!

OK, gotta run. Talk to you later.





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