Life Affirming Theft

On Tuesday I had my phone snatched. Some oik – and that is the correct term due to age, size and general facial expression – on a push bike appeared out of nowhere, and all I saw was his hand grab my tPhone out of my hand and cycle off with it. His friend followed a few paces behind (is that the correct term for bicycles? Wheels behind? Cycles behind?) and within a matter of minutes I was phoneless despite really needing it to get the meeting I had. The meeting I was trying to call as the phone in question was nicked. Having no phone in today’s day and age as a self employed individual feels a lot like losing a hand when your main job is testing mittens. Possibly more from habit than necessity, but I suddenly couldn’t check emails, texts, phone anyone, check googlemaps, set a reminder to buy margarine or, and most importantly, tweet incessantly about having my phone stolen. I think I could’ve got at least 4-5 great tweets out about it, possibly a hashtag. #iHaveNoPhone #tPhoneKidnap #Letsallprankcallanoik, there are many possibilities. Several that are probably better and more pun like than any of those. Yet the oddest thing about it was, really, I wasn’t all that bothered.

It’s taken two days to get a new phone, with the same number, that in a matter of minutes had all the same information on it as the one before, downloaded from a cloud. I still don’t understand what a cloud is, where it is, how it doesn’t rain bits of my information or the occasional mp3 onto random people or who put it there. I am however, really glad it exists. All in all, it just made me feel pretty glad that I exist in today’s world. Thanks to technology, the world has been saved from at least 30-40 swears that I would’ve done while re-entering numbers I know deep down I’ll never call again. Even as I complained and grumbled when the delivery man completely ignored the huge signs on next door’s door, explaining that our flat is the next door along, and posted the card through it didn’t matter. The 9 hours of enforced house arrest were all made ok by plugging the new phone in eventually and it still being my phone. But without a damaged camera which is a bonus. All my photos were unnecessarily soft focus and my instagram page had started to look like a 90’s TV romance.

So when the oik took the tPhone, I was only really angry about the phone for around 5 minutes. Then past that, I was more annoyed that anyone does that, that people think it’s ok to steal phones, not knowing if the person they take it from may really need to call a dying relative, their children, or just like me, rely on it for work. It annoyed me more that people are still in a financial situation that the only viable way of earning money when there are no jobs around is to steal and then sell it on. Community spirit once again felt kicked to the ground. And it really annoyed me that I didn’t just look up as he was coming and kick his spokes in a bit.

That was the odd reaction. The phone was snatched, I sprinted after him for two streets shouting ‘Oi! Stop him! That kid stole my phone!’ Firstly, I don’t sprint. That’s not me. I’m surprised my entire body didn’t just stop out of protest. Secondly, all the sad feelings that people no longer care about each other temporarily diminished as one man leapt to grab the kid, but missed. Another threw his can of beer straight at him. Sadly it only made him sway a bit, but did cover the kid’s jeans in booze. The man who threw it then exclaimed ‘Bloody hell! That was a good shot!’ A man gave up his beer to help someone he didn’t know get their phone back. If anything, maybe that oik did me a small favour. Faith in people, and, er clouds is somewhat restored for now. And I finally started a book I want to read. So all in all, maybe everyone so walk around, phones freely in hand, and hope for a little bit of life affirming theft. Well, its just a thought.