Deep in the mainframe of the government computers is data that reflects my real name: Terence Eric Mackenzie, surname – Hoy. Well, at least that is what government has.
Over the years, we have had variations: surname – How, Hey, Mckenzie-Hoy, Mckenzie-Hey . . . and so on. The huge benefit in having a double-barrelled surname is that the number of permutations of the two parts of the name is 4 × 3 × 2 × 1 and more if you consider there should or should not be a dash between the names – that is, Mackenzie-Hoy or Mackenzie Hoy.
This government (and all governments) are keen to keep track of and control its citizens. They are always asking to provide proof of residence and FICA this and RICA that. This is so that they can make sure you pay tax, do not drive without a licence, pay rates, register cars, that you vote (and I think they track the vote), that you pay traffic fines . . . and so on. I object to this sort of intrusion into my life and thus I deliberately conduct a private war in which my aim is to mess up the databases of government and anybody else that I can. Do not make a mistake here; I do not lie or provide misinformation – I just supply, when requested, my name and ID number, with my surname as Hoy, Mackenzie-Hoy or Mackenzie Hoy. I can defend this by pointing out that government was the first to get my name wrong and it is not my duty to correct it.
Now a wonderful new thing has happened: government, while stoutly protesting that it keeps all personal data a secret, has, in fact, been distributing personal information to any organisation that asks for it. I guess that the organisation generally has connections to a corrupt politician. (Is ‘corrupt politician’ a tautology?) This has had the most delicious of consequences. Many law firms have now acquired a database based on the government database. These law firms, which indulge in debt collections, now send me demands in the nature of: “You were the driver of CA 123321, which collided with our client’s vehicle, CA 321123, a Mazda twincab bakkie, on September 31, 2019, at the corner of Opstraat avenue and Downton road and you are hereby summonsed to appear in the magistrates court to defend a claim of R8 500, being damages to our client’s vehicle.”
The fact of the matter is that, owing to the corrupt database involving my name, they have the wrong facts. I was not involved in such a collision. I mean, touch wood, I have not been in a vehicle accident for a long time. The database is wrong – my registration is correct but I have been in no such accident. The computer has made a mistake. Thus, I gaily drag the law firms into correspondence to this effect (while informing the magistrates). This has the result of causing the law firms to undertake fruitless expenditure. I get a huge sense of Schadenfreude (unreasoned joy at the misfortune of others).
One may say that this is unfair of me or spiteful but I do not think so. The fact is that the law firms should not have the database and should not be using computers to summons people for small amounts.
It is not for me to change the world but I am not going to change my behaviour – the law firms take a database they should not have and send off a summons without checking it, which then wastes many people’s time as well as paper, ink and the time of the court, the sheriff of the court and my time. If you are of such a nature, try to mess up the databases. It’s fun.