David Biggs writes that while SIM cards may only about the size of a shirt button, he sometimes thinks that his whole life is packed into that little piece of plastic. File picture: Pexels
David Biggs writes that while SIM cards may only about the size of a shirt button, he sometimes thinks that his whole life is packed into that little piece of plastic. File picture: Pexels

When a sliver of plastic, a SIM card, rules your life

By David Biggs Time of article published Apr 30, 2021

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Like many of my friends I’ve become ridiculously dependent on a tiny little sliver of plastic that goes under the name of “SIM card”.

It’s only about the size of a shirt button but I sometimes think my whole life is packed into that little piece of plastic.

I recently sent my cellphone for repairs and the technician popped out the SIM card, slipped it into a little plastic bag and handed it to me for safe keeping while he mended the phone.

I later took the plastic bag out of my pocket and discovered that the card was missing. Disaster! I searched the car, turned my pockets inside out, even looked in my shoes. Nothing.

The fact that my cellphone phone wouldn’t work without it was just a minor matter.

That piece of plastic contains the names and contact details of everybody I know. It holds the password to my bank account, my identity number, all my appointments, my family’s birthdays, the names of medications I’m supposed to take ... All gone.

I was faced with endless visits to municipal offices, doctors and banks to restore my identity, explanations to tax advisers and pharmacists.

It would probably be weeks before I gathered up all the unravelled strands of my life. As I prepared to face a sleepless night I folded up a table mat and the SIM card came sliding out from underneath it.

The relief was unbelievable. I wanted to run out into my garden and slide across the patio on my knees the way soccer players do when they score a goal.

I wanted to go out onto my balcony and shout to the world: “Rejoice. everything’s okay. I found it!”

Of course, being a dignified octogenarian, I did none of those. I simply poured myself a tall glass of cheap wine and drank a grateful toast to the angel of lost identities.

My experience has made me wonder how I can obtain a backup for that vital SIM card.

In these dangerous times it seems very foolish to store your whole life on a little bit of plastic as small as a shirt button.

Do any of our readers know where you can buy duplicate SIM cards?

Last Laugh

Two elderly friends met while walking in the park. “Hello George,” said Fred. “How are you these days?”

“Not so good,” said George. “I think I’m losing my memory.”

“What do you mean?” asked Fred. “Well, for example, I attended a funeral last week and now I can’t remember if it was you or your brother who died.”

* "Tavern of the Seas" is a column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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