Who needs phone lines anyway?

So as I’ve mentioned before, my dad drank a lot during my life. One Christmas day something funny happened, well it was funny for us anyways, and only after the fact not when it happened. I somehow don’t think the neighbors found it funny though, shame it must have been torture having us for neighbors, for so many reasons.

We were all at my house on Christmas day, my mom and aunts were making the Christmas dinner, the men (dad, grandpa and uncles) were drinking brandy in the lounge, the kids were running around playing with new toys, drawing with new crayons, wearing new shoes, as one does Christmas day. I was around 9 or 10 so this was about 1992-1994. Think glow in the dark bangles, platform sketches, haha.

Anyway, the men run out of Coke and Ice for their brandies so my dad decided he is going to go to the 24 hour petrol station in his van for more coke and ice, and instead of letting one of my uncle’s go as would have been the clever thing to do, he goes. He jumps in his van and again with the impaired thinking, instead of reversing back down the driveway and turning into the street he decides It’s a good idea to just turn right and drive straight all the way off the neighbors pavement and into the street from their driveway. What he seems to forget though in his inebriated state is that there is a telephone wire pole between our two houses, it was about knee high and had meters and meters of telephone wires in it for the whole street. Remember this was the early 90’s so cellphones weren’t so common place here in South Africa yet, we relied on landlines and everyone had one. So I was sitting at the dinning room table playing cards with his dad, my grandpa, and we just see this white van fly past the window and across the grass. We all jump up and run outside to see what he is doing….. and he rode straight over the telephone pole, broke it, and it got stuck under the bull bars on his van, so he dragged it behind him, meters and meters of telephone lines ripped up.

The adults and kids all ran outside the front of the house and we were waving our arms in the air shouting, “stop stop”, but my dad bless him was so drunk he just carried on driving, pole and wires and all. Merrily on his way to the shops, not a care in the world Haha. Well it was not funny at the time, for the adults anyways, us kids though didn’t understand the severity of it and thought it was hilarious.

All the neighbors came outside to see what the commotion was about and they were not happy at all because in those days you waited weeks for the phone company to come and fix things. And this was over Christmas and new year period, so the whole street had no phone lines for two weeks, and every time we saw the neighbors outside they would glare at us. It’s all your fault! Haha

Every Christmas since then it has become a custom to retell the story and laugh, because who needs phone lines right?

As my dad would have said, “Fuuuuuck the neighbors”!


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