picture this, mid morning, office in South London, I pick up the phone and dial
-Hello, Merlin Inflatables.
- Hi, my name is Gerard. I work for a charity called WaterAid. You made an inflatable costume for us recently...a huge hand.
- Ah, yes, I remember. How are you?
- I'm fine thanks, you?
- Great, how can I help.
- We think we may need another costume. Part of our campaigning is based on sanitation and the fact that billions people don't have sanitation, anyway, I think we would like an inflatable poo and I wanted to ask if that's something you could do.
- Sorry I couldn't make out what you wanted, you have a soft voice. You want an inflatable costume...different from the last.
- Yes, sorry I always get a bit shy when I say it to people I don't know - bare in mind the sanitation focus - we need an inflatable poo and I've looked at your brochure and I'm not sure what category it would fit into...product replicas or large inflatables and rooftops.
- Can you tell me again what you want, I'm so sorry I still didn't catch it.
- An inflatable POO.
- Oh, right... A number 2? I think we could manage that!
- Oh, thanks, I'm sorry I always get a bit embarrassed. A number 2 is a polite way to say it over the phone. I've never thought of that...
- Well we have done other costumes like this - what kind of size are you thinking?
- I suppose about 15 or 20 foot long and 5 or 10 foot wide.
- OK. Now, a number 2?
- Yes. Bear in mind the sanitation focus.
- Right, would you like the like it in words? T W O or T O O? Or would you like the number 2?
- erm, oh, erm, I don't think we've got there, actually. What we need is P OO. P for Paul. Not T for Thomas.
- OH! HaHa! POO? I see. Would you want P OO or with an H?
- No. Not letters. We need the artifact. We need a respresentation. We need a big inflatable poo!
- And we'd like the option of floating it on a river so I'm not sure if that makes a different to any quote you can give me. erm...
This conversation actually happened.
I shit you not.