rummaging through stuff…


There used to be a warning about looking into women’s handbags when I was younger and keenly interested in such nonsense. Having disregarded that warning consistently for many years into my adulthood, I can report here that it is one of those designed to waste your time and divert you from more serious matters at hand such as working out what women when thy go into nightclub toilets in large numbers.
I know about the existence of small make-up kits, tissue papers, filofaxes, used airtime cards, perfume bottles, purses, the occasional handkerchief, and so on and so forth. All for nothing.
But I have zero evidence about what really occupies their time in those nightclub toilets except the use of the obvious and the mirrors. My imagination more than makes up for what actually happens, but then…still, there is that feeling at the back of my neck that my intelligence on this point is incomplete.
But somewhere along the way (some years ago, just in case you know my wife and find yourself compelled to share this link), the handbag checking habit evolved into a phone-checking habit.
Nobody ever said you can’t browse through someone else’s phone. But I have always found the activity unexplainable; it’s the real estate equivalent of visiting somebody in their home then strolling around their bedroom checking in drawers and under the bed while going, “Does your bed also make noise when you move around in it?”
“Yeah, in fact, sometimes I get out on the other side so that I don’t keep hearing the same noise.”
“Eh – what about this drawer? Do you ever use it?”
“Yeah, but i only keep my older underwear inside that one…”
“Why don’t you throw away the old underwear?”
“Ah! You never know when you need to call someone and they have resorted to using their old number.”
“So you keep all the old numbers and also store the new ones?”
“Yeah. These new 32kb SIM cards allow me to store N numbers. In fact, I even store some on my memory card.”
“But don’t you get confused?”
“No – I always first put on the new underwear…”
The entire conversation is quite useless in a social and business sense.
I love gadgets more than is healthy for me, as far as my creditors are concerned. These days, the simplest gadgets to come by are mobile phones, so I keep collecting them. But along the way, I come across other people’s phones, and the urge is mutual for: a) them to show me their phones, and b) me to look over their phones.
The trick begins here – a phone is mostly a phone – call and sms then begone – so once you’ve tested the ability to call (“Sounds clear!”) and SMS (“That message went very fast!”) you have basically tested the phone.
So, very quickly, one proceeds to stuff like the camera, and how sharp the images are or how clear the video is.
This eventually leads one to the gallery to check out the photo one has just taken of the people sitting at the next table of the open-air restaurant one is sitting at with one’s new-phone-owning friend.
After looking at the recently taken photograph, one tends to test the browsing power of the phone, and finds oneself looking at other pictures.
And videos.
This is the point at which you begin to evaluate the IQ levels of people you know.
Two weeks ago, during a break in a business lunch, a pal of mine had me going through his phone and didn’t suspect anything when I began to turn the phone around and squint at it to understand better what the image staring at me depicted. It was only after I asked a couple of carefully worded questions about the armpit in the image that he jumped across the table to snatch (a pun, considering what the image was…)  back the phone.
To this day, he is not comfortable with the knowledge I acquired that day about his wife…
Three days later, at another social gathering I ended up flipping through somebody’s Motorola and considered myself the luckiest man alive that the volume on the device was turned to low. The damn Motorola was one of their more enhanced models (yes, apparently they are still pushing models out instead of selling everything to Nokia and Apple!) and had the capability of producing a clear video image.
The one that jumped out at me when I casually pressed the requisite button was a home made recording of the phone-owner – a lady whose name I didn’t know but who was sitting on the other side of the table having sent her phone down the line for inspection. From the angling of the video, the phone owner had shot the video herself, from an elevated position somewhere below her neck level, probably around her sternum. The video depicted her more generous nature, as she engaged in a kindly act that involved her warming up the ears of a bearded gentleman who occasionally glanced upwards to smile his appreciation.
I think he was bearded.