My second phone call from Lawyer/CPA Bob was really just an “Aha!” message saying he would accept the bet I offered in the post, An FCA Affiliate Speaks Up.

Except my exact quote was “I’d be willing to bet…” which, in simple English, means “I would be willing…with certain conditions.”

Here’s what I actually wrote:

I’d be willing to bet my salary and Mr. Slocum’s almost $50,000 salary  that Lawyer/CPA Bob doesn’t get out of bed at 2 AM for anything close to what the average funeral director makes.

In fact, the phrase “I’d be willing to bet” or “I’d bet” are common figures of speech or colloquialisms and are understood by most English speakers to be non-literal exaggerations.

Do we believe that a teenager who says “If I have to get braces I’ll die!” is actually afraid they will kill her?

Or that a man who proclaims a new device as “the best thing since sliced bread” is serious about the implications to society of the new gadget?

Should Lawyer/CPA Bob claim that I made an actual bet, I’d point out that the bet is difficult to distinguish.  Is he claiming that he does get out of bed at 2:00 AM for a sum close to what the average funeral director makes?

If so, we’ll have to figure out what the average funeral director makes.  Then we have to see how close Lawyer/CPA Bob’s salary is to the amount.

Of course, “close” is relative.  How will we determine if the amounts are “close?”  Is there an international designation for the specific amount the term implies?

And would Lawyer/CPA Bob have to prove that he actually gets up at 2:00 AM on a regular basis (at least as often as the typical funeral director does) or would proof of a few late nights a month be good enough for a court of law?

And who enforces bets?  Are we in Las Vegas, Reno or Atlantic City? 

I’d be interested in hearing some legal opinion on how a rhetorical comment in a editorial could be construed as an actual bet.

I’d almost bet… oops, can’t say that.  I’m fairly certain (in a non-threatening, editorial way) that I’ve got some protection under the First Amendment.  I also believe that I have not threatened or libeled Mr. Slocum, Ms. Bennett or Lawyer/CPA Bob in any way.

Mr. Slocum responded with well-reasoned emails and an invitation to call him if I wanted to talk more about his company.  Ms. Bennett offered her opinion and asked me “Since when is that wrong?”  I offered my opinion back to her in the post, An FCA Affiliate Speaks Up.

Now Lawyer/CPA Bob decides that mildly-harrassing phone calls, placed from a “restricted” number, are appropriate to the conversation.  He’s clearly calling for personal reasons, as he won’t reveal his last name or contact information.

He’s wrong.  Frankly, the only reason I can imagine that he would make such calls and vague quasi-threats is that it gives him some pleasure to intimidate others.

I am not intimidated, but  I understand his initial viewpoint:  he likes Mr. Slocum.

I’ll grant that many people may like Mr. Slocum.  Heck, after a conversation, I might like Mr. Slocum. 

But Lawyer/CPA Bob decided to sink to harrassment, while my main complaint remains the same:  FCA’s primary public interaction (with non-members – the vast majority of Americans) is fear-based.  FCA is best served when they get stories placed in news sources that scare the public into signing up for memberships or buying publications.

When 70% of your annual expenses pay employee-related costs (salaries, benefits, payroll taxes, etc.) the main purpose of your organization is to fund employees.

Are the employees still doing the work of the organization?  Gosh, I hope so.  Otherwise, they’d just be stealing from their members.

I’m sure that Mr. Slocum and others within local FCA’s believe they are doing important work.  Unfortunately, they equate choosing a funeral home based upon price as the most intelligent and savvy move.

They reinforce this by falsely accusing the majority of funeral directors of being greedy or crooks.

I disagree with that remark and I encourage all funeral directors to educate your community.

If you don’t, FCA will.  And Clearly, based upon FCA’s tax returns, it pays to do so.