It was a long business meeting, a fun-filled event that made pulling out your own hair kind of appealing. By the time our torture finally ended, I was famished and suggested lunch. This was surprising considering how much bull shit we were fed. We stopped at the mall and had salad and bagels and steak. My two esteemed colleagues wanted to pop into the pharmacy, where you find an array of things to pop and left me with the bill. Hence the reason why I really, really, really like them.
After relinquishing some hard-earned cash, I picked up my wallet and phone. I would have picked up my keys too, but realised they were missing in action. After searching for them underneath, on top, behind and through the table, it dawned on me that they must have fallen out of my pocket. Karma was pissed of with me. I was succumbed by a mild wave of panic, which included a flustered face and elevated heartbeat.
I retraced my steps into the parking area, looking down like I was the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I stopped at the spot where I thought my car was, even though it wasn’t there anymore. I looked up and saw a rather empty looking parking area, that quickly turned into a terrifying one, if only for the absence of my own black SUV. The good news was that my mild wave of panic had passed. The bad news was that it was replaced by a major wave of panic. My mind refused to believe what my eyes was telling it. I was going into shock. I know this because my heart moved to my throat and the Adrenalin surging through my body was causing blurred vision and deliriousness. I had to face the fact that I was a victim of crime, the second time in two weeks.
My legs carried the rest of my body back to the owner of the coffee shop, who immediately noticed I was having a terrible day. After hearing about my misfortune, she immediately called mall security. Mall security is like normal security, only a tad more useless. I should probably be grateful for someone that was prepared to try and assist an adult male in a moment of disbelief and desperation. Even if the three heroes shared a brain. It was time to call the Wife.
After ruining my Wife’s day, which was only fair as we made a promise twenty years ago to do just that, I remembered that I had a tracking system installed. (I’m referring to the tracking system of my car, not the one the Wife had installed on me.) I only realised seconds later that I didn’t have the number of said tracking company on the phone. Mainly because shit like this doesn’t happen to me, it only happens to everyone else. After a minute or thirty-seven of them I got the number and gave the nice lady who answered the hotline my credentials. It turned out my vehicle was not listed with them and the f-cking bitch suggested I try another vehicle tracking company. Problem was I couldn’t think of the name of the other company, I barely remembered theirs. It became evident that I crack under pressure. I was losing my
The security manager and a few of his guards finally finished every single do-nut in every single bakery of the mall and decided to grace me with their presence. I quickly babbled my version of events, which is basically me losing my keys, someone picking them up and then that someone driving away with my car. Looking at the face of one, very bored looking guard, I wanted to hit him with the baseball bat I didn’t own. His expression revealed the only thing he heard was: “Blah blah blah You’re stupid blah blah And you’re stupidity shortened my lunch hour.”
By this time a small crowd of concerned citizens assembled around another unfortunate victim of South African crime. They needed a fresh story to share at the next dinner party, exploiting my misery and misfortune. The security manager proved more useful than expected as he knew the name of the other tracking company. He even had their telephone number which elevated him to Superman in my eyes. It seems he had his own functioning brain. I took his phone, dialed the number and whilst waiting for the nice lady to pick up, saw my two colleagues strolling out of the mall without a care in the world. They obviously realised something was wrong, if only for my frantic, furious, crimson face and the way I was signalling the crowd around me like a traffic cop on crack. This made them walk a little faster.
“What’s wrong?” he said.
“My car is stolen!” I said.
“What!” he said.
“My f-cking car is stolen!” I said. Again.
“From where?” he asked.
“What do you mean from where? Are you f-cking nuts? From here, right here in the parking area! Where the f-ck do you think it was stolen from?” I shouted.
“But Pieter, you caught a lift with me.” he said.
I fell to my knees in the middle of the crowd. Three days since the incident I’m still hovering between relief and utter embarrassment. I know I’ve shortened my life with four years, at least. People are still laughing and that security guard…just stood there shaking his head whilst my car was still safely parked at the office.
Growing old is not for sissies.