Phone rings. Long Island number. I pick up and mutter a "hello." Long pause and fuzzy background. Then a distant, accented voice says its "hello," as if it hadn't heard me.
"Yes?" I snap, now completely convinced that this is an illicit marketing call -- I am firmly on the Do Not Call register and these scofflaws piss me off.
"This is Winston Smith, may I speak to the homeowner?"
Aha, rookie mistake, Mr. Telemarketer, giving me the chance to say "no." So I say no and hang up. Ha! I could, of course, vent or string him along, but really, it's not his fault that his employer breaks the law and pushes him into firing line. If that's the only job he could find, he's already having a bad enough day. But my point is that these calls --
Makes me wonder now what he was trying to sell me. Surveillance cameras? Rodent spray? I mean, I know these guys use assumed names, but am I now going to be interrupted on a daily basis by a stream of characters from 20th century British fiction? Mrs. Dalloway doing kids' birthday parties? Leopold Bloom offering package tours to Dublin? Constance Chatterley plugging her live webcam?
If the next one claims to be Bertie Wooster, I'm staying on the line. I could use Jeeves's hangover cure.