Saturday, 11 July 2009

This spay tonight

Beatrice and Harriet and I have spent today at home, recovering from yesterday's non-consensual ovarohysterectomies and trying not to gnaw on our stitches. Harriet was so non-consenting, by the way, she bit my hand, drew blood, and then sank four envenomed fangs into the vet's hand. The vet shoved her back into her box and told me that I had a naughty cat who would get her sedative later in another form (ominous) and I should show it who's boss because if it were a German Shepherd then I'd be in real trouble. (Too right. And if she were a sabre-toothed diprotodon ...) I should practice disciplining Harriet, apparently, by devising and enforcing rules (like "No scratching the furniture", which sounds completely fascist to me; what is furniture for if not scratching?). I sympathise with the vet's aversion to having his hand bitten (gosh, I do), but I was secretly cheering Harriet on. If someone tried poking a cold thermometer up my bottom without asking, I'd like to think that I'd draw blood too. And as Harriet is a civil and delightful person at all other times, I say "naughty" my aunt's bottom.

For those of you who've been wondering why the world's overrun with delinquent children, the answer's clear: it's femo-anarchist parenting and a permissive approach to sofas.

Today was meant to be quiet day - a day of heaters, laps, computers, and not chewing on our stitches - but instead there's been a deluge of tele-interuptions. They go something like this:

Poor telemarketing blighter: "Good afternoon, Mrs Harlot. I'm ringing from Blah-Blah Sunshine Blah Corporation to tell you that you have been specially selected for seven nights holiday at any major Australian city for only blah blah hundred dollars blah."

Me: "Thanks, I'm not interested."

Poor telemarketing blighter: "You do not like to take holiday?"

Me: "No, thanks. Bye."

Poor telemarketing blighter [indignant, incredulous]: "May I please ask why you are not interested in taking holiday?"

Me: "No."


Poor teleresearching blighter: "Good afternoon my name is Blah and I'm ringing from blah blah Scientific blah Research blah to ask you some questions about hair-thinning and balding do you or does anyone in your household experience hair-thinning or balding."

Me: "No."

Poor teleresearching blighter: "Are any of your friends or family members experiencing hair-thinning or balding."

Me [overcompensating for the fact that I'm about to not mention the majority of my close male relatives]: "Well, I'm quite young, and most of my friends are quite young, so we're all too young to be experiencing hair-thinning or balding, so no, none of my friends are experiencing hair-thinning or balding. Byeeeeeee."

Poor teleresearching blighter: "Could I please speak to your mother or father?"

Me: "Byeeeeeeeee."


Blighter: "Good evening ma'am, and how are you this evening?"

Me: "Very well, thank you. How are you?"

Blighter: "I'm wonderful. Thank you for your concern. I'm ringing about the Motorola blah blah from Optus blah with free blah. It's an excellent deal."

Me: "Thank you, but I'm not interested."

Blighter [shocked]: "Don't you use a mobile phone?"

Me: "Have a lovely evening."

I wish I could pull off my father's trick, which - regardless of the day or time - consists in muttering, in wounded, righteous tones, "Making telephone calls on the Sabbath! Not in my day. On the Sabbath. Well, I, never."


Ampersand Duck said...

I've probably mentioned this before elsewhere, but my trick is that any phonecall I don't want usually has a little lag between the answering and the start of frantic telemarketing talking... it's when the computer discovers it's found a live one and passes it on to the poor employee. When I hear that little lag, I hang up. It's made Best Beloved give up ringing me with the speakerphone autodial, but other than that, I don't think I've lost anyone important. And I have a lovely quiet life!

Commiserations to the kitties, but tell them they'll feel fab in a week or so :) I'm glad you managed it; my first kitty got discovered by the local Tom the week before spayday, and the poor thing had kittens before she was a year old herself.

genevieve said...

What a great blogpost title.
Hope the kits are feeling chipper soon :-D

it is astounding how many of those telemarketers think they can indeed tell us what we should want in the privacy of our own homes, isn't it.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Gosh, hard to imagine a wee cat having to look after kittens that young. These ones are still such kids, if galloping frantically in circles is any measure.

It's easy to speak ill of the telemarketer, but I can imagine telemarketers must hear some extraordinarily abusive/rude/silly/ridiculous things now and then.

Anonymous Bosch said...

Being a technical sort, I have built a wonderful computerised PABX for our household, and programmed it with some unusual features. When a telemarketer perseveres in the face of my obvious indifference, I say "Just a moment - I'll transfer you to the right person who absolutely wants to talk to you!" and put them through to extension *61.

I have programmed ext. *61 to fetch some information from the web and feed it through a text-to-speech converter. So the unsuspecting telemarketer is treated to a voice not unlike Steven Hawking reading them the Sydney weather forecast. I believe this can amuse them for some time, but in any case, they rarely ring back.

(Hmm: word verfication today is "plexuate", which may describe the effect this has on the victim. Or maybe "perplexuate").

NB: I don't do this to market researchers, as a) I have one in the family and b) telephone survey work is a favourite of starving students.

Helen said...

Not only is there a little lag when I pick the phone up, but if they use the words "Ma'am" or "Mrs (Husband's name") I know it's telemarketing and hang up.

I do hear you about the starving students thing, though, and I did it myself when a starving musician, so I don't hate them.

Maria said...

Try something new, like "Oh, I'm so glad you rang, I was just about to call you to talk about Jesus/talk about the benefits of organic food/discuss the new internet-integrated potato peeler cum milkshake maker I've invented, could I sign you up first before we get on to your topic?"

I've often thought about doing that except it goes clean out of my mind when someone like that rings (which hasn't been often, thank goodness). Should have a script near the phone so I don't forget, see how it works.

Jayne said...

He's a vet, ffs, the big girls blouse should be used to cats clawing him.

Anonymous said...

By Jove, Doctor, I'm going to use that one about the Sabbath; it's brilliant! A tip o' the hat to your Pater, young lady!

Mitzi G Burger said...

Lexington, how awful. Best get your phonic number on the "Do not call" register.

ben said...

I had fun reading this post!