The phone rings. I happen to be standing next to it at the time and Terry is downstairs, so I have no option but to answer the stupid ringy thing (See Phones, Amber’s Irrational Hatred Of for more info on this). I glare at it it for a couple of seconds, hoping it will somehow sense my hatred and stop ringing, but of course this doesn’t happen, so I heave a heavy sigh and pick it up.
Only to be greeted by a freaking ROBOT.
GOD. I hate this. Why are recorded messages allowed to call me in my home? Why is this not illegal? (Actually, come to think of it: is this illegal? And if so, what happens to the robot-voices when they’re caught? Is there some kind of Robot Jail they all go to? What if there was a mass breakout from the Robot Jail? WHAT IF, people? See, now I really wish I hadn’t set my imagination off down this track. Anyway…)
Now, the robot that calls us most frequently is a Stepford-sounding American woman who calls us up regularly and says, “CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve just won a… ” And actually, I have no idea what it is we’re supposed to have won because these days she only ever gets as far as “CONGRA….” before it’s a case of handset: meet cradle!
(Yes, we are signed up for the TPS. No, it does not stop The Robots. Nothing stops The Robots.)
Anyway, this time it wasn’t the Congratulating Woman. This time it was a rather gravelly-voiced Robot Voice who informed me that she was the BT Text Messaging Service, and that someone had sent a text message to my land line. A text message that I would get to hear simply by pressing “1”.
Now, we all know that you never, ever obey the commands of a Robot Voice, especially when you’re 99.8% sure it’s some kind of scam, don’t we? So I’m sure you can all guess what I did, can’t you?
I pressed “1”. No, I have no idea why. I mean, I don’t even like text messages. They confuse and panic me, making me feel like a pensioner as I am forced to take 30 minutes at a time away from my Important Work in order to battle with the predictive texting on my phone to produce a message that invariably says something like, “Ai! Aku dujk, aber!” But I digress.
I pressed “1”. And for my trouble, I got yet another robotic voice who informed me that the call had cost 12p (!), and that this amount could easily feed a small child in Afghanistan for a week. (Which kinda begged the question, why did they not just send the 12p to a small child in Afghanistan instead of using it to phone-spam me? Or did it cost me 12p? So many questions… Well, two.) And that I should now press another button to forward the robotic message on to seven of my friends (Why seven, I wonder? Lucky number, perhaps?) or else the small child in Afghanistan? Would DIE.
The upshot of all of this? I have inadvertently caused the death of a small child in Afghanistan. So sorry. SO going to hell. SO not answering the phone EVER again, lest I kill someone else without meaning to.
Let this be a lesson to you all, folks. Telephones = danger. Especially if you’re a small child in Afghanistan…