Paris Portingale

Unsolicited Phone Calls

Doesn’t it feel like there’s been a huge surge of unsolicited phone calls lately? Paris Portingale offers a couple of scripts for how to answer those in the future.


I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten a call that goes:

“Is Jason there, please?”

And you say, “There’s no Jason here.”

And they say, “Oh, well maybe you’d be interested in …” blah, blah, blah.

They’re a con, I get them all the time. I got one this morning in fact. A woman. It went:

“Is Jason there, please?”

I said, “Jason’s dead, he died yesterday. Terrible car accident. He was decapitated. Went under a truck and it took his head off. Happened right outside the house. He was coming to pick up his mother to take her to the podiatrist. She was waiting out the front for him, saw the whole thing. It was terrible.”

I had the woman apologizing to me in the end, “Oh, that’s so horrible, I’m so sorry.”

But it’s their own fault, ringing up when they don’t know who you are from Adam. Ringing up without a by-your-leave. Ringing up without asking first. (I know that would require committing the original offense, but, you know, it would have been nice all the same. People today don’t have the same understanding of politeness the way we did back when. Back when I was a kid, you could get a pound and a half of onions for two pennies, and newspapers were broadsheet and you could get one for the cost of tram fare to Beaconsfield and back, on the weekend.)

(Do you remember trams? Wonderful things. If you couldn’t fit inside you could ride hanging off the running board. I mean, try doing that today on a tram. If you can find one. If you want to get to Beaconsfield today it’s not going to be by tram, and it’s going to cost you more than a pound and a half of onions, I can tell you that for nothing.)


It’s their own fault, ringing up when they don’t know who you are from Adam. Ringing up without a by-your-leave. Ringing up without asking first.


Anyway, back to the unsolicited phone calls. The next one I get I think it’s going to be:

“Is Jason there, please?”

“Jason? We think he’s been abducted by aliens. It was the other week. There was an odd blue light coming out from under his door and a funny humming noise, and there was this sound like someone being wrapped in an alien cocoon and being dragged through the window and up into a space ship hovering over the house. It was all very odd, but the door was locked so we went to bed and thought nothing more of it. That was until the morning when we discovered Jason had disappeared.

“We rang Bob Meistenholderson, the local sheriff who married Sally-May’s sister back there a-ways, but instead of the police we got a dozen black vans with tinted windows and men in dark suits and sunglasses who took us to some sort of bunker near Norrington there where the old pickle factory used to be before the Thompson twins burnt it down that Christmas. It’s just outside Donaldtown where they have the secret government facilities.

“We were questioned for two days straight without food or water or access to toilet facilities, which was particularly hard on gran because of the prolapsed uterus which has left her with compromised bladder control, and old gramps who has continuing problems with irritable bowel syndrome that can give him uncontrollable flatulence if he’s under any sort of stress, so the whole thing was rather awkward ….”

Etc, etc, etc. I’ll drag it out.

I can keep it up as long as they can, bastards.


Paris Portingale

Paris Portingale is a writer and dog owner. While having a somewhat indifferent attitude towards abstemious self-restraint, he does follow the safe guidelines of four standard drinks a day, although his standards are a great deal higher than most, certainly the medical profession’s. Paris is visited often in the night by God, and the meetings are anything but pleasant.

Related posts