"Where are you?" was the peevish message that popped up on the cellphone. National Velvet had locked her keys in the Mommyvan after running to the store to-no lie-buy cigarettes for her sister who is in town. I was dispatched to the store to pick her up. Guess I wasn't making sufficient time.
I found her van and pulled in next to it. She was sitting in a lawn chair staring into her IPhone. She was pissed. Not at me particularly, or so I surmised being the narcissist that I am. But she was pissed. That much I could tell from 50 paces.
" Right next to your goddamned Chrysler product," I typed back, trying to be helpful. I saw her pull the IPhone closer to her face. She then looked up toward me with a sheepish look on her face and started walking toward my car.
If you are anything like me, you send and receive text messages constantly. Between my law school buddies, my brothers and nephews, not to mention a certain forgetful Episcopalian lawyer I bet I get 25 or 30 a day. Occasionally, I get useful information even. But then again, my brother Bob's messages, sent when he is bored over at the Nervous Hospital, the intellectual equivalent of a monkey flinging his own shit. Today he sent me a picture of our Uncle Ralph.
Due to this proliferation of messages, pushed over the edge by Bob and NV, I had to go to the AT&T store to get my rate changed. It was either that or file a Chapter 13. The kid at the store needed to take my phone away to perform some ministration to it. He invited me to go look at an IPhone for myself in the meantime.
My buddy Chris showed me all the stuff his IPhone will do and it is pretty amazing. I think that he and NV would both cease to exist without the goddamned things attached to them. Indeed, I have said repeatedly that NV likes me OK, or she does so far. But she loves her I Phone.
Who can blame her? The IPhone has more apps than I do.
But my God. Do I need a dictionary on my cellphone? Do I need the instant ability to find a sushi restaurant in the proximity of wherever I am? Do I need to play Internet Poker on the damn thing? Do I need 2/3 of the crap Chris and NV have loaded on their IPhones?
No. Hell, I didn't even know how to text until 5 years ago or so. The first text message I ever got was from my brother John. We were playing golf at the family reunion. I was in the first foursome and evidently was being coached on some fine point by other brother Dave. John must have noticed this from way back on the tee box. My cellphone beeped. I looked at it. There was a message.
"Don't listen to a word he says."
Not exactly, "What hath God wrought." But it was a seminal moment in my development.
The kid came back with my humble little Samsung as I was standing there shaking the display IPhone next to my ear to see if I could make it work. He said I am eligible for an upgrade. He says I can get an IPhone.
I don't think so. I am sufficiently wired up. I have all of the technology I can stand.
Back to the parking lot. My phone buzzed as NV got in the car.
"Couldn't that have waited?" I asked. "Did you have to send a text?"
She kissed me on the cheek.
"My IPhone will never be able to do that, buddy" she said.
Not yet it can't. But give Apple time. Give the clever bastards time.