Many many moons ago before I was twinkle in my mother’s eye, she worked for the Samaritans.
(In fact I became a twinkle in her eye once she met my father there.)
As well as going out with a team to visit people in her homes she was in the office a lot, manning the phones and trying to help people in distress.
However they had one nuisance caller, who was making calls of a somewhat fruity nature shall I say.
The official line was given that they weren’t to put the phone down on this gentleman, he could be in need after all, but that they should instead try and steer the conversation away from dangerous territory and try and get him to talk about something innocuous.
One evening, my Mum gets the call. Keeping in her head that she has to distract him she starts to tell him that she’s currently re-decorating her house and that it’s keeping her very busy as there are lots of rooms to do.
He asked her “What’s your hall like?”
Mum was pretty pleased with herself, she had successfully got the dirty caller to stop making sexual remarks and got him interested in talking about home interiors instead.
“Well,” she said to him, “My hall is quite long and narrow with a very steep staircase in it, we have to be careful when we’re coming down it that we don’t fall, and there’s anaglypta wallpaper on it [don’t judge, it was the early ‘80s] and there’s the living room and the dining room off it and down at the bottom...”
At this point the man interrupted...
“Not your hall, I said what’s your HOLE like!”
And in disgust, he put the phone down on her.