The telephone switchboard at Santa Fe University answers with a recorded message which (in Spanish) says thank you for your call (at least it doesn’t pretend that my call is important to it like many UK based phone systems) and if you want department x you should now enter the number 103 or if you want department y then enter 104, otherwise hold the line and you will be attended shortly. I didn’t want departments x or y, but having been passed from pillar to post on my prior attempt, this time I am clutching the internal number that I do want, so I plan to ask the operator who will shortly attend me, to transfer me to this extension. As the message ends, there is a gap of approximately two seconds worth of silence, followed by beep beep beep, and a dead line.
Repeating this exercise twice more confirms that the promise of being attended shortly is no more than a malicious untruth from the camp of “your call is very important to us”. However, a couple more tests (bet you wish your day had been this fun) I discover that if I interrupt the robot by bashing in my number as soon as he starts talking (ha, that learned you) then I can transfer myself to the chosen destination. Unfortunately this resulted in being told by human beings on eight occasions that my guy was unavailable, and, on the ninth that he had now gone home. So I’ve sent him an email.
Joni meanwhile has a far more pressing dilemma. He’s five and a half, and I’m guessing some of his classmates have started losing their baby teeth, because he came home from school today full of questions about wobbly ones. Predictably, he is very enthusiastic about the idea of exchanging old teeth for hard cash. But his question is, exactly who will be collecting his discarded gnashers? Should we look out for the tooth fairy (UK), or in the tooth bunny (Argentina)? The issue is this: If I’ve got a wobbly tooth and it came out while I was eating something hard like an apple, then I might swallow it by mistake. So then the fairy and the bunny wouldn’t know that they were supposed to give me some money. So then I’d have to write them a note to say sorry I lost the tooth so they can give me a coin. But if it is the fairy then she might only be able to read English, but the bunny might only be able to read Spanish. So how can we find out which language to write it in?