The road to Damascus can take a strange turn


If I had a dollar for every time I have been called a misogynist, I could buy Balclutha.

But whoever gives those dollars out, Creative New Zealand most likely, lord knows they have funded worse, has simply never stepped my way.

I remain penniless. And, allegedly, misogynistic.

Actually, there is only one person who calls me this, and because she begs anonymity in all things, I shall call her Balthasar, this being one of Ten Not Very Popular Boys' Names in a lists book I recently bought, rude title, even though she is a fully-clenched woman.

And she is wrong.

I spit phlegm on misogyny.

Photos of Jayne Mansfield, Rachel Hunter and Mamie van Doren alongside this column over the last two years do not a misogynist make.

Hell, the Mamie van Doren shot was chosen by this newspaper, my photo that week (July 28) was four office chairs.

But because I have always believed in fair play, I will, just for the sheer sport of it, first admit misogyny runs freely through my veins, and second, explain how I rid myself of this contemptible trait last Wednesday morning.

The whole filthy business began with my Samsung Galaxy 5 phone suddenly developing an every-two-minutes error message Calendar Storage Stopped.

I had to press OK to continue what I was doing.

As I spend roughly 16 hours a day on my phone, whether texting or playing on my Drum Studio, I needed to get this fixed.

Time is money, even for the unemployed.

The genius son with an IT degree could offer no solution, and Google merely had many complaints of the same thing, no feasible cure.

I believe it was Taylor Swift who recommended a visit to the Spark store as a cure for Everything, even prosopagnosia, so off I toddled.

And here is where a tiny whisper of truth eked out that I might occasionally, once in a blue moon with the frequency of Halley's Comet, accidentally for a nanosecond think that misogyny and me MIGHT have legs, for my whole inner being was screaming, bring me a man not a woman.

Yes, while it is true men are slow and useless processing supermarket checkouts, and I plead for a woman every time THERE, I truly believe only a man, only a geek boy who spends all his waking hours, and never sleeps, doing geek phone and computer things, could ever fix this insuperable Calendar Storage phone error.

Please, I prayed quietly, do not send me a woman who would no longer let the inner workings of a phone dominate her life than she would swallow a giraffe.

The Spark woman who came over to help me with a wide smile had never heard of my Calendar Storage Stopped problem.

Hundreds of thousands of people on Google have complained of this, I said to her, thinking an exaggeration the size of the Gobi Desert would result in her getting me a geek man.

But no, she just looked at me with a mildly-arched eye, as if to say, you lie like a dog but it is my job to help so I will continue to smile because Smile is our middle name at Spark, though, goodness me, isn't it time for morning tea?

She flayed around for about five minutes pushing keys, maintaining the face of stony efficiency often seen in eye surgeons.

I knew this was for show, I knew she knew nothing and was just playing for time, hoping she would be called for morning tea.

Then she handed me the phone.

Fixed, she said.

I laughed generously.

You mean the error message hasn't come up the whole time you have been fiddling so you think you have fixed it with a miscellaneous jabbing at the phone's keys, I retorted, perhaps unkindly.

No, she said, I just went to Settings/Application Manager, scrolled right three times and emptied the Calendar Storage cache.

You could have felled me with a blowfly's bladder.

I didn't know you could scroll RIGHT!

I only scroll DOWN!

All hithertorian misogyny was instantly obliterated.

I am now misogynless.

I hope you are reading this, Balthasar.

• Roy Colbert is a Dunedin writer.

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