This is the story of the Pothole That Saved My Life. And no, it isn’t about how I had to swerve to miss it and ended up in a ditch instead of going on to terminate in a head-on collision with a truck towing Mountain Dew. It’s nothing as dramatic. As that. The Mountain Dew truck was moving quite sedately, and I was stationary.
We shall, as usual, require some background before we start: I have a work colleague who is going to be at M-Net’s stand up comedy compettion on Wednesday. He is one of those pictured in the advert.
I have yet another colleague, one who is sure evidence that being up-front, direct and outspoken are wonderful traits to have in a friend only as long as that friend is not talking about you. She spotted the comic aspirant in the caferteria and said to him: “I saw you on the advert for Stand Up Uganda. Wow! I didn’t even know you were funny.”
That was a scorcher, hotter than the past three days put together. Chick is like Johnny Storm. How do you heckle a guy before he even gets on stage?
But wait. The stand up comic has nothing to do with the tale we were unraveling about the pothole. We were distracted. I should be leading you through the narrow narrative alleys that lead to the climax. We are ambling, as it were, up the preamble. Which goes through one more digression. I need to remind you that I have two phones.
It’s not that I fantasise about a triumph of anarchy and the destruction of the corporate behemoth — oh, no. I am a fervent market supporter and am still in denial about the Global Financial Crisis. I simply refuse to believe it exists.
I just think that innovation should not only come from one end of the dialogue and that customers can also evolve new ways of interacting with the market just as businesses constantly adopt new methods. Having more than one phone line is an excellent way to ensure you have choice and that you are able to maximize convenience on your part. You see? I’m not such an idiot, now, am I?
I have two phones. One that enables me to take advantage of the Mango Jazz talk-all-day for 1k, and one that allows me to play with MTN Zone. I carry both everywhere I go, because I am not a woman. I have pockets.
I hear pins dropping. What did I say? Did I say something wrong?
I was on my way to town to meet a dear old friend of mine. I scattered across the road in my usual harebrained way, rushed and addled and generally in that state Enid Blyton would describe as harum-scarum back when she was alive and in the business of describing things. I flew across the road, dove into the car and sped off towards the office building that was the scene of my appointment.
It was when I got there that I realized one of my phones was missing.
I learnt something very important. There are advantages to being a woman. Because women have handbags. They can carry ten phones if they want.
What? What did I say?
Even though at that time my telephonic capacity had been drastically truncated, I went on to have a very fruitful and very enjoyable evening and only began to worry when I had to go back to the office.
That was when my distress began to mount. I was growing frightened. I returned to office clinging to the hope that I had left it behind for some reason, but that was a vain hope. I have lost enough phones to know one thing: if you call that number and it is off, your phone, my gango, has been stolen.
As I crossed the road to the office building something in the pothole in the middle of the road caught my eye.
Yes, it was the phone that caught my eye. It was lying in the pothole in three pieces. Look, who is telling this story?
I don’t need to belabour the point. The thing had fallen out of my pockets as I dashed out of the office and had settled snugly at the foot of a large pothole that was itself settled in the middle of our road. If the pothole had not been there, the phone would be lying in the middle of the road waiting for someone with covetous eyes to see and then steal it or, if not that, for a car, or maybe even Mountain Dew truck to run over and reducing it to so much Nokia dust.
I don’t know what it was that made me look down into the pothole when I returned to the office that evening. It might just be that Heroes is based on true facts and I am developing strange powers. I thought about the possibility of my guardian angel’s involvement, but I don’t know if my guardian angel approves of the way I used my phone. There was a lot of facebooking that went on with that phone and as we all know, facebooking is a godless activity.
Whichever the case, I got my phone back thanks to potholes. Oh, and when you watch Stand Up Uganda, look out for Titus.