It started here

It’s 2007 and I’m being love-bombed by strangers to the very brink of insanity.

Under-bloody-statement! A mountain of letters, packages, freebies and postcards from organisations I had only ever heard from once in a blue moon. Without exception, they loved me. They wanted my babies. They expressed their undying devotion to my happiness – for me personally, their most valued customer!

One company urged me to do the sensible thing and take out a £100 “New for Old” insurance policy on an electric toaster originally purchased for £39.99. For convenience, they had pre-filled most of the blanks on the application form. How kind. Another, embarrassingly needy, declared their lives would remain without form or meaning unless I borrowed a staggering amount of money. And, to demonstrate just how much I meant to them, they were prepared to make a “once in a lifetime gift” of zero percent interest for the first six months (terms and conditions apply etc. etc.).

There were glossy brochures from Estate Agents imploring me to let them sell our house because people were queueing around the block to part with ludicrous amounts of money to climb ever higher on the “property ladder.” There were even a few rather jolly “Information Updates” from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs with a cartoon character cheekily explaining the reasons my tax code had been changed fourteen times in as many months (but if I was dead I could ignore the letter and contact them by phone instead). On top of all that, there were Cold Calls which is the high tech. equivalent of water-boarding through the medium of jolly telephone agents in Call Centres. Some selling different types of energy efficiency, others accusing me of allowing scurrilous scallywags to infest my computer with, I don’t know, ferret porn or something. They implored me to provide them with all my passwords and bank account details or there would be hell to pay.

Most, however, were just checking that my details were correct. These were the most dangerous! The sly ones, the data vampires sucking up my information to sell on to other cold calling companies so the whole damned circus could run for all eternity.

As this story unfolds, I shall explain why I was worn out with dancing to other people’s tunes. I had no choice but to step off the carousel if I was to preserve my sanity.

© Rod McRiven 2017

Location: Exmoor, United Kingdom

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