A modern Troilus and Cressida

Love Doll customer service call log.

Log ID: 20 18 15 9 12 21 19    1 14 4    3 18 5 19 19 9 4 1

Call no. 01

Date: 1/1/2012

Time: 09:32 am

CSO:      Hello, thank you for calling Love Dolls customer care.

This call may be recorded for quality and training purposes. My name is Adrian, how may I help you today?

C:            Yes, um hello, my name is Herbert Humphries.

I recently saw on your website that you have um, that you stock, a Venus Deluxe model—

CSO:      Yes that is a popular model. She looks prettier than any other mannequin on the market—

C:            Before I was interrupted I was about to ask, um, whether she will perish in the sun?

I frequent a lovely lake to feed the ducks, it would sadden me if she were unable to attend.

CSO:      I apologise for interrupting you, sir. Our products do not perish in harsh weather.

As a high-end mannequin the Venus Deluxe is made of quality thermoplastic elastomer, which is more realistic and environmentally friendly than cured silicone.

C:            Good, because the lake I mentioned is rather deep, but um I don’t know how many fathoms.

Suffice it to say it is deep. And, um, there are a lot of birds near there, and I don’t want to compare them to my own and feel the need to soak more than bread, if you follow me.

CSO:      No I don’t follow, birds sir?

C:            Yes, birds, and they are often, um, rather fair.

I’d need my love to remain without blemish, so I don’t feel a lame duck.

CSO:      Pardon, I fear you are running me afoul.

C:            I’m talking about chicks, not fowl. Catch my drift?

CSO:      I’m sorry sir, we do not understand one another.

I fear you are drifting too far and making a mockery of this exchange

C:            Mocking is not my intention.

Would the water damage her?

CSO:      No, our mannequins are water resistant, and come with a life time guarantee.

C:            Whose lifetime? Mine or hers?

CSO:      Hers, if she is the mannequin that is.

Do you have any more queries about our products sir?

C:            Yes, I was wondering whether the hands could change hue.

CSO:      Change, when sir?

C:            Upon purchase.

CSO:      Well that is when the mannequins change hands.

C:            Yes, but what about the hue?

CSO:      They are attached. I’ve not heard of them being hewn off, I suppose it would be possible.

C:            I meant colour.

In winter my hands go very pale, but I can’t wear gloves when feeding the ducks, um, do you have any colour information at hand? The website does not specify.

CSO:      Oh I see, I apologise. Yes I have it handy.

The mannequin can be dyed any colour, but the tone must be consistent across all extremities.

C:            That is what I mean, I don’t want it to be extreme.

I want, um, I’d need her hands to be white, but not so white that mine looked covered in ink.

CSO:      That shouldn’t be a problem sir.

Do you have any other questions today?

C:            No, not today.

CSO:      Another day then.

Have I been able to help you while you consider one of our products sir?

C:            Yes, you’ve helped.

But, um, I usually take a couple of days, especially considering the importance of the purchase.

CSO:      Well ok, thank you for your call Herbert, have a lovely day, or two.

C:            Thank you, you too. [Hangs up]


Call no. 02

Date: 2/1/2012

Time: 9:04 am

CSO:      Hello, thank you for calling Love Dolls customer care.

This call may be recorded for quality and training purposes. My name is Adrian, how may I help you today?

C:            Hello, um, Adrian, it’s Herbert again.

CSO:      Oh, hello Herbert, how are you today?

C:            Good, I thought about it, and earlier today I took a wife.

I’ll have to delay paying some bills, but Robin will do me good.

CSO:      Pardon, sir? You took a wife?

C:            Yes, and named her Robin.

CSO:      So contrary to what we discussed you decided against the Venus Deluxe?

C:            What? No, she is the one I spent my nest egg on.

The thought of her has made me giddy, I could barely sleep after placing the order last night.

CSO:      You’ve made a good choice sir, you won’t be disappointed.

So what is the nature of your call? What can I do for you?

C:            Oh, um, I was calling to ask how you ship, Adrian.

CSO:      I don’t.

C:            Not you, the um, Love Doll website. She ships in large crates?

CSO:      No, no need for crates, it is hosted on the internet.

C:            Robin, I mean, not the website.

What is the method of freight?

CSO:      Oh, I see, well I suppose if you were taken by surprise. They are very lifelike.

C:            I don’t follow.

CSO:      The mannequin could cause a fright.

But you should be notified when it arrives, so you would be expecting it.

C:            No, I want to know how Robin will be transported to me.

CSO:      Oh, pardon the misunderstanding.

By airplane sir.

C:            And, um, she weighs sixty kilograms, so if I needed to return her what is the process?

CSO:      First you would hoist it into a box—

C:            I don’t have a hoist.

CSO:      The shipping company should help in that case.

C:            Oh and the warranty covers that?

CSO:      No, unfortunately shipping costs would be yours to swallow.

C:            Oh, ok. What comes after the hoisting?

CSO:      Well before all that, you’d need to ensure it is unsoiled.

We cannot resell the product, and it would need to be melted down.

C:            I don’t think I could handle that.

CSO:      Well no one can handle it sir, it is too viscous.

C:            What?

CSO:      The melted mannequin, sir.

They are usually put through a sieve to remove impurities and then used to make cable jackets, snow mobile tracks, or catheters.

C:            Oh, no, not my dear Robin. When she arrives she will not leave my roost.

I can’t stand to think of her beauty being turned into such an invasive medical device.

CSO:      You might need to sit then.

C:            I am.

CSO:      It is quite ironic though, isn’t it, the penetrated becoming the penetrator.

C:            I see the irony but not the need for such vulgarity.

CSO:      My apologies sir, I do agree with you. However, here at Love Dolls our motto is:

‘Joy need not be indistinct.’ And so we encourage colourful description.

C:            Oh.

CSO:      Well was I able to help you today Herbert?

C:            Yes, I suppose, I look forward to my Robin flying in. [Hangs up]


Call no. 03

Date: 23/1/2012

Time: 4:54 pm

CSO:      Hello, thank you for calling Love Dolls customer care.

This call may be recorded for quality and training purposes.

My name is—

C:            Adrian!

CSO:      Yes, hello?

C:            She has robbed me!

CSO:      I’m sorry? Who is this?

C:            Herbert Humphries.

She’s taken everything!

CSO:      Herbert? Calm down, sir, what is the matter?

C:            Robin’s taken everything but my words.

CSO:      Well then use them.

Who is Robin? You have called Love Dolls, have you got the right number?

C:            Yes, you flew Robin out to me three weeks ago.

CSO:      Oh, now I remember. Are you satisfied with your purchase Herbert?

C:            No I’m not satisfied.

She was all sweet at first, telling me, ‘she had loved me from the first glance.’

But no sooner had I got her than I lost her. She had eyes for my twin brother Nestor. I’m sure it was him, he’s nowhere to be found.

CSO:      You think your brother has stolen your mannequin?

I’m afraid the warranty does not cover theft. That would be a matter for your local police.

C:            Nestor is a bloody cop!

CSO:      And you think he has flown the coop?

C:            Yes.

How will I ever recuperate?

CSO:      Please stay calm Herbert.

Unfortunately, as I said before, you will not be able to recoup the cost of your mannequin if it was stolen. Unless you took out third party insurance.

C:            It is a third party that picked my bones clean in the first place!

She told me, ‘she’d have to hold her tongue, or risk drowning me in loving words.’

I may as well sink my head six feet under now.

It was not her silence but her cunning that was the greatest betrayal.

There was language in her eye, her cheek, and her lips, but all for Nestor! Even when I held her feet they spoke.

This means war, I will see him buried.

CSO:      Herbert, it was a mannequin, it wouldn’t have been able to speak.

Be reasonable, surely, as you say, it was your brother whose tongue was in his cheek.

C:            Why are you telling me to be reasonable? It is unreasonable the way that I have been grieved.

I came home from work and my house had been pecked clean, Robin was not here and neither was Nestor.

We were born and raised together in this very house and now he has shown some cheek. In wooing my bird he has taken what I held most precious.

Robin was my all. Now my mind is ensnared by this putrid rime.

‘O heart, O my heavy heart,

How do you sigh without breaking?

And why is your pain not eased,

By friendship nor by speaking?’

CSO:      It cannot be that bad Herbert, but I think you should call the police.

C:           I have no reason to pick myself up off the floor, especially now I find this note stuck on the door.

‘Goodbye Herbert,

I will remember you.

But I have moved on,

Found someone new,

Who means more to

Me than you do.

My love for him is true,

He grabbed my eye, and

Swayed my mind, the

Decision has been made.



It’s more than bad, it is terrible!

CSO:      Herbert? …  Hello?

C:            [Connection lost]

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