If you got the "Hello Mr/Mrs ... (Say voter's surname) my name is ... (Say own name) calling from The DA campaign offices in Howick (don't judge). This is just a courtesy call to remind you that today is election day and that your nearest polling station is open until 7pm" phone call on Wednesday, it was probably me.
If I'd answered said call from self, I may have responded in manner of, "Do you think, dear, that I am a total arsehole? Because I woke up this morning and didn't get up, on a day when I ordinarily would have had to. You know, what with work and all. But I thank you for thinking that I may be living under a stone. Such a compliment."
(If I'd gone on with the script, whilst talking to myself, I would have had myself booked.)
So when a cheap Samsung was thrust into my hand at 630 (a-effing-m), I envisaged the worst: angry public holiday drunkards disillusioned by poor service delivery (yes, I learnt about that yesterday) telling me to get knotted. It's not that I'm a meek push-over who needs constant backing up. It is, in fact, that my personality is an entity of quite a contrary nature. It likes to challenge. This could, I foresaw, pose problems. Given that I was also raised by a mother whose vocabulary was seriously influenced by a seven-year career in politics. (I will never forget being a fresh-faced fourteen-year old private school snob and overhearing my mother having a telephone conversation - or telecon as she buzzworded at the time - with a colleague. She had heard some god-awful news to which she exclaimed, "Fuck me gently" - each syllable perfectly enunciated. My posse was not yet au fair with expletives. Although, we had started experimenting with them. Four-lettered words were just not a common currency in our schoolgirl banter. One friend was so poor in this department that she couldn't quite grasp the concept that the past tense of 'shit' is 'shat'. She used to say things like, "My mom shitted all over me last night.". And I was more concerned about her grammatical error than the fact that her mother had actually defecated onto her. Which, if you think about it, is pretty damn siff. But I digress...)
Yup, I was worried: Me + my often unsavoury diction + rude people = recipe for fucking disaster.
And said disaster started pretty early on.
The Incubator: (pointing) That's your team leader.
The Pant: My WHAT?
TI: Your t-
TP: I heard what you said. Let's just not make matters any worse by giving him any kind of title, okay? I am not led. I am illeadable, okay?
At which point Team Leader, glanced across at me, and began violently tapping at his watch.
The Pant: Oh pick a hand pal, and go fu-
The Incubator: (with both hands covering my mouth, so that I was now looking like someone who'd partaken in a chubby bunny contest) Not yet, Pant. Keep it cool.
Not much later, did the first list of twenty confirmed voters come through. Team Leader became seriously light in the loafers with excitement. It was as though his sphincter had retracted on itself and was placing an arousing amount of pressure on his prostate. He skipped through the office, employing an hysterical tone, yelping, "They've voted. They've voted."
Ah, a truly spectacular sight.
And then I made my eleven thousandth call.
The Pant: Hello Mr/Mrs ... (Say voter's surname) my name is ... (Say own name) calling from The DA campaign offices in Howick. This is just a courtesy ca-
Rude Man: This is the fourth call I've received this week. And if I hear from you lot again, I will be voting for someone else.
TP: Ah, so you've never travelled beyond the borders of Howick, then?
TP: (speaking slowly as though conversing with one whose first language is not English) Have. You. Ever. Been. To. Cape. Town?
RM: I have. And I don't like your tone, girly.
(If Rude Man hadn't pissed me off already, he had to add the "girly" - Cock. Sucker.)
TP: Excuse me?
RM: I don't like your tone. Girly.
TP: Alright, listen to me, you close-minded bigotted fuckstick. If you have been to Cape Town, you will know that voting for The DA will provide you, in this area, effective service delivery. Which will increase the value of your house. So go and vote. Now.
RM: I like your conviction.
TP: I don't give a fuck what you like or ... Oh! Thank you.
RM: (chuckle chuckle).
TP: Thank you Mr (say voter's surname). We appreciate your support. Enjoy the rest of your day off.
But my finest, finest, finest moment of the day was when I telephoned Mrs Govender.
The Pant: Hello Mr/Mrs Govender, my name is Panty Liner calling from The DA campaign offices in Howick. This is just a courtesy call to remind you that today is election day and that your nearest polling station is open until 7pm
Mrs Govender: There are two Mrs Govenders here.
TP: Oh, I'm looking for (check voting sheet) Queen Elizabeth Govender (I shit you not.)
Mrs G: Oh, Queenie. No, she's still at work.
TP: Are you Mrs Princess Maryanne Govender?
Mrs G: Yes, call me Prinny.
TP: Ooooo. K. Prinny, have you managed to get to a polling station today?
Mrs G: Yes, doll. And I voted for yourll.
TP: Thank you. And do you know if Queen Eliza-
Mrs G: Queenie.
TP. I beg yours - Queenie, has she managed to cast her vote?
Mrs G: No, but my husband will vaii that side after she finish work. Place one cross again for yourll.
TP: Thank you, Prince-
Mrs G: Prinny.
Ah, South Africa. I love you.