Friday, 24 August 2012

Don't Call Me

It finally happened. No, not with me and the girl from Clapham.

I’m talking about one of those phone calls. The ones where the caller wants to talk to you about computer problems. They act as though you’ve been in touch with them, and they’re ringing back to help you. Nearly everyone I know has had one of those calls. But I haven’t, until now.
            I pick up the phone.
            ‘Hello?’ I can hear a call centre noise, but no voice.
            ‘Hello?’ I debate putting the phone down, but decide against it. I’ve been sitting at a desk on my own all day, whipping words into order. A distraction wouldn’t go amiss. An argument wouldn’t either. I’ll give it one last go.
            ‘Ma’am, it’s about your computer problem.’
            How delightfully non-specific, I think, I know what this is. I open my mouth. Nothing comes out.
            It must be over a year since I first heard about this scam, and in all that time I haven’t come up with an appropriate retort. And I can’t think on the spot. Really, I can’t. This is why I prefer to communicate with the written word.
            ‘Ma’am, you have a problem with your computer?’
            My brain’s working on the retort. I’ve only just sent in the request though. It’s going to take a while.
            ‘My problem,’ I say, ‘is people ringing up trying to scam me.’ I put the phone down.

I expect, in about three weeks, a suitably witty quip will pop out of my brain, unannounced yet fully formed. In all likelihood, I’ll be in the shower when this happens, unable to write it down. By the time I get out, I’ll have forgotten it.

*This week, I’ve launched a collection of short stories in electronic format, Treasury #1. I won’t attempt a hard sell, because I’m not sure I’d know how (and even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face). I just thought I’d mention it. In passing, y’know. You can get it at Amazon for the Kindle, and Smashwords for pretty much anything else.

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