Jack wrote this in November, 2005:
About a year ago my cell phone fell out of my overalls pocket into the irrigation ditch when I reached down to worry a valve. Sank spang to the bottom, but came out seemingly okay after I dried it out.
But it’s never been the same… grew progressively worse until it was useless for the past couple of months. I waited, figuring it might come back, or that I might decide I just didn’t need a cell phone. But I’m a pansy-arsed modern man these days and I finally just decided to give in to progress. Got myself a new one.
Gives me something of a start, the stuff on that new phone. Rattles me to the core that we’ve become so futuristic Dick Tracyesque.
This thing will take pictures! It will surreptitiously take videos or regardings of the cop who’s leaning over your car window acting the way cops shouldn’t. It will do all manner of things I don’t know how to do with it yet and maybe won’t be able to justify learning.
Gives me the fantods thinking about trying to figure that thing out.
Reminds me of when I was a kid and we got our first phone. They were teaching me about it, how you put this end to your ear and that end to your mouth and listen for an operator to say, “Number please.” Then how you say, “3621” if you need to call Jeanne Ann and Hollis because someone had an accident and you need to get help. Or when you call KENM radio station to give the answer to the College Dairy Quiz and win movie tickets for the family.
And how you stay the hell off of it in all other circumstances.
I was a precocious kid and had a tendency to get us all to the movies pretty often, but my problem was that when that operator came on I usually blew up. My mind went blank, I’m ashamed to say, when I heard that beeeeeeutiful female operator voice.
Fortunately, the operators got on my side after a while, with the College Dairy Quiz. At 6pm when I lifted that phone they’d just say, “I’m ringing them dear.” without me having to say anything.
This one won’t do that, but it’s still okay without any operators.