Buzz off! Pasop! This property belongs to Mapula and you take it at your peril.
I recently found myself rushing to the stationery store to buy a permanent marker to write this angry warning on all my cellphone chargers and power banks to warn off thieves within my own family.
With connectivity being a human right, ask any family about the wars of cellphone chargers and you will hear interesting anecdotes about the creative things they come up with to avoid chargers and power banks growing legs. I read about one who resorted to colour-coding all their accessories. Red for danger! Item belongs to mom...
After my third charger disappeared in as many weeks and no one owned up to its whereabouts, I thought the labelling would act as a scarecrow. The jury is still out on whether the pasop tactic will work.
READS: Mondli Makhanya
At this point, I am relying solely on the human conscience to stop the person who always takes my belongings and does not return them, to simply leave them alone.
Apparently, I also do not do myself any favours. I was reminded of how, a few weeks ago, I nearly turned the house upside down looking for my glasses, only to become the butt of jokes when family members pointed out to me that they were perched on top of my head. According to them, no one steals my chargers, I simply misplace them in my “early stages of dementia”.
I contend that we do not need any household manual on how to treat other people’s belongings. There are three simple house rules to follow.
One: After you use what is mine, please return it to where you found it.
Two: When I have bought that special juice or biltong, please do not drink or eat all of it and leave nothing for me, the person who bought it.
Three: When eating or drinking anything from the fridge, please do not return the bottle or container to the fridge when only one bite or a few drops of it are left.
Somehow these courtesies escapes many.
I got very annoyed recently when, in the middle of my shower, I reached for the shower gel only to realise when the empty shelf laughed at me that someone had taken it. I had to take a two-minute break and go and look for the gel. I found it in someone’s shower cubicle.
Then there are those who use up the toilet roll and never replace it, only for Murphy’s Law to sting them when they go to the loo again.
Since they invite the cellphone into the bathroom, they often only realise that they need toilet paper after the business is done. After that undignified scream for help to bring them a new toilet roll, the revenge is in taking my sweet time to help them. Serves them right.