Monday, May 28, 2007

Mugging for the cameraphone. On Saturday night a pair of hoodlums snatched my bag as I was walking home from the tram stop down Elgin Street. I was carrying Stam in my right hand and they waited until I was at a corner before one ran up behind me and grabbed it right out of my hand, knocking me to the ground before darting around the corner towards the Commish. I didn't even hear him coming.

I remember thinking to myself as it was happening, "I can't believe this is is happening!" Here are my other immediate thoughts, in order:

"FUCK YOU!" (which I shouted ineffectually from the footpath as the second hoodlum ran past me and after the first one)
"I can't believe that just happened!"
"The fucking Commish! That'd be right!"
"Fuck, I feel weird and naked without Stam!"
"Run to the servo, use their phone and cancel your cards!"
"No dickhead, the police station's right across the road - run there instead!"
"Oh my god, I can't believe that just happened!"
"Where's the fucking door to the police station?"
"Get in your car and chase them, donut-muncher!"

If I were writing this post yesterday it would have been much more melodramatic. However. I got home last night after generously being shouted dinner and a movie by Penny (surely Keira Knightley is a Razzie contender for her ludicrously attired, mahogany-skinned, unintentionally hilarious turn in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End). When I knocked on the front door (having no keys), Carly let me in and said sleepily, "Look on the table." I went down the hallway and into the living room where I discovered the light globe had blown; but in the semi-darkness I could see the unmistakable, heart-leapingly dear silhouette of STAM!

Everything in there was all higgledy-piggledy, but remarkably, the only things missing were my phone (aka my external brain) and the cash from my wallet. I was particularly glad to see the wallet itself (there had been a moment at the cop shop where I was trying to explain to the cop what "Glomesh" was), all the cards it still contained, my work security pass and my keys, because having to replace all that was what I had particularly been dreading. A feeling of relief spread through me like morphine as I cherished anew my cheap and stupid belongings - the tatty $2-shop fingerless gloves; the box of Tic-Tacs; the ground-down lipsticks; the dog-eared copy of Are You Dave Gorman? that I'd bought one Saturday morning from the op-shop probably 20m from where I'd been mugged, when I was bored and had nothing to read over breakfast.

Carly had written me a note explaining what had happened - a guy who lives down the road from us had discovered Stam discarded in the laneway behind his house. I wrote him a thankyou note which I am going to put in his letterbox tonight. I have already sealed the envelope, which is a good thing; otherwise I would probably be embarrassed by the euphoric burblings I wrote. I was so euphoric that I resolved to pay without complaint the extra $22 per month it will cost me to replace my mobile phone.

The interesting thing about my recent life caching obsession is that the same impulse that tethers me to technology also enables me to cope with the sudden loss of that technology. I may have lost the phone, but my Flickr and Short Mel Service mean I still possess it in a way, in the sense of the many moments the phone helped me capture and communicate. Also, I was able immediately to jump on MySpazz and M+N to request many of the phone numbers I lost. In that spirit, if I gave you my mobile number in the last year, I won't have it written down anywhere - could you please email it to me?

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