Thursday, July 3, 2008
How My Phone Reached Payatas: A Timeless Tale of Stupidity for Children of All Ages
(Disclaimer: I know this looks long. Like the whole friggin’ chapter of a really long, roundabout novel, but it just looks that way.)
Okay let me tell the story of how I lost my most recent cell phone, which - if my memory serves me right- is my 6th phone in five years. Believe me, this is the sort of story that you wish you'd live long enough to tell your future grand children.
So far the reactions I got from people I told about this ranged from hysterical laughter, to fits of wheezing, to looks of overwhelming mirth mixed with condescension -- the kind that people give to morons they pity. Notwithstanding that I am not particularly crazy about the last variety, I will tell this story once again because, well, everybody could use a funny story: stories of people's stupidity over which we laugh our asses off because the idiot in the story does not happen to be us (except in this case, it is me. The idiot, I mean).
So before I start to completely sound like a sphinx (uh-huh, complex), let me tell you how it all happened...
Sometime last April, I found myself in Manila together with VIP members of the debate varsity to attend a competition we each spent a couple of thousand bucks to lose (what can I say, we share a strong and unhealthy love for debate). We spent our days debating ourselves hoarse in the morning and commuting through jeepnies with manic-suicidal drivers and exercising futility by arguing with taxi drivers for the sheer hell of it at night.
This was our routine for the first three days until we met JR. JR is Darwin’s hotshot friend from QC who finds his happiness in making other people drunk. To this, we of course have no objections, because we also happen to believe that one of things that bring most joy in life is getting drunk for free.
And so there we were, the 10? 11? 12? of us (sorry I was really drunk, yet another result of idiocy when I mistook a glass of vodka for water and downed the whole thing as chaser for tequila - painful, I know) at Eastwood. Them doing unholy and unmentionable things (hehe, it's sounds more interesting that way) while I dozed off on the table, dead to the world and blind to crazy shit going on that ill-fated joint we chose for the night. I would like to say that this was when I lost my phone and it would have been at least understandable – even forgivable - though not less stupid of me.
But no. It was the night after this, when I was SOBER that I lost my phone.
So the next night, yet again with JR and his intentions of getting us drunk, we came back to Eastwood. The valet was surprised to see us all sober and threw us a knowing look which made me confused at whether to be happy or sorry that I slept through last's night affair.
Yet again we went to the same place which I found out was called 'bedroom' (figures) or was it ‘bed space’? (But what kind of bar owner would do that to himself right?) They had these neat tube thingies that served as transparent kegs (-like containers) for the draft beer. JR, true to his nature, dropped a shot of tequila for every glass we had, and yet wonders of wonders, I stayed sober till the end of the night. (I’m sure if I ended up asleep again that night, the owner would seriously rethink his whole 'bedroom' concept.)
Anyway, before we headed home, one of the geniuses I was with decided to stop at KFC for food and I decided to buy that breaded chicken thing I kept seeing so much of on TV. I just happen to be one of those people for whom commercials are made -- I wanted amapalaya with meaty seasoning after seeing those damn kids sing "makulay ang buhay sa sinabawang gulay” – which according to my English friend from UK is ‘thuh wohst advuhtisment uhy’ve seen in my uhntire life.” So now that we're in KFC, their chicken strips commercial (which I am now loathe to recall because it was the reason I lost my phone) flashed in my head and I suddenly wanted the chicken with the sweet corn and the cheese even though I wasn't hungry.
For some stupid reason, given my amazing ability to lose stuff, I decided to leave my bag at JR’s car and took out my phone, wallet and a back-issue of a E-Buzz magazine featuring my role model and greatest influence in life, Lindsay Lohan, in all her wasted glory on the cover. So there I was, lined up to order those blasted chicken strips with the sweet corn and the cheese. My memories of the ensuing events for that night are now a blur, but I do recall walking out with my plastic of take-out food, still silently enthralled by Lindsay latest sanity breakdown. I think we gathered around JR’s spotlessly clean table in his aggravatingly immaculate apartment to eat and exchange absurd stories about absolutely nothing before retiring at around two in the morning.
It wasn’t until we we’re about to head for the pier to board the boat home the next day that I noticed my phone was missing. The whole time I was assuming it was in my huge shoulder bag which contained a surprisingly extensive (albeit jumbled) collection of useless necessities into which an extraction of anything required an excavation.
But I finally decided to unearth my phone through the rubble, and was extremely annoyed to find out it wasn’t there. I wasn’t panicking until I went through every single thing for the third time and still didn’t find it. I was then close to hyperventilation at this point because:
a) that was the first thing of value I bought with my own money
b) I will never find a phone in that exact shade of orange (*sob*)
c) I had a nagging idea of where it was, and when I tell you later, you will understand why it is a cause for hyperventilation
Before I really started to hyperventilate, I asked Darwin to ask JR if I left my phone at his apartment, to which JR replied negatively. I decided to come check his place myself anyway because I could have left it in his car. It wasn’t there either. We went back to that cursed KFC joint and asked. It still wasn’t there. At this point, a dirge was playing in my head ala JAWS just before Bruce the Shark attacked.
Good ole’ JR had dragged himself off bed and joined in my crazy, pointless search for my ill-fated orange phone. I finally had to admit that there was only was place to look for:
Dum, dum, dum, duuum…
JR’s trash can.
Uh-huh, you read it right.
“Damn it, I think I threw it with my take-out. I mean the damn thing was orange.” I said.
It could perfectly blend with the contents, namely, that cursed KFC chicken overload with the gravy, cheese and sweet corn affair. JR was too dumbfounded to react to this, and instead went inside his car and motioned me to do the same so we could fish through his trash.
We could have made ‘the Flash’ proud at the speed with which we scaled JR’s building to get to his unit on the 7th floor. (I know it sounds like we climbed the thing, but we used the elevator, of course, which is not exactly speedy – but we were whizzing in speed in my mind nevertheless).
We burst through the door, went to the kitchen, patted his two pet dogs (I love those guys) and emptied the contents of his trash bin real Flash-like. No take-out bag. No leftovers of KFC’s chicken overload with gravy, cheese and sweet corn. No orange phone.
“Uh. Where did your trash go?” I asked JR stupidly. To which JR said, “Duh.”
It would have been more fun if he had said, “Hmmm. Let me think… Oh I know! The chute! C’mon, let’s not waste any more time. Let’s rescue your phone from the overzealous janitors!” then morphed into Red Ranger of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
We went down the basement hoping against hope (which, though misplaced, is admirable, I might add), got to the room to which the chute leads to, held our breath (not for effect, but because it’s going to be really smelly in there) and opened the door:
Two words: Emp. Ty. Totally empty. (Audio clip: chirping of crickets here)
I closed the door. Slumped my shoulders dramatically, thanked JR, got my bags from his OC heaven (or hell, depending on whose perspective) of an apartment, and forlornly went my way.
And my phone? Well, presumably, it’s in Payatas now, hopefully to be found and sold by a garbage person, the proceeds of which will then pave the way to help a Payatas kid finish a degree and become of this country’s greatest doctors/engineers/talk show hosts.
Okay, it wasn’t that expensive, but dreaming up scenarios like the above-mentioned help lessen the pain of losing such a sentimentally valuable thingy, so just pretend to agree, ok?
Hah. That was a lot of my chest right there. Yeah, so, uh… that was how I lost my phone. Good times. So uhm, so long. I guess. Drop by my blog again sometime. Or something.