My mother is not a pack rat. She periodically has manic cleaning sprees where she tears through the house, throwing away anything that could have the smallest claim to being useless. I think that she must derive strange joy from filling trashcans with things that once cluttered her house. I'm amazed that any of my baby pictures survived to be foisted of on me once I got married and could take the stuff myself.
I'm not naturally a pack rat, and my mother certainly didn't encourage any tendencies otherwise. Moving around the world hasn't helped either. I confess that sometimes that joy from full trashcans creeps into my soul when a cupboard is cleansed.
So when I was mucking out that Corner That Collects Random Junk and saw the purple booklet that contained all sorts of useful information about my cell phone service - in Azerbaijani - I decided to toss it. I had held on to it for a whole month and it hadn't done me any good and I couldn't read it anyway so why keep it? In to the trash it went, and one more battle was won in the war against the CTCRJ.
Two days later I pulled my cell phone out of my back pocket. I am not a habitual cell phone-carrier. Once I Cairo I discovered my phone tucked into a pool bag with a two-day old text message inviting me to a play date on it.
However, that was in a one-level apartment. I now live in a three-level house. So I attempt to carry my phone with me.
My back pocket has been very social lately, attempting to call, and successfully calling various contacts. It might have even sent a text or two. If that was to you, I apologize. I'm trying to teach my back pocket to not be so forward. On Wednesday, I found a message on my screen: enter PIN code. So I entered a PIN code. It was the wrong one. I tried a few more, and then the phone asked for a PUK code, so I tried to replicate my back pocket's favorite number combinations. No luck. So I resorted to a higher authority and asked my housekeeper.
Oh, she told me, you just have to enter the PUK code that came with your purple cell phone book. You mean the book that I threw away two days ago? Oh, yes, that book.
And so that's how I found myself driving around town with Samir the driver looking for an Azercell store so I could buy a new SIM card - and replace the entirely unused 15 AZN ($20) minutes card that I had just put on my phone.
Lesson learned: don't throw away anything associated with your cell phone. Even if it is for the fight against tyranny, oppression, and clutter.