Sunday, June 24, 2007

"Welcome to the 21st Century! May I please take your order?"

These were the words spoken to me by Dear Daughter, who is, at last counting, 11 going on 35. I was standing at the service counter in a cell-phone service store, agonizing over what should have been a simple purchase, but what was rapidly becoming a descent straight into h-e-double- hockey-sticks, without passing "GO" and definitely without collecting $200.

I have a perfectly fine cell phone. Calls come in. Calls go out. I can also send and receive text messages on it, although exactly how to do this is actually beyond my scope. This phone was given to me by my sociopathic ex-boyfriend, and therefore carries with it more karma than I'd ever care to examine. Still, it was free, it works and works cheaply. I've been the object of ridicule on billions of occasions because of this phone, which Dear Daughter has nicknamed "the Brick." One of my co-workers saw it on my desk one day and asked if I'd brought my home phone to work with me.

But, I kind of like the Brick. There's not a chance in the world that anyone else would mistake it for their own and take it accidentally. It's easy to use (because it has only about four features--all of which make sense). It's so hopelessly obsolete no one would steal it. Plus, it's size, shape and heft make it a formidable weapon, should I ever need to use it as such. I'm pretty sure I could bring down your average sized thug with it, although I hope I never have to try. All in all, it's been the perfect phone for me for the past three years or so.

Enter the rabbit.

Now really, should a three pound, five inch tall rabbit be able to wreak much havoc in the world of an educated, emancipated adult? Not likely, but this is, as they say, no ordinary rabbit. This is the THUNDER-BUN, three pounds of tufted terror! Actually, she's not so bad, but she does have a history of destruction, despite only having six teeth. Her name is Roselle and she's a lovely silvery-grey Netherland dwarf with dark points on her paws and nose. In her six years on this planet, she's destroyed an HP printer (by jumping on it), blown up a halogen torchiere lamp (by biting the cord in two), murdered umpteen cardboard boxes and left a couple of good bruises on Dear Daughter.

About a year ago, she nibbled a little bit on the charger cord of the Brick. No problem--a little electrical tape, and it's good as new. Except electrical tape really doesn't hold up well, at least not in my world. Gradually, it all came off and in my laziness, I never repaired the cord again. Lately, I've been noticing that the phone doesn't always charge, or it cuts off while charging. The little copper wires in the cord are looking pretty frayed, and frankly, I'm getting a little frightened of plugging it in. So, today it was off to the cellular store to replace it.

The nice ladies in the shop were kind enough not to actually snigger when they saw what I wanted. Obviously, I'm the only person in the world that doesn't automatically upgrade a phone every time a new feature becomes available or a new color is released or the wind starts blowing from the east. Apparently the Brick can't even be donated to those non-profits for recycling or to be given to a domestic violence shelter. Maybe I'll use it for a paperweight in the future.

Anyway, it took almost thirty minutes of discussion, examination, hand-wringing, pacing and whining before I finally made a decision. The saleslady was very patient and kind with me. Dear Daughter danced excitedly the entire time. You would have thought I was buying her a new set of kidneys. Nice Saleslady even discovered that my job as anonymous paper shuffler for the military-industrial complex entitles me to a great honking discount on the phone and the service.

So now, I'm the owner of a very cute little phone that takes photos, shoots video, text messages, has voice mail, a plethora of ringtone choices, downloads music and video, slices, dices, makes julienne fries and will apparently sort my dirty socks. Naturally, I don't have a clue how to do any of these things with it. But I'm reading the two manuals that come with it, and in the first hour I have successfully learned how to charge the battery (in a rabbit-free zone, of course).

Next step--how to make calls go in and out. Wish me luck!


Louis said...

You can trade the French fry making phone in on an Apple iPhone on Friday. It makes three layer lasagna, and doubles as a Hammond B3 organ. Never mind what it costs (or the service) cause it's the 21st century!


Redblur63 said...

This sounds cool! Does it come with an optional chainsaw attachment?