I am staying now at a family property fifty kilometres away from the nearest town. One thousand acres of absolute bliss with kangaroos and wombats and kookaburras to keep me company – we get on well together.
We have a satellite internet connection which works on and off and a telephone land-line in case of emergencies like bush-fires and brown snake bites which are pretty scary.
But for the past three days my peaceful existence has been disturbed by constant telephone calls from a man who won’t identify himself and says he needs to talk about the telephone account with Mr. James. I answered him “Look, I am not Mr. James the owner of the telephone.”
And he replied “Ah, Mr. James, please do not be playing around with my head, because on my computer screen it says you are him.” And I replied ”The fact that you see his name on your screen does not mean he is me just because I have answered the telephone.”
“Oh my God I am very confused, you must be Mr. James.” he answered, and I replied “No, sorry to disappoint but I am not him; he is not here.”
He replied “Dear Sir, it is now my duty to be telling you that we are concerned about your state of mental health. We are worried that you are a split sort of person and there are one thousand of us here in the same room who all agree about this serious issue.”
I answered “Look, I know you are trying to do your job but this is getting absurd. What is your name anyhow since you know my cousin’s name who owns the telephone line, and where are you based?”
“Well I cannot be telling you that sort of confidential information Mr. James. We are based I think in a place named (long pause . . .) ‘Nerrigundah’ if that place strikes any whistles to you?”
I answered “Well it doesn’t strike any bells to me. Is it in Australia?”
“Oh, yes I am watching it now on the world map we have here. It is in the middle somewhere.”
And then he said “Mr. James, please do not be twisting my neck about these matters because you are like a monkey that throws banana skins at me and steals my time and runs away.”
Then he hung up and I haven’t heard from him since.
God save us all.