South Park Self

although I wasn't there, he said I was his friend

So, yesterday I committed a stupidity. Well, really, technically I committed the opening stupidity on Monday, by having a truly horrendous migraine the whole day, which means actually I committed the stupidity several decades ago, in being born into a body which is permanently Scraaaatched in a number of creative and interesting ways. I haven't had a proper migraine since I was in undergrad, but the vague, dissociated migraine symptoms which have been randomly floating about all year (occasional horrible headache with nausea, occasional aura symptoms without headache) finally coincided on Monday with a distressing accuracy. I spent the morning throwing up. It wasn't pretty.

As a result of the above I was still headachy and nauseous on Tuesday, and trotted off to my lovely doctor for serious migraine meds, which, while zotting the headache in short order, caused me to be sleepy and spaced all afternoon. Under the influence of drugs I was thus insufficiently alert when the nice man rang the bell at the gate. He said he was working for the next door house, cutting bushes away from the telephone lines, and he needed access to the other side of the hedge from our side. In my vague and unthinking state, I let him in. I didn't even think about it when he asked for an extension cord, which I set up for him so he could use an electric trimmer. Since it started to bucket with rain about three seconds after he left to collect his tools, I wasn't even surprised when he didn't come back.

You've seen this coming. Sometime in the approximately 20 seconds during which my back was turned in fossicking for extension cords, this curiously plausible "workman" nicked my wallet and cellphone out of my handbag, which was in the study. This has left me poorer by a cellphone, about R400 in cash, all my bank cards, various store cards and, adding insult to injury, my Zimbabwean driver's licence. It has also left me gibbering slightly, along the lines of "oh gods what was I thinking, he could have raped and murdered me, aargh!", and tending to kick myself repeatedly while muttering self-directed imprecations about stupidity and uselessness.

I spent an hour phoning to cancel cards yesterday, and four hours replacing things this morning. The infernal bureaucracies involved in cellphone theft require that you go to the cellphone place to block the SIM and phone, then to the police with the block codes, then back to the cellphone place with a case number and affidavit to activate the cellphone insurance. Since I went to the police first - twice, because I forgot we fall under Mowbray rather than Rondebosch and went to the wrong precinct - I have thus visited the police three times and the MTN store twice this morning, as well as the bank. I have a new wallet, bank card and cellphone, the latter without undue outlay as by a bizarre coincidence my contract has just come up for renewal anyway. It's not really a consolation.

The complete bugger, however, is the driver's licence. Three seconds of halfway intelligent reflection suggest that it's going to be quicker and easier to simply apply for a South African learners and take the damned test than to try and extract a duplicate licence from the chaos that is Zimbabwe. I am, shall we say, unamused, although wryly aware that I had this coming, having failed dismally to apply for a South African licence on the basis of my Zim one for approximately the last decade.

It's all terribly "want of a nail". There's one tiny moment yesterday which is the hinge-pin of events, where if my fuzzy brain had simply swung one way rather than the other, the last 24 hours would have been much less stressful. When the man made his request I actually thought "I should tell him to ask his employer to phone me." Then I thought, but that's such a pain, and besides I might have to give Mrs. Cake Next Door my number, which is not going to end well, and the "nice and trusting, if somewhat drugged" response kicked in, so I let him in without actually thinking about it further. I shall not, shall we say, be doing that again. But I also rather resent the way in which this erodes my door response. Quite a lot of people who ring our doorbell aren't actually crooks, but they just lost the benefit of the doubt.
  • Current Mood: annoyed tending to self-punishment
Ugh, such a lot of inconvenience. I do hope your wallet and licence turn up in a gutter or bin somewhere! Quite often people dump the incriminating evidence as soon as they can.
I did do a quick search down the road in the rain, but came up with nuttin'. He's either tucked it down behind the bushes, or has waited a bit until he gets rid of it. The sod.
Oh no! We got an ADT email about this about a week ago. He's a serial "hedge trimmer".

I'm amazed that, after the millyun burglaries you've had the last decade, your driver's licence has remained in your possession!
Actually, I'm also amazed: really, it was only a matter of time. I've only actually had one handbag stolen before (that time at SCA dance practice at St. Pauls, do you remember that?) and for some reason my licence wasn't in it. That was the time my passport was taken but subsequently left on the low wall of a block of flats in Newlands. Thieves are odd.

And, yes, as soon as I told the Mowbray police "he said he was a gardener wanting to trim the hedge" they exchanged knowing looks and said "He wanted an extension lead, didn't he." I don't know if it's a consolation or a further infuriation that I'm not the only one who's been taken in.
It sounds like the worst is the driver's license, with a level of scrimmage that is completely beyond anything I can imagine in boring and homogeneous US of A. Yikes. I hate Hate HATE having to go through the rigamarole of replacing things, and it seems to have been more often recently than it was for a while.
Ack. Really sorry to hear this. Sometimes I'm not sure our parents did us a favour by teaching us to default to 'Friendly and helpful'. Hugs. Virtual Earl Grey & chocolate.
Onoz!
I'm sorry to hear this :(.

I tend to default to "trusting" and then the paranoid South African kicks in and I think "what if they're a crazy robber?" and then the guilt because they probably aren't and now it's too late. Most especially with the people on the side of the road asking for help with car problems. I always think "what if that were me? I'd want someone to stop" but one cannot be too careful nowadays. I'm sad that we have to think like that :(
Re: Onoz!
As to car problems, there was one chap who used to run out of petrol ALL THE TIME... When I worked in Table View, I used to alternate my routes a fair bit to alleviate the tedium of the commute. I saw him at least once every two weeks at one stage, in different places of course.

On the way back from AfrikaBurn we stopped to help a woman who appeared to be stranded in the middle of nowhere but after chatting to her we all decided she was a fake, and she turned snarky when it became apparent that we were not going to give her money. It helped that we were three people though!
Sounds like this person has been arrested. I have emailed you so you can make sure the SAPS have linked your case as well.
gawsh, yes, that's him. Odd how memory goes: I remembered the short/burly/slightly beer-belly look of him, but I had a vague impression of a small beard rather than a moustache. Then again, I was very blasted on painkillers... I'm still trying to get hold of the captain who's co-ordinating the case against him, I'm determined to throw my mite into the proceedings.