Saturday 20 January 2018

Billy Keane: Taking plenty of no notice is good way to ignore life's annoyances

The lady who gave me the bad news has no name. Phil bought her in the shop. Honest – she's not some sort of blow-up pleasure doll who dances a latex ballet with lonely men. There's a lot to be said, though, for talking adult dolls. They don't do vodka. And you can hit the off switch when they begin to annoy you.

The lady who tells me the bad news double-jobs as the woman inside the sat-nav. I know she's one and the same from the slow, nasal, computer accent like as if she has her tongue wrapped in barbed wire. There would be no take for a blow-up doll with an accent devoid of human emotion. Ann Summers probably employs a sexy voiceover artist like Madonna for that job.

She's a busy woman, is the announcer. The lady also does work for the banks. "Press one for credit cards, press two for a statement, press three if you've lost €400m or more." And so on. But the voice is intensely annoying, especially when you keep getting shunted from one department to the next and you press so many buttons you lose your fingerprints. There's a fierce Robinson Crusoe longing to speak to a human being.

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