Friday, 17 April 2009


Looking upwards at the sky through tree branches
Have a dream?
Make you scream?
Don't make a fuss
Just call us!

That was the answering message for the Dream Interpretation Service, which Lola II called following a particularly interesting dream some years ago. I gave her a full explanation of her dream, relating it to current events in her life, and from follow up calls she seemed very satisfied. She has called the helpline on multiple occasions, and the service cannot be faulted.

We have operated a number of helplines between us since then - I call the Exam Remembering Helpline when I've got some facts to remember, like which side of the carbon ring does the OH group go in alpha and beta glucose? The answer (provided by the ERH) is that 'al-far' glucose has the OH on the 'far' side. Not all the answers stick - I'm now trying to remember which of CD4 and CD8 was the T helper cell and which one was the T killer. Anyway, it's a good service and a fast response is guaranteed.

Less useful was the Toilet Helpline, which Lola II called on a particularly difficult day at work. The response had to be left as a voicemail message, and essentially went as follows "Thank you for calling the Toilet Helpline. If you have any toilet-related issues, please call someone else. Goodbye." Lola II has kept the message, so she may be able to provide the exact wording.

Just recently, well it's odd, but my phone must have been calling random helpline numbers from my pocket. Yesterday I received this text message:

Studying refraction?
Need a distraction?
Don't make a fuss
Just call us!
I think you called the physics helpline by mistake

I responded that I was studying omega-3 fatty acids, not physics. Within minutes, the following arrived:

Feeling flaccid?
Trying to learn about pesky omega 3 fatty acid?
Don't make a fuss
Just call us!

Now that's impressive service, don't you think? I said as much, and... what a surprise! I got another message:

Feeling impressed?
Want a weekend house guest?
And fancy a touch of Ebola?
Just call Lola!

I think she was having a difficult day in the office. Talking of difficult days in the office... well, the situation with Mr A hasn't improved yet. He's decided to go on the stress management course or whatever it is, starting next week. My difficult days in the office have been struggling with this essay on functional food (the omega 3 fatty acid business) but at last I've cracked it, and there's only the tables and references to finish now. I printed my timetable for the next month, and I have nine coursework deadlines, of which I have completed or nearly completed four. And then exams start, in just over a month! I'd better get back to it.


Lola II said...

The exact message was:
"This is the Toilet Helpline. We are sorry to have missed you. If you have any further toilet difficulties, make sure you don't talk to us. Byee."

Not exactly the high standard of customer service I'm used to receiving...

Hang on a mo', I just have to answer a call coming into the Exam Remembering Helpline.

Having trouble with your studies?
Rather be in the super-dooper pub next door with your buddies?
Don't make a fuss
Just call us!

This one's easy. Either you remember it as:
CD8 rhymes with hate (killer)
CD8 rhymes with great (helper)

Thank you for calling, do call again.

aims said...

I haven't a clue what you're talking about but it was fun anyway!

Lola said...

Aims - a lot of the time, we don't know what we're talking about either. But you're right, it's fun anyway!