“Hello, Leafy Suburb one two one two.”
“C-c-can I speak to B-Brian please?”
He sounds nervous, maybe some joker has placed my number in the ‘Adult’ section of the local paper. I put on my most manly voice.
“This is Brian, what can I do for you?”
“It’s m-m-more what I c-c-can d-do for you.”
Uh-oh, there was me thinking all of the double glazing companies were boycotting me following the unfortunate rape-alarm testing incident(s). Still unsure of the caller’s needs; I kept my chin tucked firmly into my chest.
“What would that be then?”
“I have a p-p-product you m-m-might b-be interested in.”
There was a definite Celtic lilt to the voice, combined with an overuse of consonants I guessed he was calling from somewhere west of the Severn. Not being fully au-fait with the laws passed in the new assembly, I let go of the alarm rip cord. No sense in creating an international incident; I’ll have to out-smart him instead. Adopting an unfamiliar mocking tone, I continue:
“Are you a mind reader then?”
“N-n-no y-you asked f-f-for it.”
He was being defensive, obviously he was very new. I think someone in a Welsh Job Centre had played a cruel joke.
“When did I ask for a phone-call from someone to sell me something I don’t need? My double glazing is in very good order. If that changes in the next ten minutes, I’ll call you back.”
“I’m n-n-not s-selling d-double g-g-glazing.”
“New gas supplier?”
“Internet service provider?”
“I’m n-n-not s-s-selling anything.”
Aha! A book club then was it? Two upfront best sellers of dubious quality followed by sixty monthly purchases of Jeffrey Archer novels to stave off the bailiffs. No chance matey, I’m not going to fall for that one again.
“I’m not interested. I can’t take the shame.”
“I b-breed Alp-p-pacas.”
What?! He might be new to this but, as a tryonelastefforttokeepthemugonthephone line, this was a beauty. Hand on heart I can say that I’ve never spoken to an Alp-p-paca breeder before. He had me. Damn!
“What’s an Alp-p-paca?”
“It’s a c-c-camelid.”
Silly me, of course it was.
“Oh, of course it is. What have they got to do with a book club?”
“N-n-nothing, they c-can’t read.”
I was confused.
“They p-produce a lot of p-p-pooh; I have a s-s-surplus I thought y-y-you c-c-could use.”
Ahh, everything was becoming clear. Obviously there was an EC directive instructing welsh camelid breeders up and down the valleys to cold call unsuspecting people and offer them a chance to help reduce the Alp-p-paca pooh mountain. Either that or he was trying to get his own back for recent sporting results.
“Why would I want your surplus of Alp-p-paca pooh?”
“F-f-for your k-k-kinoll.”
With all of the recent distractions I had completely forgotten about my plea for help. Why hadn’t he just said so?
“What did you say your name was again?”
G-G-Gareth and I d-discussed d-d-details.