As anyone who is self employed will tell you, there are times when
you are flush and times when you have to tighten your belt and look
after the pennies. If ever my design customers dropped me and I
found myself a bit short of cash, I have another possibility to
fall back on... Pizza!
You see my home phone number is very similar to a local pizza take
out place. I get a fair number of calls from people ordering all
sorts of pizzas. I probably don't get enough calls to open 'Simon's
Pizza House', but I could perhaps offer to take the order for the
actual pizza place on a commission basis. Well heck, when times
get hard, you gotta do what you gotta do, right!
The problem is worst at the weekends. Drunk scouser lads and ladettes
call me and slur something like "Can-I-ave-a-cheese.. cheese...
cheese.... [long pause]... cheese and tomato one please mate. 23
Mountwood Drive... oh and hey, joodoo beer like?"
I used to tell them they had dialed the wrong number, sometimes
I'd even give them the right number. But I have stopped doing this
as the callers would usually just hang up on me without so much
as word of thanks.
Recently though I have invented a new way of amusing myself when
I get such a call. If the person sounds drunk, stupid or, as is
common around these parts, both, I actually take their order. When
asked how long it will be until I can deliver it I say something
like "I can get to you on Wednesday at 8pm, is that alright
for you?". Other times I simply refuse to deliver the pizza
on the grounds that they live in a "high risk area" and
its just too dangerous for me to send a driver there. This always
gets them very angry indeed!
Sometimes I let them tell me what toppings they want only to inform
them that "we don't have that", so they ask for another
and I say "Nop, we don't have that either". They try another
and get the same reply over and over again until they ask what toppings
I actually do have, at which I simply say "Asparagus."
Once I sat at my computer and played a sound of a dog barking then
shouted at 'the dog' to stop licking the bases. The girl on the
other end of the phone didn't seem at all phased by this.
"Oh have you got a dog?" she asked.
"Yeah, but I hate the way it always licks the bases, and dribbles
on the toppings we use too which is really annoying." I answer.
She just laughed and
made some joke about how he wasn't being 'man's best friend'. Then
she continued with her order!
At the risk of finding myself on the wrong end of some class action
lawsuit I have decided to share tonight's call with you. If you
know Merseyside at all then you'll probably be able to imagine the
very strong 'scouse' accent that the caller had.
9:38pm. Phone rings.
Me : Simon Jones.
Caller : "Hang on mate... TIM!!!!!! OI TIM!!!!! TIM YA
KNOB'ED, WHAT D'YA WANT FROM THE PIZZA PLACE!!!???"
Me : Hello?
Caller : "Hang on mate..... TIIIIMMMMM!!!!!"
Me : "Can you not shout in my ear please."
Caller : "Sorry mate... errrrrr, can I have a deep pan
one with chicken and sweetcorn and errrr.... sweetcorn."
Me : "Double sweetcorn then?"
Caller : "What?"
Me : "Double sweetcorn then?"
Caller : "No mate, just single sweetcorn please."
Me : "So you just want one sweetcorn"
Caller : "Yeah"
Me : "Just one single sweetcorn?"
Caller : "Yeah... err, no, no. Like one lot of sweetcorns
Me : "Anything else"
Caller : "Chicken please"
Me : "Male or female"
Caller : "[Long pause]... Male or female? What???"
Me : "Do you want a Male or female chicken"
Caller : "What's the difference."
Me : "This is a pizza place mate, not a farm."
(at this point I am nearly laughing out loud.)
Caller : "Err... [muffled voices and a pause] Females
are probably fatter aren't they?"
Me : "Mine isn't"
Caller : "Oh, in that case I'll have a male one then
mate. Funny that, I've never been asked that before. Hey, is one
Me : "No, the female one is just better looking"
Caller : Laughs
Me : "Address"
He gives me his address.
Me : "£61.90 then, cash only and no change. Ten
minutes. Thank you for calling."
Caller: "What? Hang on... how much?"
Me : "£61.90 and we take cash only and no change."
Caller: "For a pizza?"
Me: "Yeah... you ordered the chicken, we have to get
them in special from Ireland. They are Irish county chicken mate."
Caller: Click... Dial tone.
I'm not sure if these people get their Pizza ordered in the end,
and as yet I haven't gotten a call from the actual Pizza place complaining
that I am losing them business. Perhaps the solution would be to
change the phone number... But then that would mean they would have
to change their menu's and everything too wouldn't it?!