Sunday, 19 February 2012

How to talk on the phone

Once upon a time, at some point in the ages of communication between carrier pigeon and instant neural download, people talked to each other over the telephone. The telephone was a strange sort of device where you talked into the bottom bit and listened with the top bit in order to converse with another living being or, in more advanced models, ghosts.

The main twist was of course that in contrast to standard dialogue, this was conducted across huge distances and without visual contact. This of course opened up a huge range of opportunities for anonymous shenanigans and tomfoolery, as well as allowing both perverts and asthma sufferers alike to intimidate people at range.

Nowadays, regardless of whatever rubbish BT says, the phone is a less popular method of communication, as human contact is ever marginalised by the joy of digital interaction and haptic feedback. However on rare occasion you may be required to engage in communication using one of these archaic devices, be it to get in a virtual queue to complain about something, to talk to an elderly relative who doesn't know what a 'lol' is, to call a sex line, or perhaps to do all these things at once.

 I myself am capable of operating this technology, and as a bloody good guy I intend to teach you how to use it too, just like Bono showed us how to feed the world or something.


Part One: How to Answer the Phone

1. Detect a ringing phone
When it is time to answer the phone, it will traditionally make a ringing sound, like a bell. In snazzier phones it may even play a tune or recite a phrase from a popular television broadcast. Learn to identify the particular noise your breed of phone makes and you'll know when it's ready to be answered. If you're having trouble with this step, you may be better off receiving your messages via crystal ball- talk to your local post office and they will reroute your phone calls appropriately.

2. Answering the phone
Once you have detected and located the phone, the time for action is upon you! Spring into action from your chair, stool, or hammock and grab that phone. Often simply lifting the phone from its place and gently pressing it into the side of your face will be enough to answer it, sometimes you'll have to press a button or do a bit of a dance. I should note that you didn't ought to answer anybody else's phone when it rings, especially if it is secreted within a bag or pocket, as it is considered rude and may be illegal.

3. Listen closely
Whoever is calling you clearly needs to deliver some important message: listen to it! When they stop talking, consider your context appropriate response and move onto step 4.

4. Respond
After careful consideration, adopt a posh and articulate 'telephone voice' and deliver your own message back to whoever it is that you are speaking to. If you are having trouble coming up with things to say, try these:
  • Hello
  • I'd like to talk about something else now
  • I'm trapped and they won't let me leave
  • Have you considered a sex change sir?
  • Oh really?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
  • I'm sorry but I have to go now due to unexpected milk
  • Nnnnggghhh!
  • Fuck Off!
5. Have a conversation
If things are going to your liking, you may continue to repeat steps 3 and 4 until you either get have something else to do, get bored, or develop a third nipple. If things are not going well, for example you are being murdered over the phone, you may want to use one of these handy methods of influencing the flow of the teleconversation:
  • Pull a funny face. As well as helping to entertain yourself during boring or stressful period, the subtle vibrations of facial expressions can be transmitted as almost imperceptible sonic waves down telephone cabling, and trigger an empathetic response on the listener.
  • If you are feeling upset or angry, give the talkytaker (the bit you speak into) a stern stare. Telephones are cowardly creatures and it will probably start playing some soothing music to try and calm you.
  • Stop talking altogether and see how long the other person stays on the line saying 'hello' repeatedly before they hang up. Alternately, do this a number of times and then resume the conversation as though nothing has happened. 
  • Put some jam on the voiceyspeaker (the bit you listen to)
  • Achieve orgasm
6. Ending the conversation
Eventually you will reach a point where both parties wish to end the conversation (unless one of the parties is from a charity or is trying to sell you something, in which case you will run out of things to say long before they do- my advice in this situation is to run far away and never return). Timing is of the essence in this area- ending a conversation abruptly will mark you out as rude and get your crossed of Christmas card lists and party guest lists alike, but taking too long to put the conversation out of it's misery will make you seem desperate and people may start avoiding you in the street as word of your creepiness gets about.
 Don't worry! As long as you say 'Good Day Sir!' there can be no more iterations of conversational matters. If the other party attempts to press the conversation, remind them it's time for them to get back to whatever pointless business they are otherwise involved in by affirming 'I said Good Day Sir!' Legally there is no way one can misinterpret this phrase, and if they were somehow to do so it would be punishable by dismemberment.

If you got through these steps alive, then well done. You have survived a conversation over the phone. Now, the other way of using the phone is that you get in contact with other people to bother them about your own piffling nonsense. This is done by a method of key presses, secret codes, and complex handshakes that I am unfamiliar with, so I will not be able to help you with this one. Instead, if you wish to get in touch with somebody who is not in throttling distance, I suggest that you train a team of skilled local foxes to deliver messages for you in exchange for meat and cocaine, or go back to the old method of doing things which is to carve messages on bullets and fire them into your intended recipient's flesh.
 Although only in their foot of course, for safety reasons.

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