Tuesday, August 09, 2011


My early twenties were the very genesis of the technological crazy generation. On my way home from work, I was sitting in the bus next to Tony. We’d had a great day but the effects of trying to absorb the words of a shrubbing senile octogenarian had won us down. We kept smiling about he kept saying ‘Colorando’which is supposedly somewhere on the continental US. Check your maps.

Anyway in keeping with the tech craze, Tony had come up with a very fascinating version of IM which he dubbed Intense Messaging. It was really simple. He would scan the area for active Bluetooth devices and pick the ones with feminine sounding names. (Bosslady, honeypot, feline, magzphone). Then he’d send a provocative message which would force a reply. The game was actually very successful and I’d seen him bag very interesting catches in the past.

The element of surprise was so great that some women could barely control themselves. Which is not to imply that he never stumbled upon the occasional reply from a guy (leave my girl alone, you perv), a mother (shame on you) or a pastor (Repent!!!!). Anyway, I had seen him do this so often that I figured I would take a turn. It was time for the apprentice to take over.

‘Wow. Your hair looks nice today.’ I scribbled. Appealing to their vanity apparently increased your chances by up to 89%. The particular recipient this time was Mamabeah. That sounded promising and cute. Then we sat back and scanned the hoardes of girls on the bus for the person who would reach for their phones. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to tell since almost everyone was using their phones. So we sat and waited for a reply. Five minutes later, it came.

‘You should see me from up close’. JACKPOT!

There was a rapid succession of exchanges. This girl was perfect. Flirty, vivacious and sarcastic. Tony graded everything on a scale of 1-11. Why? You’d have to ask him but he gave her a 9 which was the highest I’d seen him grade someone he hadn’t seen yet. The conversation, aided by a ridiculously long traffic jam, went on and on. It was like a fishing expedition. She’d described herself and now we had a mental image of her. Stunning. We angled the line properly and tried to keep the catch interested without yanking too fast. And now the moment of truth.

‘Wanna hang out some time?’ the message read as it left our phone.

Then silence as we waited. The bus was slowing down now as it did its rounds around the estate. Again a quick look around the bus wasn’t helping in identifying our person of interest. The reply didn’t seem to be forthcoming so we were resigned to our fate.
Two stops before ours, the reply came.’ This is my stop’. It was followed quickly by another one ‘Add me FB Jane Mashi’. I was over the moon. This was my first catch. The bus rolled to a stop and then about a dozen people collected their belongings and trudged towards the exit. Of these we counted five women. Who could it be? And so the process of elimination. No. Too scary. No. Serial killer. No. Transvestite. No. Creepy weave. And then yes. Perfect. Now all she had to do was turn and acknowledge that she was looking for someone on the bus.

The bottle neck at the exit only kept them there for a short while and our window of opportunity was closing fast. And then it happened. A quick turn of the head. The searching eyes. The knowing look. Our eyes met and then a sense of recognition. She smiled just before she stepped off while Tony and I exchanged shocked looks. Serial Killer had figured out who she had been talking to…………

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