I was working for a marketing firm, editing two magazines and writing copy for websites. There were three of us in the office one day when the phone rang and I took the call, which was from a client of ours. We had done a website for this firm and they were moving into new premises, so the manager was ringing to give me the address details that would need to be updated on the site. I knew the woman at the other end of the phone, as she’d been in the office several times during the building of her site, so the conversation was quite relaxed. I got a pen and paper and asked her for the new details.
Their new premises were situated in a building called Saville Exchange. I wasn’t familiar with this address and, as it was essential that the information on their website was accurate, I asked if it was Saville with one L or two. She sighed and told me it was two, like I should have known this. In my defence I said that I had never heard of this building, and anyway, Jimmy Savile only has one.
“Well that’s more than I needed to know,” she said in a deadpan voice. It took a moment for these words to register in my brain, but when they did that was it – I was a giggling heap. I tried to take further details but I was helpless. Tears ran down my face and my colleagues on the next desk broke off from their discussion, wondering what on earth was going on on the other end of the phone. Finally, after what seemed like ages, my giggling subsided and I took the rest of the details. After I had hung up, having apologised for my breakdown, I repeated the conversation to my colleagues, who barely raised a smile.
And that is the strange thing; looking back on it, it’s not really that funny, as is often the case with giggling fits. What made me go off like that though, I think, was the completely unexpected answer the client gave after my genuinely innocent comment about the elderly disc jockey.
Whatever the reason for it, I’m glad it happened because it didn’t half brighten up my day. Laugh? I nearly paid me poll tax.