I upgraded my phone service, recently. I should know better, but did it anyway. Upshot: so far, six days without a phone service. Everything Everywhere? Nothing Nowhere, more like... I hope they're getting truly tired of hearing that obvious but bitterly-felt joke.
Anyway, this means that I've spent a lot of time on the landline, listening to the soothing lies of variously-accented folk, mainly Irish, whose main role seeems to be to put you on hold, pointlessly, for ten minutes ("I'm just going to go and check something with my colleague..."), racking up the cost of the call. Must be a nice little earner for them.
But, there's an upside to this. I get to hear music I wouldn't otherwise hear. I don't know whether all mobile phone suppliers are the same, but Orange/EE have obviously put some thought into the demographic of the captive ears desperately awaiting the return of a human voice ("Sorry about that, Michael, my second coffee was a bit too hot, so I cooled it down by taking a walk to the bank to get some cash, and bumped into my old friend Seamus, and ... well, you know how it goes. Hope you didn't mind listening to a loop of upbeat, quirky indie music for twenty-five minutes? Grand!").
Of course, the sound quality isn't up to much, and there's no DJ telling you what's coming up next, as it just careens from one track to another, occasionally interrupting a good bit with insincere recorded apologies ("Jesus, are you still here? We've been like TOTALLY overwhelmed with calls this morning, so we're like really, really sorry about that, you know?"), and I do miss the original Orange girl with her throaty, smoker's voice. We had a thing going: I could tell she was genuinely sorry to keep me waiting, you know? But, the music is not bad, and completely new to me, aimed as it is at a rather younger audience.
I amuse myself by googling the lyrics to identify the tracks. This week has figured "Brave" by Sara Bareilles and "Millionaire" by Scouting for Girls quite heavily. I like the first a lot (in another life, I am clearly an angsty-but-feisty teenage girl) though I liked it better when I had misunderstood the lyric as accusatory and ironic (as in, now it's your turn to be brave, heartbreaker!) rather than merely charity-marathon uplifting. "Millionaire" is annoying but catchy, and makes me feel my age. That white-boy-cute indie style, with its self-conscious glottals and hint of a Jafaican slur, is, I fear, exactly where I'd be at now if I were 40 years younger. Which I'm not. Which is also annoying.
But... Wait, what? Sorry, Fergus is back on the line...