Spend 8 minutes 36 seconds on hold to the Gas company – during this time The Beasts are so quiet and well behaved I have to poke my head round the door to check they’re still alive.
“Good afternoon you’re through to Colin, how can I help today?”
“Oh hi there Colin I’m just ringing to check on our tariff, I had a letter through the post about it?”
*bored sounding* “what’s your account number?”
“Oh, er, I have it here. It’s 476…”
(Hysterical screams from the other room) “Mummy!! MUMMY! OSCAR’S PINCHING ME, MUMMY HELP, HELP!”
“Sorry Colin, one sec” – dash into room to find beast 1 completely at the mercy of beast 2 in a headlock.
(Still holding phone) “oh for goodness sake Jasper, you’re 5, just push him off and tell him to stop- Oscar leave your brother alone please. Just go and find something to do that doesn’t involve beating each other up. Jesus.” *shakes head*
Physically seperate beasts & return to kitchen.
“Sorry Colin, here’s the rest of the account number.”
“Ok Mrs Patterson if you could just confirm a few security details – what’s your postcode and date of birth?”
“Yes it’s – (muffled yells) what’s that? What? You’ll have to speak up, what are you saying? A poo do you need?”
*sounds concerned and rather alarmed* “Erm no I’m ok right now thanks Mrs Patterson, if you could just give me those details and we’ll get you through security?”
“What? Oh sorry Colin, I wasn’t asking you if…oh never mind. Right, postcode and date of birth, there you go.”
“Ok and what’s your monthly payment?”
“It’s about seventy -” *beast 2 tapping leg persistently* *glance down to see a felt tip pen in his hand & immediately feel intense trepidation.* “where did you get that pen? Where did you find that?”
“Sorry Mrs Patterson? My pen? Just erm…out of our cupboard?”
“Huh? Oh, God, no not you Colin, sorry, hang on”
*primly* “No problem” (clearly the biggest problem in the world)
“Give me that pen please Oscar, have you drawn on anything?”
Enter dining room to see red scrawl all over the vinyl floor. Drop urgently to hands and knees and start rubbing with a baby wipe (which is how I do all of the cleaning) to remove before Daddy beast gets home. Can’t be bothered with the lecture about how they were clearly left unsupervised and have to listen to the angry Irish man muttering about “what’s the bloody point paying for nice things in this house if those little shits just draw all over them?”
“Mrs Patterson? Your monthly payment?”
“Oh. Yes. Right. £76.”
“Ok that’s security completed, so you just want to check your tariff? Have you checked online to see what our current deals are?”
“No, Colin, I haven’t: all I want to do when I’m online in the 10 minutes I get to myself a day, is stalk people on Facebook and watch clips of cats falling off things; I don’t know which tariff is best so I just want you to tell me if there’s a cheaper one please.”
“Right then, ok, let’s have a look. When do you use most of your energy?”
“I don’t have any energy left Colin. I have two small children that may as well be called Satan 1 and Satan 2. All my energy got used a long time ago.”
“Oh – er – no…I meant like, your electricity and gas? Because that’s what you’re calling about?”
*awkward pause* *clear throat and pretend I knew that all along*
“Oh, ha ha, yes I was only joking Colin, we use it pretty much all the time because my little angels can’t leave the tv, lights, fridge, oven, plug sockets or microwave alone. And they eat constantly and need hot baths every day just to get rid of the grime where they’ve rolled in mud or smeared food all over themselves, so we use quite a lot of gas too to cook the food and heat the water.”
“Right, um, ok, well you could try a tariff called -”
“MUMMY I’M FINISHED! WIPE MY BUM!”
“A tarrif called -”
“Yes just hold your horses a second there Colin, I’m just a bit busy right now.”
“Well…you did call us…so…Erm….usually that means you’re available to talk…”
“Yes alright Colin (sassy pants) just hang on a sec, I’m pretty sure you’re being paid to sit there and talk to me, no one’s paying me to be here you know”
(Call up the stairs with phone still attached to ear)
“Wipe your own bum please, and wash your hands! And don’t put a whole roll of loo roll down there again either, you blocked the pipes last time”
Meanwhile: the other beast has found the remote and turned the volume of postman pat up to an unbearable level so we can all hear what a shit postman pat is because he’s lost yet another package and secretly fancies Mrs Goggings.
*laughs uncomfortably* “look, er, Mrs Patterson…you’re clearly otherwise engaged right now, could I suggest that you call us back later when it’s *ahem* a quieter time for you?”
“Oh ho, oh no you don’t Colin. I just spent (exaggerates wildly) half an hour on hold trying to get through to you. We’re doing this now.” *sits wearily at table*
*forced cheeriness* “Sure. Well you could try our tarrif called -”
Beast 2, sensing both weakness and opportunity, scrambles up to the table faster than you can say ‘do we have any wine’, and announces: “I TALK TO DADDY NOW MUMMY”
“No no no it’s not daddy, no it’s Colin about the electricity and -”
Grabs phone, yells “BYE DADDY LOVE YOU” into it then presses the disconnect button.
Looks at me like:
Guess I’ll just stick with the tariff I’m on then. 🤔
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