Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cell 3 - The Death of Goodship Greenie

When you are sitting at the bar and everyone whips out their flat screen smart phones, it makes your phone and you seem dumb. Especially when you have had it for years and it looks like a pair of jeans that you have had since 1998. Which "Greenie" does look like. Like my former phone, it ate my face. I had black gaff tape over the metal so it could not make it's metal contact with my cheeks, eating in with every phone call.

It didn't take pictures, it did barely anything, but it was free.

So "Greenie" was fine with me.

"Greenie" started to exhibit erratic behavior of late, shutting off randomly, and not keeping it's charge. This behavior began to escalate, and I was sick of it.

In the meanwhile, there are calls to be made and texts to be responded to.
Thus started this morning's quest. Now faithful readers of this blog will recall my other epic battles involving cell phone drama - the first being my battling zombies and The Kiosk Queen,
Then I had to return and fight her and the zombies a second time.
Finally there was the death of Mr. Goodbar and launch of Candy Apple.
Now, literally speaking, I just finished reading Dan Simmons' The Terror, which tells the tale of Captain Francis Crozier in his expedition to find the North West Passage in the 1800's, so much of what you are about to read comes through me, via that.

I started the day yesterday and knew as I looked at Greenie to see the time and as soon as I picked the frail thing up, she shut off. I knew right then that her time was done. Whether scurvy, or some other illness had claimed her, I knew that she was no longer in fit shape to sail. I ran to my reserve phone chest...(which to be frank is a yellow plastic Garfield lunch box that I have had since the first grade - it now is a box in which I store old cell phones and chargers - SPECIFICALLY for this emergency situation)..
I pulled out my old standby vessel, Mr. Goodbar.

After assessing his seaworthiness, and after charging him for an hour to no avail, I knew that he would sink one mile out. That left only - Candy Apple.

Oh Candy Apple. How I loathe thee.

But she was the last rescue ship available, so she would have to do. Until we reached our new rescue ship in several days, we (or rather I) would have to make due with the rotten old Candy Apple and hope she would stay afloat long enough.
Now I never liked Candy Apple. She was a wanton ship. Hard to steer, flimsy in construction, and really difficult to text from. Greenie replaced her about 3 years ago, and until now, had been just enough ship(phone) for me.
I was never into those fancy know the ones..."Smart Phones"...pesky things that light up like a billboard and drain their own battery charge within the first hour you have them off the cord. I didn't want to ever get one of those because I didn't want the temptation of always being able to jump onto the Internet, for fear of NEVER BEING OFF OF THE DAMN THING. But it is a wee bit embarrassing when everyone pulls out their smart phones and you pull out what looks like a toy phone from the 90's.Yet I would shrug off that feeling of phone envy and try to be tough about it. I'd say *with an inflection of braggadocio* "Aww, who needs one of those tin cans. All I need is a phone that works. I don't need bells or whistles...if I want to get online, I will get on a computer, if I want a camera, I'll use my camera. This phone suits me just fine."

Oh yeah.

That has always been my rebel without a smart phone stance.

It makes sense in a way...I don't even like different kinds of food that I eat to touch each other on the plate - so why would I want a phone to be a computer and a camera at the same time? That's CRAZY talk! I like things plain and simple, cut and dried.

But then...I started seeing things that they could do.

Did you know that you can get weather radar screens on those things? I could check the radar from wherever I was at any many times have I thought - I wish I could see a radar right I could, if I chose to...

But I digress. I had decided to sail out Greenie's remaining days as long as she would sail, and when the time was right, then - and only then - would I decide if I wanted to buy a phone that was "smarter" than myself.

But then Greenie decided to cut her time shorter than even I had thought. So we have decisions to make.

But first - I need to evacuate the ship.
The main problem being that Greenie decided to shut off about once a minute. Since my "Sim" card was full, and many of my current contact numbers were saved to the phone, not the Sim card, I needed to erase numbers from the Sim card and save other numbers to the Sim card that were only saved to the phone before. But the trick here was that the phone would shut off every minute or so.

So I had seconds at a time to scroll down Greenie's (roster) Contacts and decide who was unfit to sail on Candy Apple until we all reached the new rescue(phone) ship. So many shipmates were deleted. So many people that I realized that I never talk to anymore were erased. My thinking was that if I have not talked to them in the past 2 years, I don't need their number. Also, the advent of Face Book has rendered calling many of these people useless. If I want to get in touch with some of them, I could write to them on Face Book. Impersonal? Maybe. But there were some numbers that I really wouldn't want to call anyway.

Seriously, look through your phone's contact numbers - you will find many numbers in there that make you think...?...why do I have their number - what could we possibly discuss? Or - Who is that? How do I know a Denise? Etc. Or Patti LuPone. Why do I have her number in my cell phone? Am I going to call her and catch up any time soon? "Hey Patti, remember when we did that show together in 2005? Wasn't that fun? yeah...just calling to say hey. Hey Patti. "

Yeah. It's not gonna happen. Deleted.

All the while, Greenie keeps shutting off every minute or so.
I'm literally at the gym, on the Elliptical doing this, scrolling down, deleting, or saving from phone to Sim those who previously were only saved to phone due to lack of room on Sim.
I'm panting, and focused like a mad man on Greenie's tiny screen. My eyes are wide, I am a sweaty mess, all the while deleting and saving...S...I've made it to the "S"'s. Power off.


In a mad moment of me thinking in the thoughts of the book I just read and the analogy of Candy Apple as a lifeboat making total sense in my head, though I have not shared any of these thoughts with Matt...who is at the elliptical to my left - I blurt out "I'm at "S"! I almost have all crew to the rescue boat!!!"

He doesn't even really pay attention to what I have said. He looks at me for a second, then goes back to watching the TV. I am quietly grateful for this, as I realize my madness has been verbalized.

I finally get through all contacts and press save to Sim card. It begins saving.

It is a breathless several minutes as the long save is taking place - me praying that Greenie doesn't shut off in the middle of the process - thus rendering all of my work pointless.
Finally, the save was complete.

I quickly powered Greenie down and said a few words from Psalms quietly. I then performed an autopsy. I cracked open Greenie's back and pulled out her Sim card. I slid her Sim card into the wanton hussy Candy Apple's back and promptly stitched her up. I pressed "Power on" and she vibrated to life. I immediately rolled my eyes upon seeing her tired old screen and wallpaper. She was a shoddy ship, but she would have to do. I put Greenie's remains in my gym locker, and took Candy Apple back out to finish my work out.

So here we are at day 2 aboard Candy Apple. Still no rescue ship(phone) in sight and none likely to be until payday...this is two days from now. We can only hope that Candy Apple is a sturdy enough vessel to stay afloat and keep her remaining crew dry for two more days.

I will write again tomorrow as we sail on towards the great unknown.

Stephen Gregory Smith
Captain of the HMS Candy Apple


Brandon said...

I too have say I don't need that much access to the world. Later I might remit this statement but for now. I still get which ever phone has the basic features and that I am smarter than it.


I think I might take the plunge. If I have to pay the money for it, I might as well go whole hog. Even though part of me hates that.

Anonymous said...

I am actually thinking about switching back to a simpler phone when I can get my free upgrade. So I guess that would make it a free downgrade? I want to get something similar to what I had before. This whole touch screen/Blackberry thing isn't working. It's too much like a computer. Half the time, it's "thinking" when I need to make a phone call. Good thing I've never needed to dial 911 on it...