It’s a long time since I had a strange phonecall.
I think they must have been storing up their strangeness, because I had a really weird one yesterday.
I had only just dressed, and was standing in the doorway to the garden, lighting the first pipe of the day, and inhaling the glorious smells of the countryside – freshly cut grass, pine forests and cow shit. The phone rang, and I checked the number as I always do. If it says ‘withheld’ I usually don’t bother answering it, but this one gave a number, and it was an overseas trunk call. My curiosity was piqued.
“Yellow!” says I.
Well fuck me, but I was immediately bombarded with a load of gibberish. Whoever he was, he sounded like he was straight out of the slums of Bombay. Memories of “Slumdog Millionaire” came flooding back.
“Wadyawant” I said.
He ranted on for a while, and I managed to make out a few words. As far as I could ascertain, he was phoning me because I had a registered copy of Windows Genuine Advantage on my computer. I asked him what the fuck that had to do with him.
He gibbered on a bit and again I had to try to catch the odd recognisable word. There was something about a fault in my setup or one of my files or something, and he wanted to fix it for me.
“Feel free” says I. Was he going to send me a fixed file over the phone? Was he going to give me a crash course in programming?
“Please switch on your computer” says Slumdog.
“I will in my hole” says I.
“I cannot fix the problem if you do not switch on your computer” says Slumdog.
“Tough shit” says I. “I am nowhere near my computer and and am quite happy where I am.”
“You have to switch on your computer. Then press the little button called Start.” Holy shit! I was about to get a lesson in Hindi on how to fire up my fucking computer! As it happened, the computer was right beside me, but I had no intentions of switching it on until I had at least had my first mug of tea of the day.
I told him once again that I was nowhere near my computer, and that he could email me the instructions to do whatever he wanted me to do. This confused him a bit, and he once again begged, nay pleaded with me to switch on my computer. I could feel his sweat down the phone. You’d swear he was trying to get me to disarm a bomb that was about to go off.
I asked him whether he was an idiot, or did he think I was an idiot?
There was a long protracted sigh [which is incidentally, the same in any language] and he hung up.
My computer is still chundering along as it always has. It hasn’t exploded.
If anyone wants a genuine taste of life in the slums of Calcutta, just phone Slumdog at 00119476632176. I’m sure he’ll be delighted to hear from you. Be sure though to have your computer switched on, as he’ll get very upset if it isn’t.
At least I’m delighted to know that my hack ‘n’ crack on my pirated version of Windows works so well though. Heh!