The subscriber you have dialled has detonated

I got a message from MTN today letting me know that I was due for a phone upgrade. My eyes filled with tears. It has taken me two years to work out a fraction of my current phone’s functions. Why why would I want to get another, infinitely more complex phone? Because it’s free? It’s not really.

It will lock me into another vicious cycle of shameless information superhighway robbery and exact a terrible physical and mental toll as I discover that I’ve thrown away the manual with the wrapping and will have to spend another two years cursing and weeping and stabbing at stupid little buttons and swiping a poorly lit screen.

I can take the upgrade or cancel my contract. Or I can kill myself. If I choose option three, then I might as well do it properly by strapping a kilogram of Semtex to my chest and running into my local MTN branch shouting incomprehensible slogans in the hope that one or other of the gods will send me to a place where there are no cellphones, no taxis and nobody in a yellow bib telling me where to park.

But a security guard would stop me before I could detonate. He would tell me to take a seat, not that there are any, and wait for the next available consultant. He would point out that there is a queue of people waiting to blow themselves up and that I should just be patient.

The staff at my local branch appear to be borderline retarded. I may be doing the mentally afflicted an enormous disservice, here. For that, I apologise. But I am not exaggerating when I say that their preferred method of communication is a form of grunting last heard in the Paleolithic era.

Cellphone shop staff are second only to the police when it comes to not giving a blind rat’s arse about someone who needs help or advice. The police at least make an effort to appear interested, even if they do lapse into a vegetative state halfway through taking your statement. Most of the time they can be revived with a chicken pie.

I am on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and something called Google+ mostly by accident and almost entirely against my better judgment. I am a huge fan of social media simply because it is so utterly anti-social. Let us all interact through our portable devices instead of our physical bodies. It’s far safer and infinitely less messy. No more gaping head wounds, no more unwanted pregnancies.

What a time to be alive. Or dead.

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