one word - silence...
but there's also something infectious
about being polite -
i once owned this keyring with the maxim:
- tact -
telling someone to go to hell, with them
anticipating the trip.
but what's stranger is talking to a receptionist
at your local surgery, booking a telephone
appointment with your general practitioner
to get a sick note for half a year...
i'm hardly the one to extort the english
taxpayers... i get "paid" just over five grand a year
to be sick...
what the **** is that in comparison
to the Somalian family of 7, living in plush
accommodation somewhere in east london?
you going to ask me whether my head is
properly ******* on? i find it strange that someone
could ask the insanity question -
i already told it to someone:
they thought i was mad... then this polish
(home-boy) neurologist tell me looking at my
m.r.i. scan: whoever says that you're mad...
they're mad themselves.
now i'm ******* about in england going: *******,
and you... and you.
i can't be converted to be your
***** doll, or poodle for that matter...
of all the celtic tribes: i can stomach
the scots like i might eat ben & jerry's ice-cream
infused with cookie dough... the irish?
just bring me the guinness and *******;
i haven't got the time for your "wit".
socts? oh i hear them perfectly, it's like listening
to ukranians in poland... they sing their language:
they don't speak it, they sing it.
so i was on hold for about half an hour...
- you're 11th in line...
- you're 9th in line (what an annoying muzak
though! was it a mandolin? was it something quasi
rodrigo? they could really do with some decent
music when you're in the telephone queue...
some marvin gaye?)
- you're 6th in line
- you're 4th in line
- you're 2nd in line
- you're 1st in line... HALLELUJAH!
so we start talking, and obviously i greet her:
and we make proper arrangements
for my (what i like to call) debility cheque
(i stopped trusting certain minorities in this country,
first they tell you: oh yeah man,
you're going to have this l.s.d. trip smoking
this funky amazonian ****) -
next thing you know you take to having
a ******* stephen hawking expression and sliding
into a sofa...
so we arranged it for friday,
the pick up... she'll get in touch with my sikh doctor
(the whole turban shabang... nice guy: very... what's the word?
ah... genteel) -
and i'm like: thank **** for that,
i was brewing this idea that i wouldn't get paid for
so i ask her: but i need a reference...
- what's your name?
great... that will do...
then i bid her a pleasant day hopeful that it would be so...
and then she does this "thing" that couples
do when using telephones ending conversations:
- bye bye, bye bye...
about 4 or 5 bye byes...
maybe i should work in a call centre, or something?
nah... i rather bullshitting people in the form
of poetry, it gives me the giggles, staging what it's really
like and having no real motive to lie -
but that's how being polite works,
you butter people up - you smooch up and they do
what you want them to do...
a bit like my grandfather's memory
of these two ᛋᛋ men in black uniforms stationed
in my home city who gave him sweets, who he came
to call: herrbittebonbon - and he recounts that memory
in the german form: it's not punctured by punctuation
proper: herr, bitte bonbon!
so that's why i've been waking up early for
the past few days? god... spring... all the insects are
waking up from their larvae hibernation and there's
this excess of colour, and the buzzing, and the sun -
and it's sunny... and it's warm...
what of the glorious
frost on pavement that, when walked on, feels like
a throng of paparazzi camera flashes on the red carpet
(frost does indeed contort when walking) -
i may indeed consider my face to be akin to shrek's -
but my telephone etiquette is spot on -
who'd think that the receptionist would end our
exchange like i might be telling her:
honey, i'll be back by 5 - 30 and i'll bring some
take away, ok? bye
- bye bye
- bye bye...
it's almost like a western with
two "opponents" taunting each other to draw their
6-shooter, and no one knows who's going to end
the bluff first, before putting down the telephone.