” With Percussion Fuses, Please. “

The landline phone rarely rings these days, but it always brings us new friends…or people who could possibly be new friends. If your definition of ” friends ” is an elastic one.

A recent call at 11:00AM had the characteristic time delay of the South Asian networks but the voice was not as ethnic as usual. I would have picked it as British South Asian if anything, and well-educated, at that. Impeccable diction.

The approach was polite as well – ostensibly the caller was from a travel firm in Sydney and the caller was asking whether I had filled out forms requesting travel booking in the last 10 to 12 months. This would be plausible, but improbable. More likely it would lead to asking for identity details that could be used for fraudulent purposes.

I did say that I had filled out an order from for surplus 14″ naval shells from the Patuxent Armoury in Maryland and was he calling about delivery? He repeated his original script…

I asked if they could please change the order to include some percussion fuses as well as the timed ones with the shells. Maybe half a dozen, and please pack them sepearately in plastic foam. No need taking risks, eh?

You know, you can actually hear people sweat over a telephone. You have to listen carefully, but the little cold beads of moisture hitting the desk make a distinctive sound.

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