Sunday, July 6, 2008


I got a dirty phonecall today - on my mobile.

I'm a little unimpressed, to be honest, at the basic unfunniness of it.

Me: Hello?

Him (in a mildly Donegal accent): Are you looking for a shag (or words to that effect)

Me: Who's this?

Him: Who do you think it is?

Me to friend: I think I'm getting a dirty phone call - I don't know if it's someone trying to be funny or and actual dirty phone call.

Him, getting impatient: So do you want one?

Me: click.

I'm not particularly bothered by this, I must say, though I think as dirty thrills go, it's pretty fucking lame. I just hope my number was randomly chosen, and that it doesn't become a regular occurence.
But thinking about it, what does piss me off is the real motivation behind it - the smug and arrogant tone, the self satisfaction - it presumably gives the caller a nasty little buzz to put a woman in a position of impotence, of powerlessness. Ring someone up, get them wrong-footed in a normally comfortable medium - and make them uncomfortable, assert your sexual dominance, you're the one who steers the conversation, calls the shots, enjoying the confusion caused by subverting - no, perverting the conventions of phone conversation.
I'm not sure what my response is. Again, I feel disappointed. It seems to me that there should be some element of humour in a dirty phone call, it is after all a ridiculous idea - but instead it's cliched, unimaginative, tacky, tawdry: Mr Dirtyphonecaller, you should be ashamed of your sordid little self.
To end on a jollier note, my mother once received a dirty call at about 8 am on a Sunday morning. She blearily answered the phone to hear someone with one of those soft, almost camp, Cork accents asking, 'What colour knickers are you wearing?'
She automatically responded, 'I'm not wearing any', amused at the innocence of the would-be pervert who assumed she'd have had knickers on at 8 am on a Sunday morning. She worried that it might have been a patient of hers though, so she said his name and he hung up instantly. I can't remember how she followed up on that one!


PĂ©itseoga said...

yuck, i once had a guy stopping me in the street and at first asking something completely harmless like which direction the station was, and then suddenly asking disgusting stuff about sex and positions and did i like to do it without taking my knickers off, i think i was 19 at the time and i was completely shocked and mortified and felt helpless, i just started walking faster trying to get away. too embarassed to ask anybody for help or to give out to him. back in my room i cried all evening because i'd felt so helpless.
phone calls can be freaky, too, but at least they can sometimes be funny, too, because the pervert can't see you and doesn't know who you're with and sometimes you can fob them off...

jothemama said...

Oh no, that's horrible. I like to wish I could go back and tell my 19 year old self what to do in situations like that, but in reality it is such a paralysing experience.

I think you just have to override the part of you that feels paralysed and refuse to let it in: you hold up your hand and you crossly and loudly make statements like I do NOT want to hear that Do NOT talk to me - and alert the people around you, make what he's doing public as fast as you can.

You have to do it as a mother, be able to instantly stand up to any shit like that. Sometimes I think we should practice in front of mirrror.

Assertiveness is the best gift you can give your child!

morgor said...

what a saddo.

Have you ever seen the film "Happiness"?

Theres a pathetic character in it who does something similar.

If they ever do it again you should just respond with "you are such a sad pathetic man, can you not afford a sex line or porno?"

morgor said...

that reminds me actually, I got a bullshit text from a random number before and i answered with something weird like "watch out or my squadron of flying monkeys will get you".

Then he rang back and it was some knacker giving abuse.
I was quite surprised at first but then i just hung up, then he kept ringing so after a moment thought, fuck it.
And answered again, it was funny cos I could tell so much about him by his actions, so i started giving him abuse about being a knacker from a broken home from ballymun wearing shellsuits and smoking joints and he got really offended.

Then he started threatening me saying stuff like "i'm gonna beat the face off ya", to which you just say "you're such a retard, you don't even know what i look like, let alone where i live".

He rang a few more times and I'd just leave the phone on top of the table and make a cup of tea, then come back and just say to him "you've been talking to the table for the last ten minutes wasting your credit you spastic".

In the end I started ringing him late at night to piss him off, but then i got bored.

PĂ©itseoga said...

i suppose most girls that age now would have no problem dealing with an asshole like that but i was kind of shy and have never been assertive at all! i'm much better now i think. there are so many things i want to tell my teenage self!

jothemama said...

Ah, you're not alone there. And I don't know, I think that sort of thing is very hard to respnd to well on the spot.

If you're not someone who goes up and harrasses strangers, it's very unsettling - you think of the good comebacks days/months/years later.

A good kick in the crotch is the best, if not the most feasible answer! :)