Run with distinction

It took a little while, but I found out what the overseas area code for the United Kingdom was. Then – this was 1980 – I asked for directory assistance in London. I naively inquired about a residential phone number. To my astonishment, they had his number. I carefully composed myself, dialled, and fully expected either an assistant or someone running interference to answer. The phone rang a few times. Then, a man answered.

“Hello,” the voice said in an Oxfordian accent.

“Hello,” I said, not believing someone had actually picked up the phone. “Ah, would Dr. Bannister be there?”