If you are speaking from a touch tone telephone, press one

                                                                                     ONE

To order an item from our catalogue, press one

If you have a query about one of our products, press two

To speak to an after-sales representative, press three

If you do not know why you have phoned us, press four

For Frederika, press five

To argue for or against Proposition 187, press six

If your marriage or stable relationship with a partner of either sex is in trouble, press seven

To donate money to a charity of your choice (which we will respect even if we do not agree), press eight

Car Talk, press nine

If you have not yet decided which button to press, press zero

                                                                                     ZERO

For information about religious services in your neighbourhood, press one

Looking for a job? press two

To express your opinion about Marion Barry, press three

If you have an attitude problem, press four

For a recitation of President Reagan’s letter to the American people revealing that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s, press five

If you are no longer listening, press six

Work out with Frederika, press seven

If you are not sure who you are, press eight

If you are HIV positive or have AIDS and require counselling, press nine

If you have not yet decided which button to press, press zero

                                                                                    ZERO

To purchase a gun, press one

If you are seriously depressed, press two

If you think the Second Coming is at hand, press three

To enlarge your politically correct vocabulary with Frederika, press four

To be criticised, press five

To offer advice to the President, press six

To receive advice from the President, press seven

For background information on Whitewater, Vince Foster, the First Lady,

Health Care or Somalia, press eight

To make a dental appointment, press nine

If you have not yet decided which button to press, press zero

                                                                                     ZERO

To complain, press one

Your fortune, with Frederika, press two

To interview Aldrich H Ames, press three

For today’s recipe, press four

Where to ski within reach of Washington this winter, press five

For the Newt Gingrich definition of counter-culture, press six

To listen to silence, press seven

                                                                                     SEVEN

To discuss the kind of silence you want to hear, press one

To let us know how long you need to listen to silence, press two

For a meditation by the Pope on the place of silence in your spiritual life, press three

If you are hearing-challenged, press four

To hear Simon and Garfunkel singing ‘The Sound of Silence’, press five

To explore silence with Frederika, press six

What’s wrong with the Redskins?  A conspiracy of silence, press seven

If on reflection you are uncomfortable with the idea of silence, press eight

                                                                                     EIGHT

Now that we understand each other, press one

                                                                                     ONE

All our service operatives are currently responding to enquiries by other customers.  Please wait on the line. The next available service operative will speak to you as soon as possible.  Your call is important to us. Do not hang up.

 

For a choice of background music while you wait, press one

For O.J. Simpson’s defence hotline, press two

Find peace of mind with Frederika, press three

To compare our prices with the prices of our competitors, press four

If your house is on fire, press five

For the weather, press six

For a survivor’s account of the Holocaust, press seven

Pizza delivery, press eight

Childcare issues? To talk to an expert, press nine

To repeat our full range of options, press zero

                                                                                     ZERO

If you are speaking from a touch tone telephone, press one,

                                                                                     ONE




Washington

December 1994




First published in Envoi February 1999