(Landline telephone is ringing in a hall. Sound of radio and crockery being washed coming from kitchen. Occupant of house eventually comes through to answer phone.)
Hello?....... Hello?....... Hello, who's there?
Hello, is that...
Hello, could I speak to Mr Harrison please?
Er yes, that's me.
Mr Ivan Harrison?
Yes, I'm Mr Harrison.
Good evening Mr Harrison, my name is Clive and I am calling you from....
No it isn't.
Your name. It's not Clive.
Oh yes, my name is Clive. I am...
Clive is a Western name.
I am sorry?
You sound very Asian to me.
Yes, my name is Clive. Mr Harrison, I am call....
Where are you calling from?
Mr Harrison, I am calling you from ZTR Network Services and we have a very exciting off...
What country are you in?
I am in India.
And your name is Clive.
That is my name Mr Harrison, yes.
Clive of India. Ah I see. Very amusing.
I am sorry?
Mr Harrison I am calling to tell you about a very interesting special offer we...
Who did you say you work for?
I am calling you from ZTR Network Services. We have a very...
Not the Austrian Lighthouse Company?
I am sorry?
You are not the Austrian Lighthouse Company?
We are ZTR Network Services. Mr Harrison, do you have a mobile phone?
I thought I was calling the Austrian Lighthouse Company.
No Sir, I am not the Lighthouse Company. Is your mobile phone...
I dialled their number.
I am sorry?
I dialled the Lighthouse Company Number. Bugger the bloody international dialling codes!
No, Mr Harrison, it is I who am dialling yourself. Mr Harrison, would you like to have a new mobile phone completely free of charges and only pay for your calls as you go, and not only this, but we will offer you a free wireless modem and 3 months of broadband connections absolutely...
So you're not the Austrian Lighthouse Company then?
No Sir, I am not Lighthouse Company. Our free broadband services...
Do you sell lighthouses?
We do not sell the lighthouses, no Sir. We are offering you a free mobile phone and a free wireless modem however. Do you currently....
You don't sell any lighthouses at all?
Mr Harrison, we are not Lighthouse Company, we are ZTR Network Services Company. How would you like to have a new......
Not even a small one, for the garden?
No I am sorry, we have not the lighthouses at all, but we do have many new and free of charges mobile.......
I did so want to have a lighthouse of my own. Can't you help me at all?
Yes Mr Harrison, I am sure we will help you, if you will hear me I can tell you how we help you.
Oh great! Fire away then!
Let me have it. Tell me how you can help. I am all ears.
I am sorry? What is it that you are being all?
Yes. Never mind, Just tell me.
Mr Harrison, do you have a mobile phone?
Yes I do.
And do you pay for your mobile phone service by contract or is it pay as you go service?
I never use it.
Never use it?
No. It was a present 5 years ago. Never used it once. Stupid bloody thing.
But Mr Harrison, if only you were having free mobile telephone and pay as you go account, and accompanied by the free wireless modem then you would have 3 months of free high-speed broadband connection and all using your current BT line, then this would be happy no?
I haven't got a computer.
Very great Mr Harrison! This is meaning that then our free equipments are a basis for a new collection of telephones and computer services for you no?
Not even an ornamental one, say, for the mantlepiece, or chest of drawers? Though of course it would be my first preference to own either a full-sized model or failing that, as I said, perhaps one to stand in the garden.
I am sorry?
For the garden.
Are you perhaps to putting your computers in garden? Or telephone lines?
What? Good grief no. That would be ludicrous!
I am sorry Mr Harrison, I do not understa.......
Computers in the garden. Ridiculous idea. Now a lighthouse, that's a different kettle of fish altogether.
I am not understanding kettles of fishes and gardens?
Now you're being ridiculous.
Oh yes, Sir, very ridiculous! Thank you for making me funny! Now, as per the free mobile phone and wireless modem that we are supplying, it is all you must do that is to register now with myself and we will begin the contract to make you very happy today yes?
This free modem you mention?
Yes Mr Harrison, free wireless modem. This is a special deal for you. Not many are there free such in the world.
Right. That sounds like a good deal.
Oh yes, Sir, is very good deal for yourself indeed!
Right. I might be interested in that idea.
Excellent Mr Harrison. Then all I must do is to confirm a few informations with you and when I am possessing your banking details.......
Great. I just need to know.......
Can you possibly throw in a lighthouse instead of the modem?
You wish for lighthouse and not modem?
I am sorry? Spotted lighthouse?
Yes, a lighthouse and not modem.
Well, I am afraid.......
Better still, how about leaving out the silly old mobile phone and throwing in another lighthouse?
I do not think we will be possible to do this Mr Harr......
No? OK, could you just make it one big lighthouse then instead of two little ones?
No I am sorry Mr Harrison. We do not have the lighthouses. We are supplying the free mobile phones and free wireless modems for you. We are not Lighthouse Company of Australia.
Yes? You are the Austrian Lighthouse Company?
No Sir, I say yes to mean, sorry, no, no, we are not this Lighthouse Company.
I see. You have no lighthouses.
No Mr Harrison, we do not have the lighthouses.
Do you have the telephone number for the Austrian Lighthouse Company?
I am sorry Sir, no, I do not have number for Lighthouses Company.
So you've been wasting my time then?
I am sorry?
You've been stringing me along, knowing full well that all I want is to find out how to get hold of a lighthouse, when all the time you are just trying to flog me a pointless bloody mobile phone and broadband, neither of which I ever intend to use.
I am sorry Mr Harrison. We are ZTR Network Services. I called you today earnestly in hope to show you our special offers for you. I am not wanting you to be unhappy and I am very sorry if you are to be upset in many ways.
And you can't hang up can you?
Begging pardon Sir?
You aren't allowed to hang up on a call are you?
I would not hang up on valued customer, Sir, no.
I've got you then you bugger.
Sorry Sir? I am just.......
I've got you now you slippery bloody eel, you'll pay for it now!
Please Sir, I.......
Is that Alaskan Bee Hives Ltd?
No Sir, it.......
Can you put me through to the Dutch Mountaineering Guild please?
I think, Sir, I will......
Do you sell antelopes?
No Sir, we.......
None of your common African models, now; I am a connoiseur of the antelope, me; it's the rare pygmy Makuti of the Isle of Little Nicobar that I revere. People go on and on about the Giant Robber Crab but I have witnessed few articles in the academic journals concerning the elegant Makuti. But don't get me started on the vexed subject of research funding! I bet you've none of those antelopes in stock now, have you?
Please Mr Harrison, just wait one couple of two ticks, I am bringing my supervisor to speak.......
That's right, run away you worthless mountebank. You'll not be free of me so easy as you'd like. I'll haunt you like the Ghost of Christmas Past I will you filthy purveyor of global flim flam.
Hello, is this Mr Harrison?
No, this is Mr Harrison you fool. I don't know who you are though. Who are you?
Hello Mr Harrison, my name is Brad. I am line supervisor. I would like to clarify.......
Ah. Brad of India. Sign of the times. OK Brad, tell me.
Yes Mr Harrison?
How do I join the Botswanan Navy?
Mr Harrison, we cannot advise you on such matters. We are communications company who contact you to advise on our services alone.
I knew a Nigerian admiral once.
This is most interesting, Sir, but we must.......
His son went to my public school. Wrote sonnets about Mr Husymans the Latin Master. He's something big in microscopes now I believe.
Now, Mr Harrison.......
I just thought, if I got into the Botswanan Navy I could do something, anything, to bring them into the 21st century, you know.......
Please listen to me, Mr Harrison, we will have to finish and to terminate this telephone call now.......
Seeing as how they are still one of the few countries who don't admit females into their military services. The navy would be a good place to start I feel. What do you think?
Goodbye Mr Harrison.
Aha! You dont think I'll fall for that one do you, you bearer of false witness? Serpentine infiltrator of personal spaces, I'm too clever for you.
Good night Sir.
Wait! Just wait one minute. I have remembered something. I will be right back.
I am sorry Sir?
My brother. He is a computer buff. He's just through in the other room. I'll bring him. He'd be interested in your offers I am sure. OK?
Very well, Sir, we will wait a little longer to see.
OK. Don't go anywhere.
Hello? Mr Harrison? Hello?
Hello? Mr Harrison?
Are you there Sir? Hello?