I stopped my car in front of Ivan Seidenberg's smallish brick mansion. I had dressed in a suit to give myself more credibility, but I was sweating cheese biscuits as I got out of the car. Nearly every house in the neighborhood had a "Protected By" security sign in their front yard. This was insane. I hoped Verizon customers appreciated what I was about to do for them.
"Ivan Seidenberg!" I shouted into the bullhorn, and it was just insanely loud. The sound echoed off the brick facade of Ivan's estate, splashing onto all the McMansions around him.
"I'm here on behalf of Verizon customers. PLEASE DO A BETTER JOB PROTECTING YOUR CUSTOMERS' CELL PHONE RECORDS!" I bellowed. "Everyone has the right to privacy, including you Ivan! When we don't have privacy, then freaks with bullhorns start showing up on our front lawn."
My sentence was interrupted by a car driving by. With some horror, I discovered the car was Ivan's next door neighbor. The car disappeared into a garage -- probably to call the police, I thought. Since the police tend to show up in rich neighborhoods more quickly, I forged ahead, anxious to get this over with.
"Keep our phone numbers unlisted!" I shouted. "Keep our cell phone records private! Keep us safe in your loving arms, Ivan!"
"Stroke our hair!" I added.
"Can you hear me, Ivan? This is a serious issue!" I hollered.
"Can you hear me now?" I asked, a little louder.
Now, I've never been a fan of Verizon's ad campaign. "Can You Hear Me Now?" is what you say when your cellphone doesn't work. In other words, they chose the catchphrase of crappy cellphone service for their ad slogan. This would be like a car company using a slogan like, "What the Hell is That Grinding Noise?"
Still, this was the perfect time to use the phrase. "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?!" I yelled, turning up the volume on my bullhorn.
I kept repeating the question, louder and louder, until finally I heard a voice off in the distance. "I HEAR YOU!"
Anticipating a confrontation, I quickly packed all my stuff in the car: the stunt was over. Soon I saw a middle-aged man, walking quickly with his large dog. I must confess I'm terrible with dog breeds, but it was large, maybe a Great Dane or a Shih Tzu. Possibly a pug.
I didn't really have time to register the breed, because the dog began running quickly toward me, while barking and salivating. It would be an exaggeration to say the guy "unleashed his dog on me," it was more like he was allowing the dog to approach me quickly and viciously.
"Ivan Seidenberg?" I called out, running over quickly to fetch my camera. The crazy man and his dog were still several houses away.
"I'm not Ivan," yelled the man angrily, "but whatever you're doing, you need to stop now!"
"Okay!" I said, not needing any more encouragement. I retrieved the camera and ran back to the car. "Sorry about that!" I added, hopping in the car and speeding off.
While it was a shame that Ivan didn't come out to show his face, one thing's for sure: the members of Ivan Seidenberg's private community care more about their privacy than Verizon does about yours.
|Liveleak on Facebook|