I think the mobile phone is the most useful, and misused, communication gadget ever made by man. But it has also made me acquire habits that have made most friends say i am arrogant, selfish and inconsiderate, thanks to my cell phone. I have made it a point of ignoring flashers of all kinds, be they genuine or not. This didn’t come automatically though. A long time before I became arrogant, flashing and flashbacks used to give me a heart attack. I would rush to the shop to buy airtime the moment someone flashed my phone thinking I was just about to save a life in distress. I don’t know why but I kind of associated flashing with emergencies. That stopped one night when I sat down to take stock of how much I had spent in buying credit and how much I had gained in return. All I had gained, acquired actually, was a peculiar habit that was yet to send me smiling to the nearest branch of Equity Bank. I came to realize most of my phone calls and text messages were as a result of being flashed or sent a flashback. None of them had brought any economic value to me. Anyway, let me ask you something. Is there a training school for flashers? I know some flashers who have mastered and perfected the art of flashing so much I think their phones are on autopilot. This means their phone know when to automatically flash yours even without being touched. Imagine that. I look back to those days that a flashback used to make me break into a cold sweat wondering what had happened. I used to borrow and beg for money so I could load my phone with units. I would break a leg only to be told the flasher wanted to say they missed me. “But you didn’t do that!” I would protest to no avail. “You just flashed my phone. I thought it was an emergency!” “I just wanted to tell you how much I miss you. Don’t you miss me?” “Let me call you later,” I would promise knowing well which number I was going to delete next. With time though, I came to realize all flashers are a waste of not only money but time and energy. To think that I would beg and borrow makes me feel ashamed. Of course I didn’t pull this on my own. I got help from a group I am sure you would be interested into joining if ever yoi have been a victim of flashing. Our group is called the FBA, Flash Back Anonymous. It is made up of people recovering from flashback addicts who used to rush to load their phones so they could call back. It is now three months since I joined this group and I am happy to say I don’t call back anymore. I reckon if there is any sort of emergency the person flashing or sending a flashback will just call me. The downside is the I don’t have a love life to speak of anymore since most female friends I know, I don’t about yours, are serious abusers of flashing. This brings me to what happened last Wednesday when I was on my way to Nakuru to interview a managing director of a certain transport company. With me were two other guys, a photographer and a reporter. The vehicle, like all public ones, had to stop at the Central Police Station for a security check by the police. As the inspection went on the reporter, a guy who will flash you come rain, come shine, asked me to mind his briefcase since he wanted to go to the toilet. Being what I have become where all flashers are concerned, I declined knowing such are the things I shouldn’t go around tolerating. Besides, I was the one who had got the job so I thought I deserved to be treated with respect. So off he went to the toilet with the briefcase. Little did I know I was going to pay for it! The bus soon left and I looked forward to the job at hand. About eighty kilometres later, I felt my phone vibrate inside my pocket. I hope it is not a flasher, I prayed. My prayers were answered. It was a new message. I opened the message hoping it had come with good news. “Please call me. Thank you. Sender: Reporter,” I read. Whoa, what is the world coming to? I though I was travelling with the reporter. How comes he was sending me a flashback and for what purpose? I knew he was sitting behind me. It didn’t occur to me to check behind me to see what he wanted. I just reacted to the message the way we have been taught at the FBA weekly meetings. When we arrived in Nakuru I alighted with the photographer and other passengers. The reporter was nowhere to be seen! It was then that I recalled having received the flashback. When I called him, he informed me that the vehicle had left him behind, at the Central Police Station. “What were you doing?” I asked. “Remember when I asked you to mind my briefcase so I could go to the toilet?” he asked without answering my question. “Can you email me the questionnaires we are to use for the interview?” I asked knowing my trip had been ruined. “I am afraid I have deleted it from my flash disc.” Long story short, though the trip was a flop I still choose to ignore flashers and flashbacks. Let them dial the police or the hospital for all I care!