Although I'm sure we could find prior form, if you'd prefer that? Just asking, some do, sir. Children are not everyone's cuppa, in my experience.
OK, so I mentioned Angela del Moro, courtesan, once, some time ago, trying to bring a bit of kulcha to this thing, and what do I get for thanks? About everyone on the planet who can't afford to buy a copy of Penthouse (for the articles, you understand) looking for pictures of some sixteenth century bint in the nude (probably far too fat for current tastes, incidentally) and passing it off as historical research, should their mothers ask what they're doing down in the basement. What with that, and "obsessed vibrators", it's enough to make one wonder.
OK, I do not expect them to be geniuses, but I would like to think that they had access to a large online database and some basic knowledge of the products they're supposedly supporting. Our case: we, for our sins, have a France Telecom Livebox as our link to the world: it is, not unsurprisingly, plugged into the phone line and the phone, in its turn, is plugged into the box. Like that, the box routes incoming voice calls on the 04 number of the fixed line to the phone, and also gives us a VOIP line with a 09 number.
At which point, very gratefully, I explained my problem. So he told me that it was completely normal, I needed two phones, one plugged into the phone line for the 04 number and the other into the box, for the 09 number. I patiently explained that this was not in fact the case. "But Sir", said he, "you have two phone numbers, of course you must have two phones."
"I AM ONLY DOING WHAT IT SAYS ON THE FRIKKIN BOX!" I said, calmly. The meds were definitely cutting in by now. "Also, it has been working quite happily like that for some time now, and the only reason I am calling you is that it is no longer doing so. Do you have a problem with that?"
Well yes, he did, because apparently it should not have worked, according to him. So I had fiddled with it, or changed my contract, or something. Had my box been replaced recently? ("Yes. Three times.", I assured him.)
The next day I got an e-mail from France Telecom, asking me for my feedback on the quality of their service, and exactly how would I rate it on a scale of 0-9 for politeness, efficiency, and technical aptitude. I am still unsure as to exactly how I should reply.
For starters, the simple numerical scale seems rather unimaginative. Having it go from "runny gnat's fart" through "duck with gastroenteritis" all the way to a full-blown "enraged sperm whale with diarrhoea" would, I feel, fit better with the actual user experience.
And another thing, miraculous multiplication. Not that we have very many pieces of the True Cross around this place (the theory being that this simple postulate would explain the fact that the sum total of bits of crucifixes - crucifii? - added up to about 923 ha of oak forest, or 5037 adult male African elephants, which was not really believable even back in the Middle Ages) but we do have Tupperware.
Now two of the lids seem to match a tub, more or less - the odd thing is, it's never the same tub, twice in a row. Something is going on here, doubtless quantum, but it's kind of getting up my nose. All I want to do is stick some leftover tinned mushrooms in the bloody thing, for god's sake. Is that too much to ask?
Must admit also that we're not too impressed with the organisational abilities of les compagnons du devoir: a phrase involving the words "piss-up" and "brewery" does rather come to mind.
What the hell, chalk it up to experience.