As I mentioned the other day, I recently had a bit of an unpleasant encounter with a pathetic man with a tiny unused penis (if you want to hear me tell the same story with my voice, you can listen to the Hometime Show podcast here – I was on the radio!).

During the encounter, my phone was damaged after it was hurled at a brick wall. Afterwards, I collected the carcass of my dead phone and planned to salvage the SIM card and MicroSD card. I figured that if I bought a pay-as-you-go handset from the same network I’m on, I could just use my old SIM card and pretend none of this insanity ever happened. This simple plan was fatally flawed as I later realised that the SIM wasn’t in the wreckage of my phone and must have fallen out as it hit the brick wall at considerable force.

Rather naively, the next day, I went back to the same spot, assuming I’d just see my SIM card just lying on the pavement. I am nothing if not an optimist. I found my SIM card just lying on the pavement. It was a bit scratched, but didn’t look too bad1. All I needed to do now was buy a new handset.

Then something amazing happened.

@AuntSelly sent me 50p through Paypal. Then she asked other people to do the same. People donated money. It was like It’s A Wonderful Life.

And just as at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life, when there’s an awkward but unexplored moment when all the townsfolk give everything they can afford to help George Bailey, and as the table overflows with bank notes and loose change, Sam Wainwright offers up to $25,000 by telegram and the townsfolk secretly think “Well, that’s all well and good, but what about the money we gave you, can we have it back?”2, @gdorean, by some kind of sorcery, managed to convince Three to give me new handset for free.

I hadn’t actually claimed any of the money that people had donated (when people send you money by Paypal, there’s a little button you have to click to transfer the money from their account into your account), so no-one should feel cheated, and I was enormously touched by the generosity of everyone who donated money (on Tuesday night I was actually moved to tears, although I had been drinking and also it kind of hurt whenever I moved or breathed without giving myself adequate warning, so that might have something to do with it).

I am tempted to claim all of the money now though, before people withdraw their offers. I would donate all the money to a horse sanctuary, like the hugely well-paid Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones did when kind-hearted but ultimately misguided pensioners sent her their savings after she wrote about her debt problems. I liked the complete insensitivity she displayed. She could have tried to return the money to the people who sent it to her, or if that wasn’t possible, donate it to a relevant charity which helps other people with debt problems or those in poverty, but no, she donated it to a horse sanctuary. Horses, as far as I’m aware, have largely been unaffected by the credit crunch and very few of them have high interest loans. If she had specified that the money should only go to paying off credit card debts run up by horses (after they had spent all their money buying sugarcubes and hay), that at least would have made sense. Stupid horses. Why the long face? Cheer up, you miserable sods. You don’t have anything to worry about and Liz Jones has just given you loads of cash she swindled out of the elderly.

The scratched SIM card doesn’t actually work, but a complete stranger managed to convince a mobile network to give me a brand new phone completely free, just because I got a little bit beaten up by a pathetic man with a tiny unused penis. That’s miraculous enough, it would be churlish to get annoyed by a scratched SIM.

Thank you everyone for being so lovely. It’s kind of ironic that an encounter with a man who punches girls in the head could restore my faith in humanity, but it has.


1 To illustrate what I mean by “bit scratched”, I would say it was closer to the pockmarked face of the singer Seal rather than the horrifically burned face of Falklands hero Simon Weston.

2 This is one of two problems I have with the otherwise fabulous film It’s A Wonderful Life. My other problem is the suggestion that in the bizarro world where George Bailey was never born, Mary’s George-free destiny is to end up as a spectacle-wearing spinster librarian. This makes absolutely no sense, as in the “real” world, Mary was a bit of a fox and Sam Wainwright kept asking her out so she wouldn’t have been alone. It’s not even as if she was so in love with George that she decided if she can’t be with him, she doesn’t want to be with anyone, as George doesn’t exist. There’s also a slightly offensive implication that the worst fate that could possibly befall a woman is to wear glasses and work in a library, when obviously, the worst fate that could possibly befall a woman is to be married to Richard Madely. Fortunately, Judy Finnegan has sacrificed herself and taken that bullet on behalf of all womankind. Sisters, you should thank her.


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