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Barry turns the tables on telemarketers

Now it's the telemarketers who are getting the calls, thanks to Dave Barry, humor columnist for The Miami Herald.

In his Aug. 31 column, Barry urged readers to call the American Teleservices Association and "tell them what you think" about telemarketers.

"I'm sure they'd love to hear your constitutionally protected views! Be sure to wipe your mouthpiece afterward," wrote Barry, whose column runs in the Deseret Morning News on Sundays.

Thousands of readers responded with a flood of calls to the group's offices, causing the association to stop answering its phones.

"It's difficult not to see some malice in Mr. Barry's intent," ATA executive director Tim Searcy said.

Barry hardly sounded apologetic.

"I feel just terrible, especially if they were eating or anything," he said. "They have phones like the rest of us have phones. Their attitude seems to be if you have a phone, people are allowed to call you."