My new Google Pixel 6 Pro phone just earned a gold star.

Let’s have a short pop quiz.

What is one of the most annoying things that Chuck has dealt with over the years?

There’s someone in the back who’s got his hand up, and doing his best Arnold Horshak imitation right now.

So let me explain. I have scribbled many blog posts about those annoying, unstoppable cold calls from telephone spammers, swindlers, scammers and phonebots. Yes, Mr. Miller, you owe the IRS $5,000, and you need to pay for it in iTunes cards. Or your bank / credit card has been frozen, and we need you to repeat your bank account / credit card number to us, along with your Social Security number for verification. Oh, and your mother’s maiden name.

But the one designated rotten apple in the bush has been the litany of vehicle service aftermarket warranty calls. They have hassled me for years. They’ve claimed that my car’s warranty has expired and only they can issue me a replacement warranty. Yep, for $5,000 they can offer me a warranty that barely covers a down payment on a bumper sticker. Pfft.

So the other day … while checking over all the new features on my Google Pixel 6 Pro phone, I noticed that I had missed a call. Hmm. Didn’t hear the ring. I wonder why I missed it.

It was only when I checked my phone … that I realized there was a reason why it was missed.

See, apparently at some point, I must have turned on a feature called Google Assistant on this phone. And the Google Assistant pre-screens calls when something seems amiss.

And look what it did. It gave me a transcription of its conversation with the calling party.

Did my phone just make like Gandalf and tell one of those vehicle warranty schlubs “you shall not pass?”

Okay, but what about businesses that have legitimate reasons to call me?

Oh, wait, here’s a call. Hello?

“Hey, Chucky boy, it’s Allan at CameraWorks. Your camera is all tuned up and ready for pickup.”

Thanks, Al. I’ll be by tomorrow and snag it. Thanks for your help.

“Yeah, did you get a new phone?”

I did indeed.

“Yeah, apparently your phone has some sort of robotic secretary that I had to tell them who I was before they put the call through to you. No big deal. Technology and all. See you tomorrow.”

Wow. This phone not only cock-blocked calls that should have been blocked, but it also confirmed that legitimate companies and businesses could reach me. And it also provided me with a transcript, in case one of the blocks was one of my medical providers who wanted to leave me a recorded appointment reminder.

It is official. First this phone snags me a super-swank snowflake photo without even trying, then it sacks a telephone solicitor like it’s Cam Heyward and the scammer is (insert name of non-Steelers quarterback here).

Oh, I can get more behind this phone every single day.

It’s certainly showing an impressive run compared to the phone I had for previous five years.

But for some reason, I’m having a slight problem remembering that previous phone. It’ll come to me, though. 😀