I get a shedload of idiot calls these days – not just for PPI, double glazing, insulation, solar panels and fictitious charities either.
Every so often I get some twat from a ‘boiler room’ trying to get me to send him some dosh to invest in lots of things – except, ironically, boilers.
If you don’t know, a ‘boiler room’ is an office where fraudsters (technical term ‘complete bastards’) cold call investors offering worthless, over- priced or non- existent shares in anything from wine to diamonds to gold bullion to land.
I’ve been offered most of these ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities over the last couple of years and they obviously think I am a total numpty and have lots of spare cash sitting around waiting to hand it over to the first git who asks for it. Only one of these is true.
My reaction varies from “fuck off” to keeping them chatting so I can take the piss.
I have found that a good way to annoy them is to say something like “are you new at this? – I’ve been sold to by blokes who really know what they are doing”
I had one on last Thursday – this time trying to convince me I should invest in art.
I explained that 1. I know fuck all about art, 2. I am not interested in art (unless you count ‘Debbie does Dallas 2’) and I had no intention of investing in art that is probably of more interest to Eeyore
Truth is, I have nothing against art but am more likely to invest in an Eric Pickles workout video to be honest.
Ignoring this he asked me if I knew some foreign sounding bloke (or possibly Doris) – I replied in the negative. He then went on to explain that he/she had been exhibited and their work had gone up in value by over 1,000%.
My new friend didn’t find it amusing when I said “well that’s their Christmas presents sorted”
Once more taking little notice of my response he used the old ‘boiler room’ favourite “Wouldn’t you like to make those sort of returns David?”
Familiarity did appear to breed his contempt.
I repeated my insistence that art is of no interest to me and investing in some canvas from a bloke I haven’t heard of through a bloke I only just met on the phone wasn’t top of my ‘to do’ list.
Refusing to listen he soldiered on and wanted to know if I’d heard of the ‘Saatchi Gallery’.
I indicated that I had worked in advertising for many years and the name Saatchi did kind of have a familiar ring to it.
Apparently Charles Saatchi is a well- known patron who had made a killing in art (perhaps he recently purchased Caravaggio’s ‘Judith beheading Holofernes’?)
It seems that with the aid of my new telephonic chum I could jump on this bandwagon
“Why would Mr Saatchi be keen to share his good fortune with me?” I enquired.
He appeared to be getting a trifle miffed and reverted to asking me why I wasn’t at all open minded.
I suggested that insulting me was probably not the best way to prize a few bob from my mitts and ended the conversation by hanging up.
Silly really, I should have been at my usual articulate and witty best and told him to “fuck off”