There’s always a price to pay when you’re being a smart-ass.
A few months ago when I was shopping for cheap underwears, I received an SMS which sounded something like “So, shall I do it?”
I figured that somebody must have sent it by mistake. I could have replied and told the sender that he or she might have typed the wrong number. Or, I could have simply ignored it. But noooo… I must do something witty so I replied, “Please do.” I immediately making up stories in my mind. The sender was a woman and she was asking her husband’s permission to put on her sexiest lingerie that night. Or a boy asking his mother’s permission to appear in porn.
What I didn’t remember was that two hours ago a friend of mine borrowed my cell phone to talk to someone in the catering business about the possibility to order 1,000 boxes of food for an event.The next day, I was five millions Rupiah poorer.
Last year, in a bid to curve terrorism and cellphone-related frauds, the Indonesian government made a regulation that all pre-paid SIM card users must register their name and address by SMS. So anyone can still purchase a SIM card without ID, but before you can use it, you have to register. I thought it was just silly. There was no way that regulation could do anything good. So I registered my number under false name and address, just to spite it.
Last month, there was something wrong with my SIM card and I could make or receive calls. I couldn’t just simply buy a new SIM card because then I would have to notify all my contacts. So I went to the SIM card center and asked for a replacement.
After waiting for almost two hours staring at one of those big digital indicators which display which number could go in to be served, it finally showed my number.
I was then greeted by a lady who, after a day long dealing with consumers’ complaints, looked very bored. I told her about my problem and then she typed something on her computer. She deadpanned, asking for my ID. I gave it to her. Then she said, “Sorry the information on your ID doesn’t match with what we have on our computer.”
I immediately realized that I was in a deep shit. Not only I knew that registered under a false name and address, I completely forgot what name I used. So I kindly asked, “What do you have on your computer?”
She turned her monitor to face me. I read it in horror:
Name : Brad Pitt
Place of Birth : Mojokerto (A very small town in Java)
Address : Jl. Sawo Gang Jambu no. 2
“Why didn’t you register under your name?” the lady asked.
“The card used to be… uhmm… my brother’s,” I said.
“Then he has to come down here to file the complaint,” she said.
“He can’t… Umm.. He is in… Russia,” I didn’t know what else to say.
I didn’t know whether she was tired or simply didn’t want to make me even more embarrassed, she just handed me out a piece of paper.
“Just make the statement here that this SIM card really belongs to you,” she said.
“What should I write?” I asked
“I’ll dictate it to you”
So I began writing what felt to be the longest line I had ever written:
“I hereby state that this SIM card belongs to me and that Brad Pitt is truly my brother…”
One time, I was so proud that I could get an unlikely production company to finance my film. It turned out to be a big disaster. But that’s another story. In fact, this is just the opening for a book called “Things that Come Back to Bite You in the Ass” that I’m writing.