I’m writing this column while I’m on the phone. Waiting to speak to somebody – anybody.

It’s a long story, but the nub of it is that I was driving along minding my own business when another driver decided to switch lanes without looking, and sideswiped me. Annoying enough, but the really annoying part is trying to get through to my insurance company on the phone. A company, mark you, to which I have paid an entire years salary and financed their company Christmas party over the time I’ve been with them.

They’ll take you money quickly enough, but just try contacting them when you need them.

So far I have listened to the “Please keep holding as your call is important to us, and will be answered as soon as possible.” speech so often I could start screaming and never stop. In some countries, you know, they use that as a method of psychological torture to break hardened terrorists.

But they won’t break me; even if it IS costing me £40 a minute and I’ve already started drooling.

Mind you, to soften the blow they are playing a selection of Frank Sinatra songs: nice, if you happen to like Ol’ Blue Eyes. But they could have been more discriminating in their selection of songs.

“Talk to Me” (1959)”, “Don’t Wait Too Long” (1965), “Accidents Will Happen” (1950), “As Time Goes By” (1961), “Five Minutes More” (1946), “Where Are You?” (1957). Over and over, these songs are repeated, including “I’ve Heard That Song Before” (1961), and “There Goes That Song Again” (1943).

And as for the line from “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (1963), it runs: “Don’t you know, little fool, that you never can win.” Well, not only have they got under my skin, but also right up my nose. 

Hang on… I’m through. “Yes, I can hold… don’t see why not – I’ve become well practiced at it over the past hour and a half… Did you have a nice holiday?”

Hello? Hello?

Sod this for a game of soldiers. I’m going to drive to their HQ somewhere outside Birmingham and fill out the accident claims form in person. Let’s face it, it will be quicker. And I won’t have to listen to the endless greatest hits of Frank Sinatra.

Drew McAdam


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