Sunday, 30 June 2013

Mistaken Identity.

On Wednesday, I received a call on my mobile from an unknown number. Nothing unusual about that perhaps. I'd normally refrain from answering, as it's inevitably someone trying to sell me something, or hassle me about something I've already purchased. However, I was expecting a call from an airline about some flights I've booked for a wedding this month, so I picked up. Almost instantly, I regretted this decision.

"Is that Mr. Martin?"


"Oh, hello, this is Louise calling from [a bank]. I spoke to your wife earlier about taking out a loan with us for some home improvements."

Alarm bells started to ring. Partly because Louise wasn't an employee of the bank that I use, but mainly because I have neither a wife, nor a home. Well, one that I own at least. And yes, I mean the home rather than the wife. Although the idea of renting a wife may seem appealing to some. 

"I'm not sure you have the right Mr. Martin."

"This is definitely the number we have to reach you on. You did say you were Mr. Martin?"

At this point, I was unsure what to think. It could have been a simple administrative error, but equally Louise (if that was even her real name) could be a confidence trickster, trying to steal my identity, and/or my money. It might be too late already. She had my mobile number and my surname, which would surely be enough to track me down - suddenly, being bundled into the back of a van, and waking up in an ice bath, missing my kidneys seemed a very real possibility.

"Well, yes, but it's a common name. I'm not even the only one in my family."

"Right. Could you confirm your address for me, please?"

Oh, sure 'Louise', so you can dispatch a mob of heavily-set thugs with a very rudimentary grasp of renal surgery to my exact location, to part me with two key components of my urinary system? I've seen Taken, I know how these things work - You'll have to do better than that.

"I'd rather that my internal organs didn't end up on eBay, thank you very much!"

"I'm sorry?!"

I then realised that Louise hadn't been involved in my inner monologue, which I appreciate could have made my outburst seem a little odd. Thankfully, I managed to style it out.

"Sorry, it's a topical reference. I'd rather not give out my address over the phone, if that's okay?"

"I see. It sounds like now might be a bad moment. Is there a better time to talk?"

She could clearly sense I was a nut that wouldn't crack easily. Like the few pistachios in every bag, which simply won't open, at least not without destroying a few fingernails in the process. Pistachio trumps manicure, Louise.

At this point, I probably should have told the truth about my lack of spouse, or home ownership, but it was too late. Had I mentioned this immediately, I'm sure the whole thing would have been laughed off, and Louise and I would have parted ways permanently. But now I was Liam Neeson: I would look for her, I would find her, and I would kill her. Well, maybe not kill, but at least force her to update her contact records. 

"How about tomorrow lunchtime?"

"Sure. When do you normally have lunch? Does 12.30 suit you?"

I assume this was some sort of ploy to find out when my inner workings would be at their 'cleanest' for the Butcher of Bucharest to whip out, and pack into an M&S picnic cooler, bound for the black market. 

"12.30 is perfect. I'll speak to you then."

Louise didn't ring back. I like to think she sensed that I was not a man to mess with. In reality, she probably realised there had been a basic data-entry error, or was simply terrified by my online auction outburst. 

Either way, I still have my fictitious wife, my fake family home, and my very real kidneys. We're thinking of having an imaginary conservatory built.


  1. Talking of mistaken identity, I was surprised to see you still tweeting after reading this on Friday:

  2. Very funny! I do wish I was as quick witted at you. I end up telling anyone that calls from a call centre everything they want to know!