Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On wrong numbers

On wrong numbers

I have, in all these years as a bona fide grown-up, always seemed to get second-hand phone numbers.

When I first got my own place in Reading, British Telecom kindly granted me a number that was previously used by a driving school.

"Hello, is that the L-of-a-Scary-Ride driving school?"

"I'm afraid they've got a new business number. It's 0800 696969"


"No, piss off."


"Yes. Yes it is. What time would you like us to pick you up?"

After several months of this madness, we complained to BT and got a new number. It was, fuck my luck, just one digit removed from Pizza Hut, a digit fat-fingered spackers found with unnerving precision on a Friday night.

"Awight mate - issh that Pizza Hut?"

"Sorry mate, their number's 407820. You dialled it wrong."


"No. Piss off."


"Yes. Yes it is. Can I take your order please?"

Of course, it couldn't last. We moved house and got a new number.

"Hello, is that Abbey Removals?"


OK, said British Telecom, our bad. Have a new number.

"Is that the RSPB?"

"Why yes. Yes it is. And today's special is buy a duck, get a free grebe. And an egg. We like egg."

"You're not the RSPB at all, are you?"

"No. Sorry. Do you still want egg?"

"You're strange."


So sweet, the sound of silence.

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