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Archive for August, 2010

Talking Telephone Numbers

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Dear Rachel

Thick people being bullied by the menopausal – either about the state of their house, their appearance, their cooking skills, their diet, their children, just something – is the entertainment format for which our culture will be remembered.  With this in mind, the possession of Dragon’s Den’s own Theo Pathetis’ phone number is quite a coup, and I sort of have it.

It was quoted to me by a bloke called Dave, who wanders around Greenwich blowing raspberries into ladies’ shopping bags.  It is as follows: 07956 775885665681184509078854001, and I quote Dave, who is considerably mental, directly, as I wrote the numbers down in my notebook.  After the dialling code, he said the rest of the number in groups of three digits.  As ‘07956 775 885′ is an entirely plausible number, I was midway through saying ‘Yeah nice, cheers, I’ll bell him on Monday’ when he said ‘665′.  I then thanked him for that, and midway through doing so he said ‘681′.  I waited a few seconds, with my agile mind ablaze with the possibility that this may not, after all, be a real phone number, then started saying ‘Right, well yeah thanks for that, nice one’.  I got as far as ‘Ri’ when he said ‘184′.  The rest of the number was given via a series of increasingly long pauses on my part during which we would be mentally circling each other, then he’d say three random numbers at high speed as soon as I drew breath.  It felt very much like being in a duel where only your opponent has a pistol.  I’ve just reenacted the scenario, actually, and I estimate it took 57.21 seconds from start to finish, and drew rising amusement levels from my small band of browsers – which come to think of it, would be a good name for a World War Two epic set in a market – before Dave rushed off to outrage an Italian woman.  He popped back later, though, promising to ‘have a word’ about the twenty trillion pound loan I said I required, so fingers crossed.

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Mimes Through A Cafe Window

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Dear Rachel

I am not by nature a coarse man; perhaps a little bawdy, usually in need of a bath, a hot meal and an early night, and constantly wearing at least one item of clothing too small or too large for me, certainly, but not actually coarse, or seedy, or lewd.

I was therefore surprised to find myself knocking loudly on the the window of a Greenwich cafe one Saturday morning quite recently in order to alert the assembled breakfasters not only to the existence of my reproductive organs, but also, once the initial interest in my general groinal area had waned, an invitation to further unchaste perusal by pointing out the exact whereabouts of every component part thereof.   Happily, I had my complicated summer trading shorts on, but only because they are too complex to remove.

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The More Ker-chat The Less Ker-ching

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Dear Rachel

The bloke who prints some of our stuff has a brilliant way of letting you down gently when it comes to his frequently demonstrated inability to hit any kind of deadline whatsoever.   A regular feature of my Saturday mornings are exchanges like this:

Self: Morning Micheal [as a rule I always address people by the long version of their name] have you got those A1 and A2 prints I asked you to do for me?

Mike: No – that’s why I haven’t charged you.

Self: Fair enough, bring them in for next week then.

My current breakfast is a healthily unbuttered fruit scone, accompanied by coffee with milk, sugar and butter in it.  I will be some way through this before it occurs to me that yes, of course I’ve not been charged for Mike’s work, because he hasn’t bloody done it, and because he hasn’t done it, I can’t sell it to the general public, and because I can’t sell it to the general public, another tiny part of the economy crumbles away forever.  I don’t include myself among the ranks of the easily baffled, and am therefore regularly surprised that Mike’s ‘Good news – I’ve stitched you up!’ gambit works so smoothly, and always leaves me feeling like not getting some of the stuff I need to trade with has been something of a lucky escape, and not, I dunno, fucking annoying or anything.

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