A strange thing happened. I rang NTL today to come and sort out my television, wanting as I do access to all the beautiful football from the forthcoming season.
I had never phoned NTL before, scared to. I've heard of people waiting entire generations, watching their kids and grandchildren grow up and cultivate nice ketamine addictions before settling down and marrying someone called Patricia, while waiting for their call to be answered in rotation.
Not today. No no. There was just a two minute session of elevator beat before Mary answered. She was fucking.... lovely. Really. I told her I'd been cut off because my landlord had never paid his bill nor instructed us to.
All bullshit, obviously, I knew I was getting it for free.
She was sympathetic and just fucking.... lovely about the whole thing. We even discussed my broadband plight.
"You're with Irish Broadband? Sure they're crap. No no, go to O2 though my fella had some trouble with them. Or maybe Meteor. Can you get Meteor in Dublin? Of course you can, it's not like down here in..."
Limerick. She was from Limerick. We spoke about the societal ills of the city my parents call home, gassed about this and that and so charming was her way that I forgot I was paying my doler's life away in phone credit.
No problem to her, she got down to business and fixed a time for the nice man to show up and restore my idiot box to itself.
I had, as I've written before, a similar experience on my first visit to the dole office and my encounter with the very friendly Anne. Then the follow-up, an even nicer girl whose name I didn't catch.
Three thoughts came to me.
1) I'm just fucking.... lovely, myself.
2) You, you people there, are all a shower of bastards without a modicum of good manners and can't expect to see any in return.
3) They'd seen me on E4 in THAT sarong.