We'll get onto that business in just a minute but first I must tell you that it's snow joke. Yesterday afternoon, before I noticed that I had omitted to press the "publish" button - which is why my post was so late, the Old Bat wanted to go shopping. As we got out of the car there was a flurry of snow, and it was still just about flurrying when we got back into he car. But that was all it did. Until late in the afternoon and early in the evening. Then it came down quite hard and actually lay on the grass. It was still there when I got my back off the mattress this morning but started disappearing quite soon. Until I took the dog out. Then it came down again most unpleasantly.
But to get to those phone calls.
There has been a survey undertaken recently which shows that the majority of people feel the same as I do about the false bonhomie of those people who address me by my Christian name and ask after my health. It is anathema to most of us. The one of the regular writers in my daily splurge informed readers of various ways he deals with these calls, from telling the caller he will fetch the person and leaving them hanging on for several minutes to telling them that they are contravening fictitious legislation.
Two or three ways of dealing with these calls that I have tried have not been spectacularly successful. I have tried interrogating the caller about his connection with the deceased while calling loudly to a constable to trace this call. I have actually tried this only once and the caller didn't seem to latch onto the fact that I was impersonating a police officer. He tried to answer my questions but still refused to give me the number from which he was calling.
The Old Bat has forbidden me ever to use the other method again. I put on a somewhat camp voice and started off, "Ooh, you do sound nice. Will you be my friend? I don't have a friend and I would so like to have one. You sound so nice I think I would like to have you as my friend. Do say you will be." And so on.
I do have another idea which I plan to put into practice next time somebody calls and asks me to take part in a "survey". I shall be as friendly-seeming as they are and will say, "I'm so glad you called. We'll get onto your survey in a moment but first, can you give me your home phone number? You see, I am drafting a survey and will be wanting to carry it out in the next week or so. You are obviously into this kind of thing so I would like to invite you to take part. I will try my best to make sure I call as you are sitting down to dinner or as your team is scoring the winning goal or some equally inconvenient time. So what number should I call?" I don't suppose they will really get the message - but it will give me a little fun at their expense.