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Sunday, April 17, 2011

being late

It is very important to me to be on time for things. I hate being late. To this effect, I always set the alarm clock's time 10 minutes fast so that I have a small buffer in case of disaster.

I have only been late for anything a very few times in my life. Yesterday was one of them.

I had to be at Wendy's house at 6:30 to drive with her and Corlea to a lecture about a new web design tool that Wendy decided she would sell in her shop. The lecture was from 8:00 to 17:00 in a conference centre in Sandton, Johannesburg. I decided to use my BlackBerry's alarm instead of the clock radio. I trust it that much.

I had difficulty going to sleep when we got into bed at 11:00. I lay awake for the longest time and finally got up around 1:00am. I came upstairs, played about on the computer and chain-smoked. At 3:00am I decided to go back to bed and fell into a deep sleep right away.

When I opened my eyes, the green digits on the alarm clock showed that it was 6:49am. I was one minute away from being very, very late. My BlackBerry had switched itself on at 5:30 when it was supposed to wake me with the alarm. Instead, it froze as soon as it came on and did not emit a sound.

I had not showered the night before, thinking I would take a nice long shower in the morning. Now there was no time. I sent Wendy a BBM, forgetting that her BB was in the shop and she had a crappy replacement phone, not a BlackBerry. Corlea BBMed me to ask where I was. I replied that I had overslept and was going to be late.

I got dressed in two minutes flat and forgot to perfume my pits. I snatched an ancient Playboy deo spray and coated myself from head to toe. I grabbed what I needed, dragged The One out of bed to open the gate for me and was off at 6:57. I had forgotten to take my crazy pill. Or to brush my teeth. Also, I had not fed the cats or let the dogs out for a pee.

On the highway, I remembered about Wendy's BlackBerry. I held my lit fag in my mouth and copied and pasted the text from the BBM into a text message and resent it. All the while I was furiously chewing on a piece of chewing gum to try and make my foul breath smell better. It was raining cats and dogs and visibility was terribly poor.

I had to brake suddenly when a huge truck loomed up in front of me and the cigarettes went flying off the passenger's seat, landing out of reach. At 130km/h, I leaned over and fished them out because I was desperate for another smoke. The car swerved onto the hard shoulder and nearly left the tar completely. Miraculously, I was able to get it back under control. Wonder what the people in the cars behind me thought.

I did 120km/h down Hans Strydom, a 60km/h zone. Luckily there were few other cars and the Nissan's tyres are still in very good condition.

I arrived at Wendy's house at 7:11. She was in the car already, revving it hard. I got in the back and apologised profusely. All Wendy said was that I was putting her under a shitload of pressure to drive to Jo'burg in this weather and on time. Corlea sat next to Wendy and kept quiet.

My little bubble had been burst. I thought it would be a big joke because two weeks before, Wendy herself had overslept because her BlackBerry died. She had also been very late and had to drive off somewhere in a mad rush.

I had apologised to her three times and she never said it was all right.

Maybe she likes to blow up and get it all over with, like lighting a fart on fire. Me, I like to smoulder for a long time.

We arrived at the lecture at 7:55am. On time.

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