As I hit “pay” on my internet banking and waited for the beep on my cellphone it struck me: No cellphone!
I could picture it in my mind’s eye: The little white enamel loo roll holder in the stall in the mens toilets in Montclair Mall where I had ‘temporarily’ placed my phone.
I rushed back just in case, but forget it. No sign of my red Nokia N73 music edition. Damn!
Feroza and Raksha phoned it as soon as they saw me muttering and cursing. It got switched off in mid-ring. So moertoe.
It’s 17h15, so the cell shop – my ‘service provider’ – is closed. I go home and phone Vodacom. Sorry, our systems are down. Phone back in an hour. Or so.
When I finally get them with their disting up, it’s: Sorry, I MUST PHONE MY SERVICE PROVIDER. (Vodacom! You don’t train your poor call centre people! Shine up!)
I phone the Autopage after-hours number. They say they’ll block my number (well, in the next 24hrs they will), but they can’t block the phone. I MUST GO IN TO THE STORE and give them the IMEI number to do that.
The store will block the IMEI number after I report it to the cops but it’ll take 24 – 48 hrs. Or longer, today being Friday.
The insurance will need the SAPS case number, but the cops will need the ITC number first. When? When it gets blocked. Maybe Monday. I’m not happy, so they give me their provider number and I’m off to the cops right now. So what will I need at the cop shop? Only the ITC number, they assure me.
At the copshop Inspector Luthuli is helluva apologetic, but firm: Yes, he needs the ITC number, true. But he also needs the IMEI number. The computer won’t give a case number unless it is fed with both numbers.
Back to the Mall, and then back to the copshop. As I get in Inspector Luthuli is on his way out. He has grabbed a copy of Drum magazine and he’s heading off (to the loo? home? I dunno, but I call out: ‘Please Inspector Luthuli, can you help me?’).
He does. Batho Pele.
Actually, this is quite lekker. I am incommunicado, as Jimmy Buffet would say. I reach for my pocket quite often: I’ll just phone Aitch. I’ll just sms the Brauers. I’ll just make a note of that. No, you won’t. Write it down. Use a pencil.
I make a note to use a tickey box. That will tickle people.
I’ve lost my contacts list, my notes, my sms’s, my calendar reminders, the lot.
Jimmy Buffet when John Wayne died:
But now he’s incommunicado
Leaving such a hole in a world that believed
That a life with such bravado
Was taking the right way home
batho pele – Batho Pele means putting other people first before considering your own needs, or yourself.