Hello, you're though to the environmental health department. Yes, yes, that's right - we're the people you need to call if you have a pest control issue. Oh, it's you Mrs Whitney. No... no, Mrs Whitney. No, I didn't mean anything by that. Well I'm sorry if you thought there was something in the tone of my voice, I really... No, no - believe me, it's really great to hear from you again. Really great. How can we help you this time, Mrs Whitney?
OK, well... well let me see what we've got here. Yes, yes, I've got your records in front of me. You've, err, you've kept us quite busy, haven't you Mrs Whitney? Well no, actually you've called us eighteen times. Yes, it is, isn't it? No, no - not at all. We're always happy to hear from you. It's a topic of great interest here, Mrs Whitney. Every morning we come in and we say to each other 'Oh I wonder if Mrs Whitney is going to call again today.' No, Mrs Whitney, I wasn't being sarcastic. Well, I'm sorry if it came across that way. I really didn't mean it to. So... so, anyway, why don't you tell me how I can help you today?
Uh huh... yes... go on... OK, well... yes, yes. Behind your shed, you say? Sort of a scurrying noise? Well, OK - the thing is Mrs Whitney, tigers aren't really that common around here. Not at this time of year. And they don't really make a 'scurrying noise'. That sounds like it's more likely to be a mouse, or something.
No, of course, Mrs Whitney. I'm not suggesting anything, really I'm not. I'm sure you're perfectly able to tell the difference between a mouse and a... and a... Yes, the stripes are a bit of a giveaway. Mrs Whitney, I'm not casting aspersions here but you don't think that maybe, just maybe you might be letting your imagination run away with you?
OK, OK... please calm down Mrs Whitney. There's no need for that language, Mrs Whitney. No, I've never done that, Mrs Whitney. And I don't think anyone has ever done that, Mrs Whitney. I'm not sure where you've picked up these expressions, Mrs Whitney, but I don't think they're appropriate. I'm going to have to end this call if you don't calm down Mrs Whitney. That's OK. No really, it's all right. You're not the first person to call me that and I dare say you, err, you won't be the last.
Perhaps if you could just see the situation from our point of view? See, this isn't the first time you've called us with these kinds of tales, Mrs Whitney. Let's see now. First time you said you were being harassed by... No, no, that's fine. Our guys deal with birds all the time. Usually it's pigeons. An ostrich was a first, yes. Well, I don't know - I guess they'd just creep up on it and put a bag over its head. I'm not the expert, Mrs Whitney, although it's kind of academic, isn't it? See, when our guys turned up they found no sign of it. No I don't think it could have flown away, Mrs Whitney. Like I say, I'm no expert, but I seem to remember that the ostrich is a flightless bird.
Well now you're just being silly, Mrs Whitney. I don't know where an ostrich would get a jetpack from. Well, you say that, but I've never heard of any kind of bird, flightless or otherwise, that has an Amazon account. No, I'm not saying that it's impossible. No, I'm not saying that. No, I'm... look, Mrs Whitney, do you think we could get back to your current problem. It's kinda been a long day. Is that all right?
OK then, this 'tiger'... Sorry, can you repeat that? 'if it's not a tiger, where did the milk go?' Is that what you said? What milk is this, Mrs Whitney? Has this tiger been in your refrigerator? Well, I don't know, maybe it could sneak in when nobody was looking. Well, I appreciate that Mrs Whitney, but you can't be on guard all the time, can you? Maybe it had a giraffe friend keeping lookout for it?
No, no, no, Mrs Whitney, I didn't mean to be facetious. I'm sorry if it came out that way. It's like I said, it's been a long day and this is turning out to be a... well, this is turning out to be a long call. Look, tell me about the milk, Mrs Whitney. What did you mean when you said it had stolen the milk?
Oh, I see, not 'stolen'. You left the milk out for it deliberately? In a saucer? Why, err, why did you do that, Mrs Whitney? Well, no, since you put it like that, I suppose not. Well, we do that at home too - some seed and maybe a bit of bacon rind for the birds. But I've never heard of anyone putting out a saucer of milk for a tiger. See, that's kind of encouraging them, isn't it? You start with a saucer of milk for the tigers, then potato peelings for the rhinos, a few broken cookies for the crocodiles and before you know it your back garden is like a safari park. You're bringing it on yourself, really.
Oh Mrs Whitney, really, I'm not trying to tell you... of course, you have every right... no, it's not my place to... I just mean to say that... OK, yes. You know what, you're right. Mrs Whitney, I can tell you're very upset and my shift should have ended ten minutes ago, so here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to send the guys round right now. We'll make your tiger a priority. They'll have him out of there in no time. How's that sound? Yep, I'm sure it'll be fine. Nope, they're not gonna hurt him one bit - just coax him out with a bun then turn him loose in the country, I expect. That OK?
It's my pleasure, Mrs Whitney. No problem at all. Bye bye, then. Oh, and Mrs Whitney - do you think you could do me a favour. Next time you call, could you ask for Linda? Yeah, Linda - she specialises in this kind of thing, see. Either Linda, or Gary, or Andrew or Grahame. My name? Oh it's, err, I've forgotten. But you don't need to worry about that - just remember Linda, or Gary, or Andrew or Grahame and you'll be fine. OK then, bye bye Mrs Whitney. You take care now. Bye bye.
From The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2016
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