Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Cheese Hotline

November 4th
Hi Dad. I know we haven’t spoken in a while, but I thought I’d send you a quick postcard update. You know how they say that you should stick to writing about what you know? Well, it’s paid off. My sitcom about a graduate writing a sitcom about a graduate writing a sitcom has been optioned!
Best, Tom

November 17th
Hi Dad, me again. The production company’s dropped the idea. Apparently the series finale in which the budding writer has his idea dropped because the series finale is inappropriately bleak is inappropriately bleak. I think it’s time for me to wake up and smell the low-fat soya milk caffeinated -style beverage; most people’s tastes aren’t as sophisticated as mine.
Best, Tom

December 4th
Hi Dad, it’s Tom again. The money situation’s getting tight now; I have enough to cover the rent, but not for such luxuries as food and heating. I did try using jumpers instead, like you suggested, but burning them only gave me a few hours of heat. What with the scorch marks on the carpet and the tiny hole in the ceiling, it looks like I’ve launched a very small rocket. The landlord spotted this and reported me to the council for ‘space exploration without a licence’(apparently you have to give the council six to eight week’s notice if you’re going to be launching an expedition, so that they can check your rocket’s MOT’d and fitted with a valid tax disc). I’m going to try to get the fine waived, but just in case I can’t, I’ve decided to get a ‘proper’ job. It’s one of those fines that’s like a self-conscious mathematician – it multiplies while you’re not watching.

December 8th
Getting a proper job is harder than it looks. The amount of dedication they expect is more than I could have imagined – the bloke at the oil refinery physically chased me off the premises when I asked how often I could go out for a smoke. My second interview didn’t go too well either; the photographer looked offended when I told him I was there for the bikini model position. So much for equal opportunities, eh?

January 6th
I did it! I’ve got a job! Probably! When I asked the interviewer if I’d see him on Monday, he shook his head violently, but his wig nodded. Such mixed messages...

January 7th
Apparently that didn’t mean yes.

January 9th
I have actually got a job this time. I’m manning a phone line; I’m the new voice of the sliced cheese hotline! (You know how there’s sometimes a number on the side of food packaging? Well, that’s me). They seemed really relieved that I could step in to fill the post; apparently my predecessor started hearing voices. The work seems easy enough. I just have to answer the phone when it rings.

January 23th
Two weeks into the job, and not one call. I’m not sure what I was expecting, really. I mean, you never really hear about any cheese-based emergencies. No-one turns up in A and E because they slipped on some stilton, put their back out carrying a heavy block of cheddar, or took a dairylea triangle to the eye.

January 25th
This job is driving me mad. I thought it’d be great; I’d just have to turn up and sit in a room for eight hours, and get paid for a full day’s work. I thought it’d give me time to work on the re-write of my sitcom (in which the good-looking protagonist gets a job giving him the time to work on the re-write of his sitcom, in which the good-looking protagonist gets a job giving him the time to work on the re-write of his sitcom). But I can’t concentrate. I’m waiting for that damn phone to ring.

February 12th
Why won’t anyone ring? Someone, somewhere, must be have a question about cheese. I’m not picky – I’ll accept a conversation about yoghurt. I’d even make do with a wrong number.

February 17th
I went to throw the phone against the wall, and discovered that it wasn’t plugged in. Still no calls.

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