I have recently been besieged by a particularly nasty kind of cold call.
A year ago, I had a horrible accident, knocking a woman off her bike. Neither John nor I saw her, and to this day, I have no idea how it happened. It was one of the worst moments of my life, as for a few long seconds, I really thought she was dead. But she was quite amazingly forgiving and nice about it, the police were kindness itself, and I had to go on a (very useful) Driver Awareness course. End of. Or so I thought.
Then the calls started to come, on both landline and mobile. I'd had an accident, hadn't I? I might be due compensation. One text regularly specifies a sum of over £3000 which awaits me, if only I'd call them.
Quite apart from the small matter of confidentiality (who exactly leaked my details to these scumbags?), these calls are a real nuisance. But the other day. I did get my own back. Just a bit.
Yes. I said. I'd had a horrible accident. I'd lost both legs, and was in a very sorry state.
Ooooh! Both legs? The glee was audible. I was immediately passed on to someone higher up the chain. We discussed my terrible problem and then I told the man on the phone that it was quite untrue and that there was nothing wrong with me. He was enraged.
"It is very bad to tell these lies!" said he.
"Well, it's very bad to pursue people in this disgusting way," I told him, and rang off.
But the calls keep on coming. They are horrible and unsettling, and pander to the worst in everyone involved. I don't like being rude to cold callers (my preferred option is to tell them I'm dead. It works every time, and is at least not unkind). They have a living to earn. But these really are the pits.