Telephone rang. Shook the air to shake him in his chair.
Sounded loud, like an emergency bell in a fire engine station.
He rose from his doze, slippered his way to the top of the hall,
picked up the phone, like the puppet in his discarded dream.
“Hell-oak,” he croaked, like a chest congested crow.
Listened hard with his right ear.
Silence of the inside of a safe, at first.
Attended harder, detected a sound like a tiny tape
slowly on the turn in a minuscule tape machine.
An over thirty female voice, pre-recorded, shocked him, said:
“Hello. Did you know that your old windows
could be letting out a lot of heat from your house,
so that in winter you are living no better
than an Eskimo in an igloo in the North Pole
or a penguin on an iceberg in the South Pole?
Well, you wouldn’t want that, would you?
So why don’t you let us remove all your old windows
and put in new ones, to keep in all the heat in your house,
so you would be cosy as a green fly in a kettle,
warm as a bumble bee in a honey hive?
Now, you would like that, wouldn’t you?
So why not let us come and remove all your windows,
and, if you like, your doors, bricks, roof tiles and chimney,
so you would have no house, and you would need a new one?
Well, you would, wouldn’t you? Silly. Then why not let us come
and build you a new house with proper windows and a door,
so you could get in and out? That would be sensible, wouldn’t it?
That would be nice. You would like that, wouldn’t you? I bet you would.
Well, if you would like to hear more about our scheme,
please press 2 now.
Alternatively, if you would like to be removed from our scheme
He pressed 8 and put the phone down,
being happy with his windows, and his doors, for that matter.