SHE told me her name was Molly and that she was telephoning on behalf of the feds.
Naturally, alarm bells rang.
With federal and state elections looming, this correspondent has already girded the loins anticipating the inevitable telephonic unleashment of the usual legion of doorknockers, cold callers, rent seekers, chancers and snake oil salespersons spruiking for various political parties.
Who can forget picking up the eau-de-cologne in 2004 and copping the weirdly mechanical, albeit recorded, voice of (now) former PM John Howard seeking the voter's ballot paper tick?
Molly tried to sound reassuring.
"I'm calling from the Commonwealth Government's social research unit, we're doing a survey on violence," firm-voiced Molly announced.
Being the curious sort of columnist we are, the immediate question put to Molly was: "What do you mean you're working for the feds?"
"Well, the Commonwealth Government has given us approval for our social research unit to do a really important survey and we wanted to know if you have a few minutes to tell us your views on ... violence," she replied in that "if you must know" brisk tone of voice adopted by so many chicks these days.
"Violence? I'm totally opposed to it," was your columnist's forthright response before slamming down the receiver and returning to the pork chops, spuds and gravy (slightly congealed).
"Who was that?" queried Her Indoors mid-mouthful.
"Some bird called Molly who wanted to quiz me for `a few minutes' on my thoughts concerning violence, I told her I was opposed to it on a domestic, national and international level," before realising that I had assumed the spooky verbal persona of late, great, Southern Cross television sport anchorman Ray James.
Naturally, this correspondent's first post-phone reaction was to wonder whether anyone from the Commonwealth Government was perhaps telephoning folks and sort of pretending to care about what we thought on motherhood, issues including violence, before sneaking in a few queries on carbon tax and whether we think that Bob Brown is still really running the Greens.
Why, and on such matters, only the other night on the idiot box there loomed the self-satisfied figure of Climate Commission czar Tim Flannery.
"Haven't seen Tim for months, thought he would be laying low due to acute embarrassment over so many false forecasts about Australia's future weather patterns," I mumbled to Her etc, whose threshold of interest in these matters appears to be diminishing as dramatically as Flannery's views on Godzone's apocalyptic future including a waterless Adelaide and Melbourne by this time last year.
That hasn't stopped the unabashed Dr Flannery, plus his hand-wringing and furrow-browed mates, spreading "we're all doomed" scenarios.
Quizzed by a rather urgent Leigh Sales on ABC-TV's 7.30 program, Flannery blamed all the floods and bushfires experienced over summer (yes, the so-called "weather events" we always have across this wide brown land at this time of year) on climate change.
With massive anticipated post- election budget slashing of various government departments based on a mooted Libs' win, it's interesting to see how other statutory bodies' bosses have been bidding to lift their profiles.
The 1000-staff of Canberra- based, Climate Change Department, (and its 14 Italian coffee machines) look to be going for a burton and which explains Dr Flannery's sudden return to the electronic media.
Ditto, and with state elections next March acting as a fierce cordial, state commissioners for children, social inclusion, women, human frights are all doing their best to raise their profiles in fear of anyone deciding they're a waste of time and money, which they are.
Expect to hear soon from the elusive Fox Eradication Taskforce.
And perhaps Molly, cold calling on the matter of violence, 457 visas, the RFA, abortion on demand, same sex marriage, you name it ...