Forget about Iraq; the war right here in the homeland between yours truly and Verizon Wireless has reached dire proportions.
As everyone knows, my constant lust for new mobile technology borders on a mortal sin, and the devil who should be providing my arm candy is none other than Verizon...or that dorky four-eyed "Can you hear me now?" service guy from the commercials. Should Dudley the Service Man actually venture into a technological crack den, we all know he would never exit, especially with that dancing technician as his only back-up. But let's just pretend for a free night-time minute that for the past two years, 730 LONG DAYS, I've had a reliable GMS phone and perfect service.
Unfortunately, that daydream scenerio has been over from day one with Verizon. My phone dropped calls. I had to replace the phone when, one morning right before my weekly Nona phone date, there was just nothing on the screen...nothing. Nobody gets in between me and the Nona. When I took the handset in, the tech guy laughed and said "Of course, we upgraded the software...this phone was never going to work again!
Thanks for telling me?
Every one of The Gang has heard me lament about my cell phone and service. I even caught myself guiltily trolling "those other" carriers' stores and contemplating paying the $125 early contract termination fee for my mobile freedom. What did Prince write on his forehead during his record contract battle? "Slave?"
Finally, five weeks ago, I bedazzled my lame Samsung and called it a contract. I could stick it out, I told myself. Then the clicking started. First the sound was subtle and close to my upper ear. I inspected but saw nothing. A week later, the right hinge fell off the top of my phone. No problem, I thought...the gods are testing me. Besides, the phone still worked as the top was attached.
One week later, the top "flip" fell off. With no display or ear speaker, I really thought I might be forced to throw in the towel. Luckily, I remembered that I had an earbud I ordered from a Chinese website for $3 last year (don't ask.) I plugged it in and -- success! -- I could use the phone. Granted, I had to manually dial every number, couldn't tell when anyone was calling since the top of the flip apparently emitted the phone's sound, and was carrying around a sad piece of machinery that one person called "The most pathetic thing I've ever seen." Still, with voicemail and the earbud, I was still in.the.battle.
I returned from Italy and turned my phone on in the airport. After plugging in the earbud, I dialed Dad-orelli. "Hello?" he said. "I'm back!" I exclaimed. "Hello? Is anyone there?" he replied. "Dad? Dad? Can you hear me?" I said frantically. I looked down at the earbud cord and gasp -- the little microphone's plastic compartment had broken open and apparently didn't let anyone hear me speak.
A lesser soldier might have given up, but I am the most stubborn person on Earth, (after Dad-orelli and Jeffé.) As such, I devised a way that I could still use the phone if I removed the earbud, screamed into the microphone on the bottom of the flip, then quickly shoved the plug back into the phone in (hopefully) enough time to hear the person's response. The success of this technique has been mixed. The other night, my father finally sighed and said, "I can't talk to you like this. Just call me when you have a new phone."
But only 12 more days...12! Ghandi lasted 21 in a fast against Britain's oppression of India and I can't go a measly 12 to oppose Verizon's monopoly over my cellular existence?
All that windup leads to this pitch: I can't hear you now. Or really talk to you, either. If I had your phone number, I probably don't now. I'm fine, in good health and spirits, but don't expect to hear from me until April 14th. Leave a voice mail and maybe I'll reply in written form. Or call from a pay phone using a gas station minutes card.
Technology, she is a cruel and taunting mistress.
(Below...ah, fuck it; I can't even bear to put a picture of my pathetic cellie on this site in its current state.)