When my 80-year-old mother tells me she has been the victim of a scam … or even bad service, I have a tendency to overreact. This week my mother received a telephone call from a bastard trying to get her bank and debit card details. He got pretty far before she twigged and she had the nous to put down everything else she was doing that day to go to her bank and sort it all out. So far so good. I of course, being incensed that someone tried to hurt my mother, went into full overreaction mode. When I am upset or frightened my default position is to yell. So I yelled at my mother for being a victim and then had to have 12 gin and tonics in a quiet room.

This evening the same chap called back telling my mother that there was another problem with her security code, going so far as to tell her he had made an appointment to meet with her at her branch. Now unbeknownst to our scammer, I have taught my mother to call certain individuals who display certain behaviour patterns certain names. Chief among these is ‘asshole’. So my mother tells the would be scammer that she has spoken to her bank to make sure that assholes such as he cannot touch her money and hangs up.

When the phone rang less than five minutes later I answered, informing the caller that they had reached ‘Lothian and Borders Police’. Our scammer didn’t waste a minute telling me that he wanted to report my mother for a racial attack and then – I kid you not – that she had tried to rape him. Still pretending to be a police switchboard operator, mistakenly thinking that if you make a crank call and the police answer you are going to hang up, I asked him his name and for more details. He gave me his name – Bob Marley – and again claimed that my mother had tried to rape him. When I repeated his own words back to him he told me that he was going to rape me because I was an effing white bitch and an effing white slut and an effing white whore. I think maybe he is not white.

20 minutes later we received a pizza delivery from Domino’s.

30 minutes later we received a pizza delivery from Red Hot Pizza.

Before the pizza arrived, I had insisted on calling the police to log what had happened and two officers came round to see my mother. My concern was that he knew her address. A straight up criminal is one thing; a nutter is something else. We told our tale and when we got to the pizza part the female officer quick as a flash said ‘Now I would have eaten that’.  Hilarious. Turns out they were colleagues of the two officers who cautioned me last November. I do not hold that against them.

So. We are waiting for the phone to ring; I only hope the call is not coming from inside the house …

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