Rhodri Marsden: Why I won't get fooled again

Life on Marsden

Click to follow
The Independent Online

You'll never catch me out. Unless you point to my chest, say: "What's that?", wait for me to look downwards and then smack me in the mouth. That always works. But aside from that, I'm alert to false promises, practical jokes and things being not quite as they seem. No, you're wrong: my flies aren't undone. Nor has the word "gullible" been removed from the dictionary.

I've also discovered that global events are dictated by a sinister cabal of shape-shifting reptiles, because I consistently and fearlessly question the hidden motives of pretty much everyone, including my mum. Nothing gets past me. Nothing.

Spam messages have swamped Twitter recently, imploring us to click on malicious links that force-feed us Viagra, sexy singletons or worse. "Have you seen this blog about you?" they say. Or "Check out these richly detailed pictures of your arse". But I haven't fallen for any of them and I smirk in a condescending fashion when my friends do.

Then there was this note, pushed through my door: "We would like to buy a flat and/or house in your area. Any price or condition considered. Please call us on the number below. Kind regards, Tara and Stu." By coincidence, I'm sick of the sight of my area and I'm looking to sell my flat – but this couple sounded fishy. They're potentially looking to buy a flat AND a house? Weird. They also specify an infinitely wide price bracket, don't seem to mind if said properties are sitting below the water table or riddled with asbestos and have an official-looking phone number ending in two zeros. I was on to them.

I called the number. "Hello, Tara and Stuart's answering service," said a brisk, efficient woman who was obviously neither Tara nor Stu. Preposterous. "Are you looking to sell or rent your property?" she asked me, clearly unaware of Tara and Stu's requirements, which I pointed out to her, witheringly. "So you're selling?" she asked, coolly. I replied that I might be, so she asked for my details. "To pass to 'Tara and Stu'?" I said, marking the quotes with my voice to indicate that Tara and Stu were nothing but a conceptual entity. I gave her my number in a sarcastic tone. Anyway, a few hours later Stuart called me! Lovely chap. He's coming to view the flat next Thursday.