I have a new phone. It’s a fancy phone. I resisted this change for the longest time; finally my sister leaned on me so hard that I cracked. Previously I had a phone which couldn’t be killed. You could drop it from hundreds of feet, throw it in a lake, embed it in concrete, run over it with a truck; nothing could dent it or prevent it from placing and receiving calls. When it would fall out of my purse at someone’s house, I would pick it up and say “I’m so sorry, is your floor dented?”
When my old phone rang, the ringer was so loud that the dead turned over. Mark Twain once appeared on our doorstep asking if the ringer had a lower setting. The only downside to this device was that it neither took photos nor accepted them. A definite drawback when one has a child.
So at the behest of my family, I got a smart phone. As far as I know it can do everything; it takes photos, sends photos, looks up how many times Cher has staged a comeback tour, and reminds me when Mini Tex has a doctor’s appointment. My new phone actually made me a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich for lunch the other day. However, it’s extremely fragile. If I was to drop it from fifty feet up, it would explode into thousands of tiny, brilliant pieces. If I leave it near the bath it will sing a burbly swan song.
Funny enough owning a fragile piece of equipment doesn’t bother me. But I must admit that even though my new phone can instruct me how to walk to Hong Kong in seven thousand hours or less, I’m having trouble communicating with it.
For starters, my old phone had T9 texting. A feature that I only just learned how to use two years ago. Previously my texts were curt, succinct messages. Then I learned the magic of pressing just a combination of letters rather than hitting seven four times to get one “S”. I used this function with varying degrees of success. Because T9 texting ensured that I always created a word, if I got most of the words in a message correct, I would just send it. This often created a bit of confusion.
Message to Tex: I sat that we were out of milk but I made offer wayward.
Or sometimes I would forget how to change a word that had the same sequence of numbers as another word for example “nope” and “more” were the same combination of numbers, leading to conversations like this.
Message from Sula “Have you seen Meredith recently?”
Message from Unwashed “More.”
Message from Sula “?? Could you elaborate?”
I bought a Samsung Galaxy which has this wonderful function called “Swipe”. Basically it means that you brush your finger across the letters rather than tapping each one individually. The only downside is that the phone has to guess what you are trying to say sometimes if one only gets close-ish to a letter. Thus my name becomes “Satan” and fajitas become “vaginas”. Which is awkward when you are texting someone whom you’ve just met, wanting to invite them to lunch and offering up nefarious activity with the lord of the underworld instead. “See anyone” becomes “Sr. Antoine” and most memorably, after I tried to text my mother to wait for further instructions, I instead asked her to wait for fisher inductions.
Happily, no matter the amount of uncertainty my texts create, my family will always forgive me when I follow a message of dubious content with a photo of Mini Tex.