I have a love/hate relationship with my international cell phone- a classic black and white Nokia that has lasted me through many stints abroad. I love, for example, that it comes with a flashlight (perfect for developing countries), it’s virtually indestructible and its battery life is so good that that I think need to charge it once a year on the summer solstice. I hate, however, that it takes 45 minutes to compose a text message and that everyone I talk to sounds like they are speaking from a well in middle earth.
Yesterday I added a tick mark into the “hate” column. Thanks to my impatience and clumsy fingers I managed to accidentally subscribe myself to SMS (text message) “tips for good grooming.” I kid you not.
I got the first of these lovely, essential tips at 3:42 am. Now recall- this is an Indian cell phone company. There is no time difference. They chose to wake me up at an ungodly hour.
After a weekend away, I had gotten to my apartment at 2am (thanks to a delayed flight and a 35 minute taxi queue). I was subsequently woken up by a power outage a 3am which caused some unidentifiable device to beep loudly every 4 minutes to alert me that it was running on battery. And I needed to get up at 6:30am to get to work. So when I was woken again by this text I was ready to lose it. But instead, I read it and literally started cackling to myself alone in the dark. I mean, c’mon- you can’t make this stuff up:
So what was this urgent missive?
“The beard gives man (sic) a more masculine look. So, it’s imperative that you shape your beard correctly. For those with a double chin, opt for a full beard. It helps conceal the double chin. For round faces, the best is a short goatee, you can play with the straight lines connecting the beard to the sideburns for a smart look.”
I got my second message this afternoon and it concerns the use and overuse of cologne. I would like to submit it for consideration to several fellows passengers on the metro this morning who clearly are not subscribers to this delightful service. Can’t wait to discover the rest of my grooming tips…