Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

My Family Won't Know the Drill

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

My Family Won't Know the Drill

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bob Cuffe

One of the advantages of moving house is the opportunity to escape the companies who bombard you with leaflets, brochures and letters you have no interest in.

For 23 years the University of Manchester has written to me, updating me on their developments, and asking me if I'd like to shove a few quid their way. I cannot recall ever telling them where I live. I've moved house six times and still they find me.

At least I understand the link with the university. I spent the three finest drinking years of my life at that place. It has a special place in my liver.

The Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative puzzles me intensely, though. I have no idea why they send me glossy brochures, unless they're just being ironic. That would be targeting the market. I'm hoping I've shown them a clean pair of heels. Likewise McCarthy and Stone, a fine company, but I'm not ready for them yet. But still they write to me.

And then there's registering with new services. Don't move house if you want to keep your teeth. The estate agents won't tell you this, but trust your Uncle Bob. We cannot find a dentist who will take us. Cement Woman has been ringing around dozens of dentists. Most of them just hung up. One offered us an interview. He asked us dozens of questions on sport, general knowledge and astronomy. He then asked me to take my clothes off, while he took a few pictures. I don't like to argue with a member of the medical profession, so I went along with it.

Then he asked me to do some star jumps. I was getting suspicious at this stage, particularly when he started to join in. He told us he'd write to us informing us of his decision. The letter said: "Dear Mr and Mrs Cwffe, Your application to our dental practice has been rejected because you're common. In addition, and critically, Mr Cwffe failed to complete the necessary star jumps. …

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