Why on Earth do the weirdoes of Dublin just feel compelled to talk to me? If I am on a bus and a stinking, wobbly drunk gets on, chances are he’ll sit next to me. When I am on a crowded street, I am always the person who is be approached by odd balls. Most people do not engage. I am not most people.
Today’s weirdo stopped me outside my office. I was walking to Tesco to buy lunch (that turned out to be awful). This strange fellow looked a little like an unwashed, unkempt and toothless Kenny G. He wore a khaki fisherman type hat. He stopped me in my tracks, raised his cane and pointed in the direction of my workplace.
“Excuse me; do you know if there is a phone mast on top of your building?”
I looked along his cane and followed the direction it pointed. “I don’t know,” I stuttered. “Why do you ask?” In my naivety I thought he might be a cooky telecoms engineer that might suggest we put a telephone mast on our three storey office block. Alternatively, I thought he might have been angry that his mobile had very bad coverage. “Perhaps, he is canvassing for a telephone mast to be located on the roof of my office”, I said in my inner-voice.
“I thought there might be a mast on your building. I live in this area and some of my neighbours and I are continually sick with colds and flu. I saw a television programme that implied that long-term proximity to telephone masts can cause illness. I wondered if there was one on your building.”
As daft as I can be at times, I did not dare tell him my desk was not located on the roof of my building. Nor did I think it appropriate to tell him that the building has only been there a few years; it’s highly unlikely he has been subjected to the ‘effects’ of a telephone mast for much time. I definitely did not mention there was no scientific evidence to suggest that long-term exposure to electro-magnetic waves has any form of effect on human health.
Instead of an exchange of views, I backed away in the direction of Tesco.
“Perhaps, you should call the management of the building. Sorry, I don’t know their name.”
“Thanks, I will do that” he called after me.