Connections to high places

Comparing the size of mobile phones is so passé nowadays, because if they get any smaller users will have to carry a toothpick around at all times to operate them. Tulkinghorn is much more impressed by what is contained in the phones' address books. A quick survey carried out on the train back to Tulkinghorn Towers established that most people store their home number presumably just in case they forget it – and so that they can ring their loved ones up and slur “ShorrydahrlingIgotshtuckattheoffice but I'M ON THE TRAIN!!” – together with the local Chinese takeaway “AND PRAWN CRACKERS PLEASE!!”. However, Tulkinghorn was recently treated to a flick down the list of Maninder Gill's stored phonebook. The head of legal for the Express Group has a very impressive number stored labelled 'Taliban'. It dates from when he was trying to negotiate the release of Sunday Express journalist Yvonne Ridley from Taliban forces. After much egging on at a Davenport Lyons party, Gill was persuaded to give the bearded ones a quick ring – unfortunately, though, he could not catch up on the gossip in Afghanistan as the number has since turned into a fax line.