Calling all phone-o-philes

By Marla Boone - Contributing columnist

Don’t say you weren’t given due notice. Remember a few weeks ago, I casually mentioned I got a new phone? I stated pretty baldly that you were going to be sick — sick to death — of hearing about it. The suffering hasn’t even begun. Your suffering, I mean. My own personal, unending, ceaseless, eternal, and unspeakably painful suffering began the minute I took this thing out of the shrink-wrap and pretended I could learn how to use it. So here, as promised (threatened? warned?) is more about the phone from hell. Just as a legal disclaimer, it didn’t actually say “phone from hell” on the box. But, this being a full-disclosure kind of world, it should have.

One hundred years ago, when microwave ovens became available, they sold for up to $600 and weighed as much as a mid-sized Buick. Given long enough, they could bake two potatoes. The inside of the potato became hard enough to pave roads with and the outside was still nice and crunchy. Now they cost $69 and are powerful enough to peel the paper right off a wall two rooms away. Then came the novelty of dishwashers. When I was growing up, “dishwasher” was one of my two job titles, the other being “grass mower.” Neither proved to be promising career paths.

Oddly enough, after the childhood trauma of being asked to wash dishes, the prospect of owning a dishwasher did not appeal to me. It was easy enough to wash dishes by hand. Goodness knows I had lots of experience. Then I discovered the true beauty of a dishwasher. It is the absolutely ideal perfect place to hide dirty dishes. A person can store them there to make the kitchen appear more tidy even if that person never runs a cycle. That person does need to realize this plan encompasses a finite amount of time before a new dishwasher or, considering the ambient temperature, an entirely new house is required.

Just think for a moment about all the great inventions of the past 30 years. Airplanes that land themselves, cars that can park themselves, and OMG, a GPS. There are smart bombs, smart talk, smart TVs, smart alecks (okay… they’re not new, but we’re going with a theme here), and the pinnacle of all smartness, the smart phone. It’s a computer in your pocket, it’s wifi on the run, it’s twisted steel and sex appeal … it’s texting.

My friends make terrible fun of just how far behind the technology curve my life is. They whip out their slim, sleek, shiny phones and press buttons so fast it sounds like Morse code. (Morse code, children, is an ancient method of communication based on transmitted dots and dashes. Over a wire! A wire, children, is …) Morse code is more cumbersome than the giant black Bakelite phones that used to sit in everyone’s hallway and just barely less cumbersome than smoke signals.

Now that I have a semi-modern phone, I have become obsessed with other phones. is the other phone bigger, smaller, faster, slower, have more memory? You get the picture. In short, is that phone better than my phone? Luckily for me, this is the one easy question concerning my phone because EVERYONE’S phone is better than mine. Maybe I shouldn’t make such a rash statement. It’s possible I possess the utter pinnacle of phone-dom but just haven’t discovered all the wonders of the thing. This, I believe, is the very definition of fat chance. I have eight gigabytes of memory with no fancy slot in which to put a fancy card to increase memory. Eight gigs would be enough if my phone did not require 5.86 gigs of memory to run itself. Last night, I was once again comparing my phone to a friend’s. This friend is awfully smart and awfully quick and awfully intolerant of mistakes in others. When I said eight megabytes instead of eight gigabytes, he nearly decompensated.

But there is the slightest glimmer of the narrowest beam of light on the horizon. I went back to the phone store today, where all the workers and I are now on a first-name basis. They draw straws to see who has to wait on me. This is not considered a great prize. But today’s guy actually found the fancy slot on my phone for one of those fancy cards. Hope lives.

By Marla Boone

Contributing columnist

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for the Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for the Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.