Thursday, August 24, 2006
How was your day?
I turn to my reading material. I am barely halfway when a woman darts in like she was racing for the seat. There are loads of seats in this taxi, come to think of it, in the world and this one is no different. I have seen better seats, but clearly she hasn’t. She is happy…as happy as she is rude. I thought this was the “polite taxi” where everyone says “hi” and nods.
The taxi fills and because I am sitting near the light…well if we were to be specific, I am right under it so I could very easily have a Michael Jackson incident and singe my hair and convince myself that it won’t grow and the only thing for it is to change the color of my skin. To avoid prejudice from the Blacks and Whites I will find some sort of middle ground and turn a shade of grey.
My hair is not singed, but the light allows me to read my stuff. We stop at a petrol station and once again I wonder why these guys waited till now to refill their tanks. I’m still wondering when the “conductor’s” voice cuts into my thoughts without so much as an “Excuse me while I intrude on your thought process”. He is asking for “big money”. Money the size of a TV presenter. No, bigger…the size of a big note. For a moment I wish I was the guy pumping gas so I can slip in a corny line like, “Ha, boss. We have a M7 situation here…No Change.”
Dude next to me asks whether 5k is big. If you ask me it really depends, hell, in front of the right sort of unemployed person 200 shillings is ginomargantuan (HUGE). The conductor looks at the dude with the sort of look that says “DUH”…not quite like the one we see in teen flicks with those cute chics in short skirts and pert noses and…by the way, I have seen some chic with a nose that, well, that’s just worth mentioning on my blog She’s short and brown and has a nose that just grabs your attention…or pokes you…or gouges your eyes…well she has a nose, is what I’m saying.
We set off from the petrol station and a while later draw up to some “stage” a “bus stop” if you will, but you probably won’t seeing as we have no buses yet. Ideally this is a great time to dispose of a few passengers and moving on. The last thing you want is some green t-shirt that is yet to discover the joys of deodorant…joys? No the wonders and perks (Perks…sounds like a nose description) of deo. So anyway, the conductor lets green tee sit on me...yeah, ON…there’s a piece of seat that’s just, er, lying there wondering what purpose it has in life and Green Tee-shirt guy can’t see this. What is wrong with this guy? What’s his malfunction?
We continue with incident. Up till the next point at which some peeps want to get out. Green Tee simply stands up and hopes they can squeeze past him. He does this with his back to me and I regret not carrying a dagger…or a landmine.
The conductor bumps himself up to first class and I am stuck with this miserable wretch. The situation is so bad even the sage next to me is not nodding…We get to my stop and as I disembark I consider for a moment what I stand to lose from literally stepping on Green tee and the conductor’s toes. I realize there’s a remote possibility that I may mess up my shoes so I simply walk out.
I get home and there’s a Spanish soap…Well, to be specific, its Mexican, but when you really think of it, they are the same…
I retire to this room, but not before taking my meds.
I attempt to chat, but my eyes are telling me no…but my body…well, it sort of restarts coz I black out and then come to.
I’m going to try and sleep now.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
24 and over!
The following events take place over 24 Hours…and then some.
Be warned, as I write this, I am reading Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons no doubt a subtle reference to the individuals that work in the power company’s call centers…
Black Bauer wakes up and instinctively glances at his mobile phone’s screen. He left it on charge the night before. There’s just one bar of “charge”. To some this maybe regarded as progress, but not to Black. Black put it on charge because it had that one bar in the first place. This means, as you may have now deduced, that the power company has gone all out and been as shitty as everyone has come to expect.
Black is patched through to the Power Company’s call center. The female robot that answers phones everywhere thanks him for calling, (but because she is a robot, it can barely be regarded as being heartfelt) and asks him to have his account number on standby for purposes of something…
Someone, a human with the intelligence of an Ostrich egg, takes over from the robot and takes down Black’s complaint. Black for some reason actually believes this being when it claims that they will be over shortly to rectify the problem. The being then proceeds to give him a reference number so that their records show what position he occupies on the screwed up day list. He is number 245 thousand and something.
Maintaining a certain amount of humility Black says goodbye and hangs up.
He realizes it will do him no good to stay awake and wait, so he opts to sleep for the one hour it should take for the issue to be fixed.
Black wakes up with a start. It would be nice is this was because the radio had suddenly sprung to life because it’s got a new lease on life thanks to the power company. That’s not why. There is still no electricity and in a not too mysterious way, his phone hasn’t picked up some extra bars of “charge. So why is he awake? Some questions can’t be answered. Questions such as, “Does the Power Company’s equal opportunity policy spread to cover individuals unaffected by evolution?”
Black makes yet another call to the power company where he is accosted yet again albeit unsurprisingly by the robot. She proceeds to tell him to stay on the line and that he is number 5 in the queue. Robot lady doesn’t seem to give a rat’s arse about the fact that this line is not toll free.
Another being of the male variety comes to the phone taking over from robot lady. With their total disregard for the call credit being expended, Black half expects the dude to say, “Thanks love, go on with your bad robot self: before attending to him. He comes to the phone and asks for the reference number. Black gives it through gritted teeth and is assured that people have been dispatched. He is about to hang up when the person on the other end seizes the moment to take the piss, “They may have started by going somewhere else, but they will be there.”
He says the last bit in a somewhat conspiratorial way.
Black hangs up! This is no longer funny. Actually, it never was. Somewhere during their training process, the call center people must have been told to commit to memory the mantra, “If you bill them, they will come!”
There is still no sign of electricity. Then the screen goes to black. Not the screen on Black Bauer’s life, the one on his mobile. The battery has given up its fight and has died. It’s a dead battery. It has expired. It has gone on to technological heaven and has joined the choir invisible; it is an ex-battery!
Black begins to wonder how it is possible that “they” may have started by fixing someone else’s problems. He called at 0800 Hrs. He realizes that they are clearly taking him for a ride. Black will not have anyone take him for a ride . . .well, save for the taxi driver when the time comes.
He calls the power company up using some other gadget that must have been wired together by MacGyver to enable him to make calls in the Third World country. (It’s an old model Nokia, calling it a phone would be an insult to GSM technology).
Robot lady is relieved of her duties by a lady called Joselyn. Though, considering their inept inability to provide solutions, its rather likely she fed him a false name to avoid persecution when the time came.
Not content with feeding him a false name, she goes on to spin a yarn about how the guy that was sent is on his way and she is very sorry about the inconvenience.
She can’t possibly know what she is talking about, if she did, she would know she has a lot to be sorry for…
The situation has led to the following;
The cheese in the fridge going bad
The canned beef taking on a new persona and tasting like fish, which the experts have all agreed is a manifestation of bad beef.
The milk has become cultured . . . not in the sense we’d like the staff at the Power Company to, you know, become. . . Its yoghurt!
A deadline for a proposal can not be met.
The absence of pressed clothes which means that there’s a certain amount of restriction in Black’s movement.
Regular “blacking” out of Black’s mobile phone which means all sorts of important calls are being missed.
. . . and she is sorry?
Jack has a visit from a person dwelling in a land where there is no such thing as a black out. This guy has electricity on at his place and wonders how its possible that Black doesn’t. You’d wonder the same thing too if, like this guy, you happened to live in the same neighborhood as Black.
Black calls the power company and is relieved that Robot Lady has been replaced by some tacky Jazz music. Guess its her lunch break…or there was a “power-cut” and she too has expired and is in robot heaven. Black’s phone battery will have great company.
Black points out that he knows at five O’clock he will be the subject of a compulsory power cut that has been affectionately christened load shedding. SO he would really appreciate it if the person on the other end actually did her job. She is called Miriam by the way..
After being assured that the situation will be rectified at 1600hrs, Black hangs up.
Meanwhile at the call center, Miriam is insulted that someone would expect her to do her job.
Black stops in the middle of a conversation to see what time it is…he figures he will give the lobotomized chimps a shot at evolution and thereby a chance to make good on their word.
The power company’s stuff is too preoccupied with planning robot lady’s vigil and as such can not be bothered to help Black.
Black bids his friend goodbye. . .
A rather infuriated Black calls and says he wants his electricity back, he wants it back NOW! There was some mention of Angels and Demons earlier. . . The person that he deals with falls under the Angel category. She explains that she will do whatever she can, but she will not make any empty promises. She points out that the area is now under general load shedding and as such he may have to wait till tomorrow at 1700 Hrs.
She also says that if Black finds out that they have been spared the “Darkness” He should not hesitate to call her and she’ll do whatever she can.
Black Bauer goes to bed, realizing there is really nothing else he can do.
Black Bauer is woken up…no, not by the radio blaring, its by his antique phone. He is going to be visited by three (count ‘em, 3) people. They do not include The Darkness of Past, The Darkness of Present and The Darkness Yet To Come, those just happen to slither into people’s lives with no prior warning.
Black Bauer has a meeting with Destiny. It says so on his phone. He strolls down to the sin ridden area below his home (not hell, hell is where they make empty promises about restoring your electricity) and chats with his pal Destiny as his phone is charged. . .turns out it was a coma so the battery comes back to…
Black receives a call from someone over at the power company. In a clever move, he doesn’t leave a name. he wants to know whether the electricity issue is sorted out…The angel at the power company is not just an angel, she is a Saint. Bless Her!
Black gets back home and is greeted by THE DARKNESS, clearly the dude that called him earlier was trying his hand at prank calls. Not Funny!
Black goes to bed an puts his antique on charge hoping that its battery too will be salvaged from its coma.
Black wakes up and yet again is greeted by the eerie silence that is associated with death and the absence of electricity in a place it should damn well be.
Black calls the power company where he explains what the **** he is gong through and Trevor (yeah, they have taken to naming these anomalies of nature) promises he will get back to him…Its become something of a trend, a rite of passage even… “Before you are promoted to even higher levels of asinine power, you must prove that you can lie…”
Black has been trying to read Angels and Demons and its not progressing as it ought to, so he calls the power company yet again.
Robot Lady lives!
So does Asha, the female at the other end who asks Black to let her be the last…she means the last to make an empty promise… Black gives her that much.
Asha has proven to be THE LAST STRAW!
Black tries to read his Dan Brown Novel, he fails…
Black calls the power company and requests that they call him back. Wonder of wonders, they actually do.
Problem solved…for now.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Parts Unseen; The Second
It says nothing about the life of a law enforcer. In fact, when you think about it, It doesn’t say anything about this particular character, whom we shall christen Andrew.
Andrew is somewhat different from your run of the mill police officers. Well, for one thing, contrary to that tag, he is in fact a Traffic Officer. He always wanted to be a Policeman, and even went as far as telling some visiting relatives so, way back when he was seven.
Things didn’t quite work out the way he’d figured and he’d settled for this. It wasn’t a bad job as such. He doesn’t mind it. Its safe, and according to recent polls, safe is a good thing to be when you’re working. The only drawback, as far as he is concerned is the fact that he has to miss out on a large chunk of his favourite show. He listens to it religiously, and this morning he will have to leave the house at 6.
I suppose a twist would be nice at this point, so here it is. Andrew makes money on the side, after all, isn’t corruption the sort of thing that’s expected. It is especially rewarding when you’re not found out. Ask a politician.
Andrew gets up at 5am and prays.
Its weird, I know, but he does nonetheless. He wants to have a great day. He doesn’t want to deal with all these annoying people that pass for drivers. In fact, he will probably let a couple of them off today. Nothing will mess up his day. In his haste, he almost forgets about brushing his teeth.
As he walks out the door, he can hear the presenter on the radio updating the listeners on just what he has planned for them. Andrew sighs as he realizes he will miss yet another great show.
He contemplates using a motorcycle to work, then lets the thought go after realizing that there is in fact a part of him that will die if he is seen.
He boards a taxi and is thankful that the “conductor” managed to procure some bathing soap. He reasons that things must be looking up in the transport sector. It’s a shame the driver has failed to evolve. He still thinks there is such a thing as interesting local presenters. For crying out loud, they can’t even pronounce the names right. Andrew wishes he’d sat upfront and schooled the driver in the Entity that is / was Dirk. A flash of inspiration dashes past and he manages to pick up the words, “Dirk Ages” before it leaves. What was that about? He wonders.
He gets to his intended destination and resists the urge to walk off without paying his fare.
He is entitled to that sort of behavior because;
He is in law enforcement
He has been cheated out of some money before and . . .
. . . He is in LAW ENFORCEMENT DAMMIT!
He doesn’t want anything to ruin his day so he pays up and shuts his mouth in time to prevent it from getting carried away and uttering, “Chief, keep the change…”
He looks at his watch and it reads 7 am. He performs a couple of routine checks. Makes sure that people are strapped in as they drive and are not using their cell phones.
That’s always been a bone of contention for him; Cell phones.
He stops another car and walks over to the driver’s side of the vehicle wearing a smile. If Andrew had a photographic memory he would recall that the last time he wore this smile was back in school when he lost his virginity to the goody-two shoes in the class above him.
He figures he will force some small talk with the driver of the car while “catching a listen” of Dirk Times.
Unfortunately, its not on the radio this driver is listening to. In fact, this is nothing like Dirk Times. Its one of those new-fangled stations that claim to be “listener friendly”. They generally get on his nerves. Their self righteous concern for the listeners bores him.
He looks at the driver’s permit. He barely pays attention to it. He sees that the driver is called Ced . . something. It doesn’t matter. He won’t be jotting down anything. It’s Happy Hour on the Highway.
20 minutes later, he has failed to get a rise out of his “prey”. He lets him off with a warning and then figures there’s no harm in dispensing some advice. He proceeds to lean over and as politely as he can, asks him to buy a toothbrush and some toothpaste.
It’s a simple case of a brother looking out for another brother. Or at least that’s what he wants to think.
As the driver speeds off, Andrew heaves a sigh and doesn’t register the words coming in over the static on his walkie talkie.
Time check, 7:45am.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Parts Unseen; The First
He’d told her he was busy, but she’d insisted on meeting with him. She was his biggest fan; her size not withstanding. He’d looked at her and asked himself what harm there could possibly be.
They’d hooked up and after a couple of drinks she’d said she had forgotten her keys with her roommate and she had nowhere to spend the night. She’d then looked at him with the sort of eyes that practically screamed, “Take me”. . .
She didn’t have to. He’d been trying to find away of sweeping her off her feet, literally and into his bed for a meaningful overnight relationship. It’s also been referred to as a One-night stand in some circles.
And now she lay there. Barely a stir. He wondered how he’d get her to leave. A hint of guilt stops by in an attempt to recall where it was heading. He wonders whether the polite thing to do would be to leave her some money. After all she is a University girl . . . the guilt remembers its original destination and sets off as Dirk (for that’s his name) shrugs his shoulder and convinces himself that he did her a favour.
He freshens up and gets ready for work.
As he dresses up he sees her bag, lying on the floor. He hesitates, but curiosity gets the best of him and he sneaks a peek.
There’s nothing out of the ordinary in it. Well, there’s a half empty pack of condoms.
That explains how they managed to get them at that hour of the night, he thinks to himself. He also appreciates her thoughtfulness…he doesn’t see the Identity Card that shows what Secondary School she is still in.
Dirk arrives at the station at a quarter to 6. He pours himself a cup of tea. Good help is so hard to find. He wonders whether he should mention to the manager that he had to pour his own tea. Five years here and he still has to perform such mundane tasks . . . His mind drifts back to the girl he left back home. . . But only just, he has more important things to think about.
He goes through his mail. A couple of plaudits here and there and then there it is. He knows who its from even before opening the envelope. Worse still, he knows what’s been written. Its one of his strongest critics . . . no, not a critic, a hater as some of those guys he’d been hanging with in the states would say. The States, hmmm, he makes a mental note. He figured he will talk about that during his show.
Its now five minutes to six.
He considers calling her. But what will he say? That he was checking on her? It wouldn’t do. In fact, if he did that and any member of his species got to find out, he would without a doubt suffer “The Fate Of A Thousand Suns”. . . which is a simple procedure involving the loss of his nails one by one without any application of anesthesia. Well, that’s what’s written in “Alpha Masculinity 4 Dummies”; a book he picked up in the United States. And is not everything connected to the States legit.
He puts his phone down.
He plays a couple of songs and then goes on to tell the listeners what to expect during the course of the show. He finds that he sounds more authentic when he affects an accent. It used to be such that it wasn’t his, but with the way he kept dropping it, it made itself resident.
One of the draw backs would be the fact that people listening in to his show would complain that he messes up the artistes’ names. Then again, at that time, people are too preoccupied with work and losing sleep, they seldom notice.
He begins to talk about his visit to the United States of “A”, then stops as his mind makes its way back home… into the bed he left her in. He cuts it off before it gets into the house and goes on. He hopes no one notices the brief hesitation and if they do, that they appreciate the “coolness” of it all…
He asks listeners to call in and glances at the studio clock hanging on the wall opposite him.
Meanwhile. . .
. . .and basing on that,here's a somewhat distorted pic of the Toshiba Gigabeat.
Look at it.Is it not a thing of beauty and,and stuff?
Need I apologise for the delay in postings? Its not as bad as that time I had the "Parts" saga,is it?
Which Part saga you ask?, Well. . .
1 2 3 4 End