Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Do They Make One With a Rotary Dial?

Maybe I’m nuts...but…I just don’t get the unbridled excitement over the release of the newest cell phone which seems to occur every 3 months or so. “Tech Junkies” actually start to vibrate at the mere MENTION of an updated device.

The last time I went to the cell phone store had NOTHING to do with a “new and improved” model. I HAD to get a new phone because the battery on my OLD phone wouldn’t charge anymore and those far sighted nerds who MAKE such things as batteries had decided NOT to.

The 12 year old salesgirl (She may have been older than that but as I KNOW I’m not getting older, the only other option is that tech salespeople are getting younger) came at me as though I had “dead battery that’s no longer in production” written all over my face. She asked what phone I was currently using. I told her I wasn’t currently using ANY cell phone and explained why. I handed her my 18 month old antique and the little snot (with great disdain) informed me that it was obsolete.

Didn’t she have something better to do with her time (like selling cookies) than being annoying to ME?


She then picked up the nearest phone and started to extol its virtues in a voice that gained a third of an octave with every fourth word until it could only be heard by dogs. This phone could navigate the net, I could watch movies, download music, had built in GPS, contained a slide-out keyboard for texting, took pictures, had the Spielberg movie making app, was compatible with everything from my toaster to my discolored molar (blue tooth, I think she said) was game ready, I could program my DVR with it and it was at that point her blathering became audible only to canines. From that point on, for the next minute or so, I could only stand there watching her mouth move at a rate that made hummingbird wings seem glacial.

When Chatty Cathy came up for air, she asked if I had any questions. 

I did. I had one. “Can I make phone calls with it?”

The babysitter was stunned…for a moment…and had to consult the user’s manual before saying yes.

Cell phones are great…when they actually work. It all depends on where you are when you need to use one I suppose. It seems many people don’t need one when they’re in an elevator, or going through a tunnel, or indoors. I had one that wouldn’t work in my home unless I was touching my fridge. The idea of dragging a 22 cubic foot, frost free with in-the-door storage around the house while trying to explain to a cell service provider survey taker that I thought they needed to broaden their satellite beam seemed…counterproductive.

I have yet to see an app for THAT.

I leave MY cell phone in the car when I go to the movies but, I HAVE noticed that (to many) a 90 minute escape from reality is more than they can tolerate. A friend of mine just got a phone with, of all things, surround sound. Really? Something that’s the size of a credit card with a speaker the size of one of those small Band-Aids you NEVER use can recreate big theater sound? He swears it’s AWESOME…I think he’s far too easily impressed. 

The other day, I was talking to somebody, on my cell phone, and I was making fun of something (I don’t remember what because I make fun of lots of things) and not 30 seconds after hanging up, I got a text from the person I was JUST talking to. It said…”UR2J”. I called her back, said “Thanks” and hung up.

Good grief…

I know what you’re thinking (Dear GOD man…JOIN THE 21st CENTURY) but I KNOW what century it is and I also know that I don’t want to be annoyed any more NOW than I did during the last 40 years of the 1900’s !!!

Last weekend I went to Best Buy and while I was looking at toasters (which NEVER become obsolete) I notice a fridge with a TV built into it. I asked the salesman, who was nearly my age (Because apparently 12 year olds know NOTHING about kitchen appliances) Why? He proceeded to extol the virtues of how, when watching the big game, I could go to the fridge for a beer and not miss the game-winning play.

I tend to apply too much logic (at times) and pointed out to Frigidaire Fred that, at the very moment I opened the door to get a beer, I would no longer be able to see the screen, and if the game-winning play took place at that very instant, I would still miss it.

He told me that if I had the latest cell phone, with a TV chip, I could watch THAT while the fridge door was open.

Smart ass.

Either I need a new cell phone 

Or…maybe I’m nuts.

I’m Craig Andresen

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