Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Apparently my cell phone can get text messages. Who knew?

I did not want this capability when I got the new phone. Nor did I want any of the other doodads, geegaws, whizbang-techno-amazements or gizmos, up to and including the camera that you simply cannot purchase a cell phone without these days, but clearly this was not my choice to make. My cell phone now has a camera, which I have never bothered to figure out how to use. I already had a camera. Why did I need another one on my phone? Especially since my first camera is a rather nice one, and the one on the phone takes fuzzy, low-res photos? All I want my phone to do - are you ready for this? - is make and receive phone calls.

That's it.

This fact nearly rendered the cell phone sales clerk catatonic, the last time I was actually delegated with the solo task of selecting cell phones. She got this look on her face as if a living, breathing Ancient Roman, complete with toga and short sword, was standing in front of her asking for directions to the chariot races, and she was rendered speechless for a full minute. It was all I could do not to call her a whippersnapper.

Eventually Kim chose the phones that time - she is at home with gizmos and technogadgets of all kinds, and the sales clerk recognized her as a fellow 21st-century American, which made the process go much more smoothly. The most recent time we had to choose phones - this summer - Kim just came along with me, mostly to make sure that I didn't select a model made of wood.

The thing is that nobody who knows me would ever think to send me a text message. The only text messages I get are spam from my cell phone provider, who otherwise is a model of what a cell phone provider should be in that I can make and receive calls from almost everywhere except the supermarket, where I most need that capacity ("what kind of beans did you want again?"). So whenever the little "text message" alert makes its hollow beeping noise, I jump in alarm before a) figuring out what that noise means, and b) ignoring it because it is meaningless.

I am behind the curve again.

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