Friday, July 1, 2011

Thinking Out Loud

By Gerard Meister

Beginning with the ball point pen (I kept dipping it in the ink well), I’ve had trouble with every new fangled modern advance you could think of and some that you wouldn’t think would bother me. Take digital phone dialing – as opposed to the rotary one – which I just knew would take the human being out of the telephone answering equation. Except of course in India, Bangladesh and some outlying islands in the Philippines, where you could always find someone to answer the phone and often – but not always – understand what they were saying.

Interestingly, a recent poll of 100 top scientists revealed that they believed the most important invention ever, and yes, it surpassed the wheel, was – and I kid you not – the cell phone. Still, despite all the evidence as to the cell phone’s unique, overarching importance my wife believes that I would be better off with carrier pigeons. Okay, so I still can’t retrieve a message or find the last number that called me or put the phone on vibrate and then somehow manage to get the darned contraption to ring again. But that doesn’t make me a bad person and if I ever did have to rely on my fine feathered friends, I would treat them kindly.

I guess my wife felt that I was worth rehabilitating so she went out and bought me a type of “blue tooth” contraption, which she averred would be so easy to operate that even I could use. So my wife and daughter sat me down to install the contraption in my right ear (I wear a hearing aid in my left) and out I went shopping knowing that I was in touch with the world. I was in the car less than two minutes when my phone rang. Understand that I wanted to get this answering system straight so I pulled over to the side of the road. Then when I reached for the contraption I inadvertently knocked it loose from my ear and it fell onto the passenger’s side floorboard, but was still ringing. I tried to reach for it, but was restrained by the seatbelt and had to unbuckle it. Still time I thought because it was ringing, but as I’m sure you guessed by now stopped ringing just as I got to it.

Now I had to get to my phone to see who it was that called, making me get out of the car because the phone was in one of those deep pocket shorts which I couldn’t handle while seated. For some reason when I tried to see who it was that called the phone asked for my password, which – as god is my witness – no one in with my carrier ever asked for at anytime in the five years I am with them. To make a long story (somewhat) shorter I never did use my blue tooth ever again, but am thinking seriously about the carrier pigeons.

Click on Gerard Meister for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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