A wire story was reported about Leo Moskovitz of Jermyn, Lackawanna County who turned 100.

When asked about his secret to a long life, he joked that is was having an unlisted telephone number.

He told reporters that God can't find him because his name has never appeared in the telephone book.

The part about having an unlisted number might seem like it's just a joke, but maybe there is a measure of truth to it.

We're sure it has nothing to do with God not being able to find him. But it might have something to do with all the nuisance callers not being able to find him.

How many times has your blood pressure seemingly risen when you were in the middle of dinner or busy helping your children with homework when the phone rang, only to have it be "Credit Card Services" which has nothing to do with your current credit cards or a caller asking "Would you like to renew your subscription?" even though your renewal isn't due?

Never mind that you're on the "do no call" list. It seems that telemarketers and scammers get around that numerous ways: They call from phone numbers that can't be traced, they call from other countries, or they tell you they aren't selling anything but instead they're merely taking a survey which, of course, leads into sales.

Who hasn't gotten phone calls from politicians at the most inopportune times even "calls" from the president or governor supporting a particular candidate?

Then there are the con artists who call and pretend they're someone they're not.

By having an unlisted number, Leo Moskovitz probably never got ripped off by a hoax telephone call like many people have by divulging information to individuals claiming to represent a bank, agency, or some other false service. Thus, the blood pressure rises even more.

It's frustrating how many times our lives suffer intrusion from unwanted telephone calls. We're not talking about accidental wrong numbers, friends calling, or banks or other firms telephoning to make sure the charge on our credit card is accurate.

The "do not call" lists apparently have little impact on keeping us safe from annoying callers, phishers, or politicians.

Even cell phones are becoming prone to the nuisance calls.

So maybe Leo Moskovitz wasn't joking after all. Maybe having an unlisted number was a secret to his long life.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com