[A guest blogger tells us about his unfortunate adventure – stuck in the Middelberg of nowhere…]
Do you know how to build a camp fire? I don’t. I just ended up burning my socks. And the arid wastelands shouldn’t rain. I was caught in a downpour: there weren’t just cats and dogs showering on my head, there were coyotes and pumas.
Drenched, sitting on a rock, beside a fast deteriorating car, I couldn’t help thinking about the Netflix shows I could be watching now with takeout from Uber Eats.
One day I will return to this place with an army at my back. And I will build condos here, I thought to myself.
Eventually, after trying to Bear Grylls myself out of the situation, I stumbled on a small town. Don’t remember what it’s called. It’s barely a town. There were kids playing in the dusty street, and they stopped to stare at me. It’s like they’d never seen a stranger before, because they started throwing stones at me and kicking my shins. Where’s a handy crab-apple tree when you need one?
I looked around. There was an old man with a gargantuan Adam’s apple. He looked weathered. Typhoon-weather weathered.
“Do you have a landline? I can’t get signal here,” I said, waving my cellphone around like an epileptic conquered by Julius Seizure.
“Ek weet nie, Meneer.”
I mimicked a telephone, one with handles and physical buttons, and pushed them frantically. He nodded, then walked into the main building. Something hit my leg. I thought it was another kid kicking me, but it was just a tumbleweed.
We entered the building, and I saw what passed for a phone in these parts. It was a telegraph. You know, those machines big in the 1880s you could go beep-beep-beeeep-beeeep with? I started to cry.
This is all because I used a website I’ll call TakingChances.co.za. I wanted to buy a good pre-owned car. And it all looked tip-top. I checked. I went under the hood. I kicked the tyres. I did a body slam against it – no clickety clanks. All the things I’ve seen on TV. I’m like a professional.
The guy insisted his mom only drove it to the shops. I should have asked if they were located in Timbuktu. Nope. Can’t trust anybody.
Except BuyCentre. I should have just downloaded the App, seen what they had on offer – it’s because I forgot they don’t just buy your vehicle at a premium offering from over sixty dealers. They sell cars too. And they’re part of TransUnion, a company with a truckload of trust to their name.
Instead, I got scammed. Resulting in me hitting S.O.S. on the telegraph machine over and over and over in the middle of nowhere.
I heard, an hour later, a neigh.
Frikkie, from a slightly bigger town close by, brought the town’s only horse to my rescue.
Now, as we ride to the nearest population centre, I’ve finally got signal again. At the speed of one horse-power, which is one horse-power more than I got from not using the BuyCentre app.
When it comes to buying cars from TakingChances.co.za, I say neigh.