So we have no electricity and its getting dark and the kids are all over me, outraged!
Dad! There’s no electricity!
Yes, I say, I can see that.
Why!? they ask.
Uh, mumble mumble, payment mumble, I mumble.
Soon I have to confess: I paid late and we got cut off. Now there’s a re-connection fee I have to pay and a delay. I’m thinking fridge, freezer, supper tonight but they have far more urgent and greater disasters and catastrophes in mind:
“THERE’S NO WIFI!!” they scream in unison.
Now they’re ganging up on me. “In unison” and “Jess & Tom” are not usually linked phrases.
Well, I’m walking to the shops, I say, thinking charcoal, firelighter, matches, candles. Do you need anything? Their voices go up two octaves as they shout as one:
Lasted four days. It was cool. Very instructive. Gas cooker and candles. Cleared out the fridge and deep freeze. AND – they survived!
(I had paid on the due date but had ignored this little instruction “Rx is due immediately, the rest can be paid on the due date”).
Today twelve year old Tom comes home with a long face. He took his cellphone to school and was busted. School rule: The phone is confiscated for the rest of the term! I laughed like a drain – even harder when he manfully tried to smile ruefully.
Tonight was Jessie’s school art exhibition and music and food evening. I told everyone who wanted to hear and we all hosed ourselves at Tom’s discomfort. Give him his due, he took it like a trooper.
Tomorrow’s Saturday and I’m working, so just before bed he comes to me with puppydog eyes and asks to please use the iPad tomorrow. I say I don’t think we can give irresponsible boys any treats whatsoever.
He implores: “Dad! Give me a break! I was young and I was foolish back then! I have matured immensely since!”
As I hit ‘pay’ on my internet banking and waited for the beep on my cellphone it struck me. I could picture it in my mind’s eye: The little white enamel loo roll holder in the stall in the mens toilets, Montclair Mall.
I rushed back just in case, but forget it. No sign of my Nokia N73. Damn! Feroza and Raksha phoned it as soon as they saw me muttering and cursing. It got switched off in mid-ring.
It’s 17h15, so the cell shop 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 distingup, 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 the number for me (well, in the next 24hrs they will, that is), but they can’t block the phone. I MUST GO IN TO THE STORE and give them the IMEI number to do that.
Next day the Autopage store say they will only block the IMEI number after I report it to the cops but even then it will take 24 – 48 hrs. Or longer, today being Friday. There are profits to be made from phones stolen, but not from phones blocked, I guess!?
They say my 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 P number (provider number) and I’m off to the cops right now. What do I need for the cops? Only the ITC number. Sure? Yes.
At the copshop Inspector Luthuli is helluva apologetic, but firm: Yes, he does need 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 Autopage store (grrr!), 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 Insp 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.
you won’t. Write it down. Use a pencil. I make a note to use
a tickey box. That will tickle people.
lost my contacts list, my notes, my sms’s, my calendar reminders,
the lot. Lekker. Peaceful. ~~~~oo0oo~~~~ Now on the day
that John Wayne died I found myself on the continental divide Tell
me where do we go from here? Think I’ll ride into Leadville and
have a few beers Think of “Red River”, “Liberty Valence”
can’t believe the old man’s gone
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
moertoe – gone to hell; down the toilet
disting – dingis; whatchamacallit
lekker – naas; nice
batho pele – batho pele means putting other people first before considering your own needs, or yourself; ‘people first’