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Telephoney-Part One

The wife's after me to get a new phone. My reticence has nothing to do with loving my current phone, but more to do with my history with Telephoney. Or maybe that's Telephoney's history with me.

My current phone is a bit more than two years old, a pocketknife-sized Samsung Jazz, so old now that Google can't find any evidence that it ever existed. Just as well. If I was Samsung, I'd deny any association to the damned thing, too.

I acquired it at the same time Amy got her first Blackberry, which is a machine so damned complicated that I still can't pick up an incoming call on it for her. She swims the breadth of the web on the little thing. For me, it has all the technological sophistication of an under-sized paperweight with a particularly crude and unusable user interface. Great for some but they forgot to provide access for the rest of us.

My littler phone is just marginally better, but only because I have figured out how to pick up incoming calls, usually. I got the thing because it was cheap and because it was by far the simplest phone offered. You gotta understand that I'm still grieving the demise of the black bakelite desktop model. The day that I was finally allowed (read: forced) by law to purchase my own phone and choose my own provider was a day that lives in infamy for me. Sure the Telephoney Industry complained about it with all the sincerity of any crocodile, but for me, this 'freedom' positioned me squarely in the crosshairs of an industrial machine bent on humiliating me. They've made good on the opportunity.

I made that first trip into a phone store to ... urp ... buy my own phone long after I could have. I stayed with the leased phone that came with my house until the phoney company threatened me. Somebody had launched a campaign to rid the network of perfectly usable dial phones, and I was their victim. So I took my newly found freedom and bought a phone that weighed a whole lot less and did pretty much the the same stuff as my dial phone, though much less reliably. And that phone only lasted barely ten years before I was trotting out to another 'phone store' again to be mystified by the multiple lack of choices offered me.

No, I did not want a phone with a brain, as I was still adjusting to the unvalidated assertion that I might possess a brain. And what was touted as telephone braininess didn't impress me. It required that I remember codes, sequences, and secret passwords. This was technology designed to leave me feeling dumb, not brainy technology. Like a schoolyard bully, it insisted that I feel really stupid so it could feel smarter than me. A hollow advance if I've ever experienced one.

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