Now this isn't as bad as it sounds as there are a quite a few procedural steps and procedural get-out clauses that for 95% of the time means I am saved from a small-hours walk to my place of work and the onerous task falls to a third party who is paid a hell of a lot more to do this element of the job than I am. I won't go into details for security reasons (i.e. I'd have to kill you all).
So. When the telephone rings late at night I have been systemically programmed to awaken and answer it not matter how tired or how previously unconscious I might have been.
I do not do this, as a rule, with any grace or magnanimity. I do, however, do it being of a conscientious mind and bent.
The telephone rang last night at 12.33am. Given the high winds I feared the worst - a smashed window or a blown open door at my place of employ; a 45 minute round dash out of the warm comfort of my own home and into the freezing cold elements just to close an effing door and silence and reset the alarms.
As it was, it was neither of the above scenarios. Neither was it that even more rare event: a genuine break-in.
No. It was a crank call.
And not even a crank call. A crank text / voice message.
Some joker (and I use than moniker very ironically) had decided to sent a text message to my landline which is then recited to me by a computer.
The message was innocuous but subtly malicious; something along the lines of: "Sorry. My mistake. I did not mean to call you. Boo hoo. Boo hoo. Boo hoo. I hope I did not wake you up. Boo hoo."
The voice messaging service is such that, had I not taken the initial call, the phone would have rung out again and again and again until the message was delivered.
I was not amused. I was awake. Awake and pissed enough to check my phone to see if I recognized the originator's number.
Because the cretin obviously did not realise that along with the message, the computer also logs the telephone number of the twat sending it and gives it out to the recipient.
The number was and is unknown to me, mores the pity.
Now, I have developed 2 theories to describe the night's events.
1) This was someone who was drunk, infantile and comedically challenged and who on a whim decided to waste their immorally earned money on a random text message to a random telephone number that they picked out of a phone book by flopping their infinitesimally small penis onto the yellowing page flapping in front of them. In short, I (literally) drew the short straw but may have inadvertently helped this small pewling, emotionally backward baby of a human being feel momentarily like they were king of the world. Or at least king of the bus shelter that they were trying to unsuccessfully masturbate into.
2) This is some lowlife scum who knows me, has got hold of my landline number, knows I am on call and therefore will be primed to answer the clarion call of the telephone and decided it would be funny to wake me and potentially my wife and children via a prank call that only highlights how pathetically passive-aggressive and emotionally stunted their entire existence is. Oh and they may have a have a very small penis too and / or saggy tits that droop down to their toenails.
Either way I don't really care.
But I do want recompense.
I am reliably informed that if you dial 141 before dialling someone's telephone number the call goes through anonymously. They won't be able to see your caller ID. This, alas, does not work for text messages but no mind. Normal voice calls are good enough.
The person who woke me so rudely last night has the following number: 07817 449153.
Now, I am not inciting anyone to do anything. Not anything at all. But should, you know, you feel like making a random late night telephone call or feel like signing the above telephone number up to services both dubious and ridiculous, well, who am I to stop you?
This person plainly has a marvellously over-developed sense of humour (alongside a curiously under-developed sense of personal data security) and would, I like to imagine, be well-up for some jolly japes of a likeminded manner.
Do go and fill yer boots, good people.
It is, after all, Christmas and the season of goodwill to all men.
Ho ho ho.