Replicas and Bonuses

A couple of years ago, I saw a news article about the revamped Nokia 3310 and immediately thought to myself, ‘I ought to get this.’ Im a one phone kind of girl, but I thought it’ll be cool to relive the days when my secondary school self had a Nokia 3310.

Fast forward a few weeks later. The phone was now available for sale and I was too excited for words. I looked for it everywhere I could think of, but no one seemed to have it. I spoke to many many people about it and everyone had one suggestion or the other, but none of them resulted in a phone. And then one day, someone suggested I try looking on a popular e-commerce website and I half-heartedly went to the site thinking to myself that, at the very least, no one will be able to say that I’m disobedient. Next thing I know, I found it! I found it, but it seemed to be cheaper than what was hinted at in the article I saw. I thought nothing of it, though – my excitement got the better of me, and I bought it. I’m lying. I thought I was clever enough to get a great deal on something I’d been wanting. Can you beat finding something your been looking for, at a cheaper rate than you expected, with same day delivery? I wasted no time ordering.

I could not contain myself when the phone was delivered and the first thing I did when I turned it on was look for the ‘Snake’ application. And then I was looking. And looking. And looking. And looking. I opened each menu tab. And looked. The only thing I didn’t do was open the phone case and take a peek. I couldn’t find it anywhere. The application was not there. I was confused. Apparently, I had bought what Nigerians lovingly call a ‘China Phone’. You may call it a fake. Or a knock off. Or a replica. Apparently, the actual phone was not out and I would have needed to wait a few more weeks to get it.

I’m not the only one that something like this has happened to. I read about a man who was promised a son to inherit his considerable wealth. A few years later, this son had not shown up, and it’s not like he was not putting in the work. Our guy really wanted his baby boy and was a little tired of waiting/ trying, so when his wife suggested an alternative route to getting that heir, he was quick to jump on it, only to end up with a ‘bonus child’ and a crisis, because the actual heir followed a few years later.

Many of us are familiar with the ‘iPhone release cycle,’ where the good people at Apple Computers convene a meeting in September to tell us all about it, but the phone may not be available for sale until mid-October. The interval gives people time to build their excitement about the new release and gather their coins so that they can purchase the goods. Life seems to have a similar MO: we see things in our mind’s eye long before they show up in our lives. And the interval is not determined, so unlike with the latest iPhone, we are not able to schedule the release of the things we want. Sometimes, we get tired of putting in the work, and we settle for a version – or a replica – of the things we want. This is never a good idea. And the next time you’re tempted to do that, think about my phone. And if that doesn’t convince you, think about the bonus child.

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