Shortly before I left for work today, the phone rang. Telephone calls before 7 a.m. are usually a matter for concern, so I lifted the receiver with due sense of trepidation. It was quite a relief to be greeted by the recorded voice of the Telkom Time Lady*. She informed me I had been sent a text message from a phone number that I didn’t recognise at all.
The message which followed was something like, “Bzzzzt. Mumblemumble. Poot. Novshmozkapop” and was rendered in severely artificial tones. Imagine Stephen Hawking’s voice synthesiser with a virus, but without the clarity or depth of vocal expression.
I can deal with garden-variety wrong numbers, but this one really went above and beyond the call of duty.
* For South Africans, no further description is necessary (“when you hyair the signal…”). For non-safricans, she’s the one who calls out the time for the talking clock. The poor woman does an excellent job, too – especially if you consider that she does it with a hot potato in her mouth and something large and pinecone-esque shoved firmly up her backside)