THE MUSIC MAKER
Thwack! It certainly makes for an inauspicious start to the day, when the first thing you see is your mobile phone smashing into the wall opposite and falling unceremoniously to the floor.
Well, I shouldn't say 'day' - it was in fact about 10pm - and I should have been in the pub, preparing for closing. Unfortunately, I'd nodded off to sleep, almost certainly as a result of reflecting on my life's achievements or something, and had been woken by the phone ringing. In my confusion and haste to retrieve it from the jacket pocket where it lay, I tugged at the garment too forcefully and sent a sling shot across the room that David would have been proud if in his triumphant biblical encounter with Goliath.
That was the last sound the phone ever made. I took it to various repair shops, mainly in order to look at an array of lip-pursing styles, short intakes of breath and head-shaking manoeuvres. The verdict was conclusive and universally agreed: the phone was defunct.
This was a pity, because I'd only had it a couple of weeks, after a friend in the UK very kindly sent it over, saying it was a spare one he had knocking around. (How anyone would end up with a spare mobile phone remains a mystery to me, but I asked no questions and graciously accepted the offer.)
Here's where things get tricky. I'm due to speak to my chum next week on Skoom or Zype or something and I haven't the heart to tell him, especially since he insisted on paying the postage and somewhat over-elaborate packaging (it was like opening one of those Russian baboushka dolls). He's bound to ask, isn't he? I'll be fine if it's a simple 'Did you get the phone alright?' but it's the possibility of questions about the present that keep me awake at night:
"Is the phone proving useful?" (Er, not really), "Have you got the hang of it yet?" (Didn't really get the chance), "It's a smashing piece of kit, isn't it?" (Well, you could put it like that.)
No, I think I'll just have to bite the bullet.
"Hi Peter, how are you?"
"Hi Tom, I'm fine but you know that phone you sent over at considerable expense and inconvenience? The thing is, I fell asleep one evening, woke up suddenly when it rang, grabbed at my jacket too eagerly and, as a consequence, sent it hurtling across the room and crashing into the wall opposite. It's beyond repair, I'm afraid.