Di Eltone, email

A BOY asks his father to explain the difference among irritation, aggravation, and frustration.

His father picks up the phone and dials a number at random. When the phone is answered, he asks: “Can I speak to Alf, please?”

“No! There’s no one called Alf here,” says the person on the other end of the line.

His father hangs up. “That’s irritation,” he says.

He picks up the phone again, dials the same number, and asks for Alf a second time. “I told you, there’s no one here called Alf,” comes the reply. “If you call again I’ll telephone the police!”

The boy’s father hangs up and says: “That’s aggravation.”

“Then what’s frustration, Dad?” his son asks.

The father picks up the phone and dials the same number a third time.

“Hello, this is Alf,” he says casually. “Have I received any phone calls?”