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South African Satire

Issue 17,  February 2005

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Cryptic SMS Leaves Man In Dumps

CAPE TOWN - Michael Stevenson was left pondering the fate of his relationship on Monday when his girlfriend, Samantha Nielson, apparently dumped him via SMS.

"I was watching the cricket yesterday and got an SMS about halfway through the Protea's innings. It must have been about the third over", Stevenson said. "After reading it, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. Also Mark Boucher had just been run out which added to my emotional confusion."

crypticSMS.jpg (11747 bytes)The source of the uncertainty was the smiley, or emoticon appended to the end of the message: "Mikey, its bn gr8. But we need dif thngs. Im sorry. Its not u its me. Hope we can stl b frendz? :>"

"I thought I was a goner for sure. But during the lunch break (an hour later), I started thinking about the smiley and the ambiguity that it introduced to the whole message, and this gave me hope. Was she only joking? If she was, then it's quite a cruel joke. But then it was one of those smileys with the `greater-than' sign rather than the round bracket, indicating a harsher than usual level of humour and so my joke hypothesis was supported.”

"Maybe she wanted to go shopping for feminine hygiene products. You don't get more different needs in a relationship than tampons and say, Hustler magazine. I think its sweet that she apologises for stuff that, technically you can't blame her for - that's part and parcel of being a woman - no matter how disgusting it is. I was pretty sure that I was on the right track - and after my fourth beer, I was convinced. To be honest, I didn't give it much thought after that because the game started again, and I kinda got side-tracked after we got a few early wickets".

Stevenson was reminded about the message again a few hours later when six o'clock rolled by and no hot meal was forthcoming.

"Sam usually cooks supper by six, and we had lost the cricket by 5:30, so I was pretty hungry, as you can imagine. I know that navigating the world of feminine hygiene products is a frightening prospect, but I assume she's been doing that for years and I would have thought she'd have been done by then. It made me wonder about the SMS again".

His search for meaning turned to the final piece of the message.

"The last part confused me because it didn't match the rest of the message. What does ‘stil b’ mean, anyway? And is that something I'd want to do to my mates? The evil smiley does come directly after that. Frankly it worries me a bit. Lately, she's been reading all these books with titles like 'Be your own woman' and 'Independence - End despondence'. I hope that she's not suggesting some sort of cultish orgy thing. You know how women's hormones go all haywire this time of the month and they want to do all sorts of freaky shit? Although, if her friend Audrey were to join in that wouldn't be too bad".

It's been 24 hours now since Stevenson last heard from Ms. Nielson. His concern for her absence abated after he found a tin of spaghetti and meatballs in the cupboard and is now quite looking forward to having a threesome with Sam and Audrey. When the sjambok left him, he was doing sets of push-ups to look "pumped for the ladies".

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