Crank it up

Shortly before I left for work today, the phone rang. Telephone calls before 7 a.m. are usually a matter for concern, so I lifted the receiver with due sense of trepidation. It was quite a relief to be greeted by the recorded voice of the Telkom Time Lady*. She informed me I had been sent a text message from a phone number that I didn’t recognise at all.

The message which followed was something like, “Bzzzzt. Mumblemumble. Poot. Novshmozkapop” and was rendered in severely artificial tones. Imagine Stephen Hawking’s voice synthesiser with a virus, but without the clarity or depth of vocal expression.

I can deal with garden-variety wrong numbers, but this one really went above and beyond the call of duty.

* For South Africans, no further description is necessary (“when you hyair the signal…”). For non-safricans, she’s the one who calls out the time for the talking clock. The poor woman does an excellent job, too – especially if you consider that she does it with a hot potato in her mouth and something large and pinecone-esque shoved firmly up her backside)


17 thoughts on “Crank it up

  1. So they are putting that silly old cow to more use than just the time!!!??

    At least the poms have a sense of humour and/or try to make things interesting – BT’s most recent ‘recruit’ for the voice of text messages sent to landlines is Tom Baker. Who? Dr Who. Who? Well, yes, I’d have said the same a few years ago when I knew nothing about that British iconic TV sci-fi programme that has been running on and off since the sixties. It’s been resurrected recently and is brilliant but I know nothing about the earlier programs apart from snippets on TV and hearing various geeky friends talking about it.

    Tom Baker had the role of Dr Who about 20 years ago and was one of the most popular Dr Who’s.

    Phew! All that explanation to try and put the BT text voice into context and you probably didn’t need it at all.


  2. Hmmm.
    I get messages from people who don’t lock their phone keyboard so the phone “auto-dials”, if you will, and I can then follow quite a large chunk of their exciting life, without ever understanding what’s being said. Which means that I am yet to catch someone saying horrible things about me while thinking I can’t hear.


  3. nomad: What’s the plural for Doctor Who? Doctors Who or Doctor Whos?

    anne: Hmmm indeed. Note to self: must remember to check phone before saying horrible things about people.

    Caroline: I don’t quite know what to make of it. Apart from a blog entry, of course.

    Bee: Well now I have to try it. I wonder what it would make of the old fave, “Gaan kak in die mielies”?


  4. Telephone calls at all hours of the night are not usually anxiety-provoking in this house. With my husband’s funny last name we’re a regular target for the get-a-life crowd.


  5. ozymandiaz: Yeah, that guy really needs a hobby.

    Brian the Mennonite: Funny you should mention that…

    andrea: That must be both annoying and dull at the same time.

    LiVEwiRe: Okay, NOW I’m worried.

    WretchedToad: Thanks 🙂 I’ll do my best.


  6. Wenchy: Oh yes. She must use Bioplus or something.

    Caroline: Fortunately not. At least, not yet.

    ChittyChittyBangBang: Of course. Sadly, the payoff is a pinecone.

    Terri: I knew it!

    The Phoenix: In my case, it’s probably more of a follow-up call to determine whether I was satisfied with their level of service.


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