A phone call from Mumbai or Bangalore or somewhere...
The phone shrills but my ears are also ringing.
Five seconds of silence and that's a bad sign. A call outsourced? They usually ring about 6 p.m.
'You have been chosen…'
Her accent is definitely Mumbai, though she does mention Brisbane.
'I can't talk now. A black bird is flapping around my head.'
She doesn't listen. 'Your phone number has been chosen for a special…'
'No, no bhaini. A black bird, maybe a starling, flew into the house. Someone left the back door open. It's been hovering over my computer so I had to put on my son's work hat because I'm so scared and I had to switch the computer off. I didn’t' want a bird dancing on a s d f…'
There was a pause and I could hear her breathing. 'You know about Optus,' she pursues.
'Optus can't chase the bird out! The blackbird can't find the doors though I've put lights on the passage. It sat on top of a James Dean photo that was left over after a garage sale...' I yell as the bird flaps across the ceiling. 'It happened twice before. Maybe it's thirsty because of the drought.'
'Dhanyabad bhaini.' I click off.
Not quite the truth, but near enough.
I am so scared of flapping black wings and a bird inside the house will give me high blood pressure! We got it out after plenty of shouts and advice and shoves with a long broom. Though my son later says that it was probably very scared of me in my large green hat. We could have done the Francis of Assisi act, held out a hand quietly with some food and coaxed it out.
However, as the other two times when a young blackbird flew into our house, Peceli was out and me and my son solved the problem after twenty minutes of agitated shouting!
And I think the girl from the Mumbai Call Centre will be a bit confused too and may want a few minutes off to have a drink of chai.