Back when telemarketers ran rampant with their incessant dinnertime intrusions, we picked up one of these little beauties. It plugs into your phone cord (again back when landlines were commonplace) and let you politely deal with the troublesome caller. Once you determined the person on the other end of the line just called to get your money, you’d simply press the red button and hang up the phone. The caller would hear an attention-getting tone followed by these words delivered by a pleasant-sounding male voice:

I’m sorry this number does not accept this type of call. Please regard this as your notification to remove this number from your list. Thank you.

Once the government came up with the Do Not Call list, we promptly added our number and the unwanted calls stopped.