Direct Mail

The Vet. The Dog, TV Licence and the Electricity Meter.


Having taken my dog to have her put to sleep, I wasn’t in the form to pay the euthanising fee there and then. I drive past the Vet’s regularly to-ing and fro-ing from Coleraine. The day Leo was born in the car, he actually made his first appearance in the well of the passenger seat as we turned the corner at the Cheese factory. In fact, the common joke at the time was that we would call him cheddar or some other cheese related name to reflect his place of birth. Sadly now rounding the same corner I cannot pass the Vet’s without remembering the three dogs we have had put to sleep there, Sam, Peig and lately Hub. There will be others. The Vet very kindly sent me a sympathy card about ten days after the lethal injection. It was another lethal injection. And not really of sympathy. I viewed it as a sugar coated reminder to pay the reckoning. Of course a couple of days later the real bill arrived, itemised. Clinical. Straight to the point. I caught a breath. Not a breath like Hub did. I wrote the cheque and posted it back and thanked them for their kindness. That’s the way with dogs. And Vets.


The Council sent me a final demand to pay the dog licence. It warned me wanly that further action could be taken if I failed to pay. And what I thought? For a handful of dust. I phoned the woman. Environmental Health she answered helpfully. My Dog’s dead and you sent me a licence reminder. I was tempted to replay the ‘trauma’ but she was efficient. The records would be amended accordingly she said. She didn’t even say sorry about your dog. Bitch.


My brother phoned up PowerNI. Very honest he was. He told them how long he’d had the house, he read out the meter reading and he set up a direct debit. All that honesty seems to have fucked them up altogether. Now the electric firm, they’ve gone all bipolar. The positive addresses him by name and offers a statement of account. The negative calls him The Occupier, not The Owner mind you, but The Occupier. It tells him that the account he so diligently sorted out to their benefit has been disconnected. I’m glad my call may have been recorded for training purposes. I imagine a few have been over the years and have indeed been used for training classes. ‘Wait til you hear this grumpy hoor’ I hope they say. She said she would ring me back; my bipolar brother seems to have short-circuited the whole process.


TV Licence demands. If they tell me one more time they have opened a case. A case of what? They must spend many’s a TV licence writing to those that don’t have one. I remember the cat and mouse as a student. The idiot licence collector coming to the door trying to establish if you had a TV or not. A football match on live TV, the sound booming out on a Wednesday afternoon. It sounds like you have a TV sir can I come in and check? No they are listening to the radio. I will come back with the RUC he says the fuckin moron. Get out, and move your foot I said his toes jammed Jehovas Witness style between door and frame. Grudgingly I paid when I bought my house. The point of principle made. But they wear you out. Opening cases. Calling you The Occupier.

So there you have it. The Vet. The Dog, TV Licence and the Electricity Meter. How not to do Direct Mail.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *