Not hippy

I just lost a whole day’s worth of work because Soundtrack Pro doesn’t have a friggin autosave (and yes, because I didn’t save.) So here’s some Douglas Adams. Fuck it, I’m going to go get some sushi.

“Please call,” it said. “Not happy,” and gave a number. The name was Gail Andrews.
Gail Andrews.
It wasn’t a name she was expecting. It caught her unawares. She recognised it, but couldn’t immediately say why. Was she Andy Martin’s secretary? Hilary Bass’s assistant? Martin and Bass were the two major contact calls she had made, or tried to make, at NBS. And what did “Not happy” mean?
“Not happy?”
She was completely bewildered. Was this Woody Allen trying to contact her under an assumed name? It was a 212 area code number. So it was someone in New York. Who was not happy. Well, that narrowed it down a bit, didn’t it?
She went back to the receptionist at the desk.
“I have a problem with this message you just gave me,” she said. “Someone I don’t know has tried to call me and says she’s not happy.”
The receptionist peered at the note with a frown.
“Do you know this person?” he said.
“No,” Tricia said.
“Hmmm,” said the receptionist. “Sounds like she’s not happy about something.”
“Yes,” said Tricia.
“Looks like there’s a name here,” said the receptionist. “Gail Andrews. Do you know anybody of that name?”
“No,” said Tricia.
“Any idea what she’s unhappy about?”
“No,” said Tricia.
“Have you called the number? There’s a number here.”
“No,” said Tricia, “you only just gave me the note. I’m just trying to get some more information before I ring back. Perhaps I could talk to the person who took the call?”
“Hmmm,” said the receptionist, scrutinising the note carefully. “I don’t think we have anybody called Gail Andrews here.”
“No, I realise that,” said Tricia. “I just-“
“I’m Gail Andrews.”
The voice came from behind Tricia. She turned round.
“I’m sorry?”
“I’m Gail Andrews. You interviewed me this morning.”
“Oh. Oh good heavens yes,” said Tricia, slightly flustered.

The message light on the phone was flashing though.
She hit the message button and got the hotel operator.
“You have a message from Gary Andress,” said the operator.
“Yes?” said Tricia. An unfamiliar name. “What does it say.”
“Not hippy,” said the operator.
“Not what?” said Tricia.
“Hippy. What it says. Guy says he’s not a hippy. I guess he wanted you to know that. You want the number?”
As she started to dictate the number Tricia suddenly realised that this was just a garbled version of the message she had already had.
“OK, OK,” she said. “Are there any other messages for me?”
“Room number?”
Tricia couldn’t work out why the operator should suddenly ask for her number this late in the conversation, but gave it to her anyway.
“McMillan, Tricia McMillan.” Tricia spelt it, patiently.
“Not Mr. MacManus?”
“No more messages for you.” Click.

“Is something wrong?” asked Gail.
“No, I… I have to say that you’ve rather astonished me,” said Tricia. She decided to ignore the security camera. It was just her imagination playing tricks with her because she had television so much on her mind today. It wasn’t the first time it had happened. A traffic monitoring camera, she was convinced, had swung round to follow her as she walked past it, and a security camera in Bloomingdales had seemed to make a particular point of watching her trying on hats. She was obviously going dotty. She had even imagined that a bird in Central Park had been peering at her rather intently.
She decided to put it out of her mind and took a sip of her vodka. Someone was walking round the bar asking people if they were Mr. MacManus.



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