Anorak News | The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace

by | 25th, June 2004

‘IT’S happened to the best of us. You dial a number with the intent on pledging money to charity and instead you get through to some depraved chat line.

‘And then the vicar put his hand on my knee…’

You ask if that is Thurne 9870, but the caller on the other end fails to hear your question and just whispers something about whipped cream.

It’s time to hang up. But people in Thurne, Norfolk, are a fundamentally polite and terribly decent bunch so they stay on the line, while the voice on the other end tells them what they are wearing and then they are not wearing.

Our advice is to simply hang up. Remove the receiver from your ear and replace it on the handset. If you have a hands-free phone (ideal for such calls), just depress the switch. And then forget the entire thing.

Not there is anything to forget, because such a call never really happened.

Because, as the Mail says, the people of Thurne are immersed in the riddle of the ‘phantom of the phone sex lines’. And, as is the way of the phantom, he’s hit Middle England.

The Mail says that dozens of homes in Thurne have been hit by massive phone bills for calls made to 0909 (you know the rest) premium rate numbers.

Some individual calls have cost as much as £34.

Liz Duffield, who runs the local gift shop, says her bill has trebled in recent times. ‘These bills were filled with calls to those smutty chat lines,’ says she.

Another resident, Ann Lamb, is equally appalled. ‘The calls were supposedly made in the middle of the night, between 12:30 and 1:15am,’ she says. ‘The thought of so many people using these lines in Thurne is ridiculous.’

And she and her Thurne cohorts are not alone. The Mail tells how ex-headmaster Edward Barber, also of Norfolk, has been hit with a bill for £714.

And retired company director George Rodwell, also of Norfolk, saw that £390 of his £463 bill was for ‘mystery premium rate calls’.

All are patently innocent of making calls to any depraved sex lines.

Although, how they knew what was broadcast over the numbers listed on their bills is not revealed…’

Posted: 25th, June 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink