K1 – Koo, anything the matter? You look like a male turtle- dove whose partner won’t listen to its monotonous song any longer! Nor take a look at him when he engages in the head-bowing action that’s supposed to let her know that he’s again swearing to be her doting servant, until the universe blows itself up and swirls into the shape of a black hole!
K2 – You mean you’re recalling the time when you were a turtle-dove yourself and were caught giving a female turtle-dove an ant, whilst you thought your regular partner wasn’t looking? You didn’t know she had installed eyes in her tail-feathers?
– I must admit you’ve keyed in the password correctly, Koo! To me, you do look like a man who’s been locked out of his email account!
– Hey, how did you know?
– Ho! There are only a few situations that can make a modern man truly miserable? Being locked out of his computer’s bedroom is unbeatable as Number One. Any day, by my reckoning!
– Worse than not being called back when the phone says ‘Missed Call’, each time ‘Favourite Number’ is dialled?
– You’ve got the situation exactly right. My problem is that I have lost the phone on which the app that connects me to my financial institution!
– Wow! You’ve been cut off from your supply of oxygen!?
– You’ve got the exact “mot”, as Bertie Wooster would say in his case-acquired French!
– But you can install the app on another phone?
– I’ve done that!
— So, just log in?
– You’d think it was that simple, wouldn’t you? I try to log in, using the secret code allocated to me when the first phone was in use. The code allows me into the app, but then, clever ‘A I’ takes over, ostensibly to protect my a/c, and it asks me a whole number of questions which I can’t answer without disconnecting from the call first!
— Awirade ei! [Good Lord!]
– When I reconnect, it asks me to say in a few clear words what I want to do. But whatever i say, it does not understand and repeats the question! It’s as if I’d answered in Greek, and not in the King’s English! And me a guy who has spoken on BBC Radio4 before! And been invited back!
– So it throws you out of the transaction because of your accent?
– Maybe! It doesn’t say! All it does say is “I shall now transfer you to a member of our Help staff. This may take some time.”
– Then comes an announcement that “We have heavy traffic today… Please stay on the line”?
– Oh? You’ve been through it before?
– Of course! It is standard practice (or malpractice!) They all do it! “Your call is important to us – please keep holding….. An assistant will be with you as soon as possible…” Blah blah blah!
–Meanwhile, your credit is melting rapidly, especially if you’re calling from abroad!
– I think some institutions are even ALLOWED TO CHARGE YOU (!) for the duration of the unattended call, in addition to what you pay to your own phone company!”
– So they have an incentive NOT to enable you to speak to a human being?
– It is a perfect dodge! For how can you prove that your call was deliberately not answered by them in time? Suppose they deliberately keep the numbers of their call centres low – and also understaffed, so that they can charge customers money for trying to obtain service by phone?
– My last attempt to obtain service was unbelievably frustrating. I’d topped up my credit before the call, as I didn’t want to be cut off during the call. Well, I had to hold on and hold on for – easily – about half an hour!. And then came the- cold metallic voice of the phone operator`; ‘You have one minute left!” I rang off. I have not been able to summon the courage to try again since!”
– Well, remember the dance of the lovelorn male turtle-dove. It takes a lot of time. Often, the partner does not seem to notice what’s going on behind her. No matter how hugely he puffs himself to become, she doesn’t seem to care. But at one pre-ordained moment, she cares more about the fly she’s trying to catch than in protecting her chaste back. And he gets on top of her. She flies steeply upwards, trying to shake him off. But it’s all in vain.
Feathers intertwine noisily and some are ejected, to make a lonely flight in the air. But the male turtle-dove has successfully passed on his DNA. In a year’s time or less, another stupid, mournful male turtle-dove will begin to practise the silly art of trying to attract a mate by dancing for her/ from behind a thick wall of feathers. It will take time, but it will work. For that’s how DNA was created to perpetuate.
Ask yourself: without his mournful tune and stupid dance, who would ever take the slightest notice of a male turtle-dove?
By Cameron Duodu