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The end of a long and toxic relationship

September 1, 2013
By WES BURNS - Copy Editor (wburns@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

My cell phone and I are breaking up.

Please, don't offer me your pity, or your remorse, or your feeble attempts to get us back together. While I appreciate all your good intentions this is what is best for both of us.

And by "best for both of us" I mean I'm getting a new phone and this one is going into a wood-chipper.

Oh, sure, two years ago we were happy. Two years ago I was involved with another phone and another provider. But all too quickly I knew I?had outgrown that phone (it flipped ... do I?need to say more?) but for financial reasons we stayed together.

I had just moved back from California, broke and unemployed, and the flip phone and I had really been there for each other. Some part of me will always like that phone, but things were different the second I?got back to Iowa.

I looked around at my friends and saw nothing but happy couples - owners and devices locked into mutually fulfilling relationships/contracts all bound within reasonable prices.

"Oh, don't worry about getting to the theater early, I'll just buy tickets with my phone."

"You haven't seen that awful 'Friday' video on Youtube??(It was 2011) Here, let's watch it on my phone."

"How do you text with that thing? Where's the keyboard?"

So, as soon as I cracked into the big money market that is copyediting a local newspaper (No sir, I'll take the BRAND NAME cereal, if you please) I ran out to the nearest store and bought the first phone that looked cool in the commercials.

No, it was not an iPhone. I've got too much nerd blood in me to kowtow to the ghost of Steve Jobs and his off-white and silver cult. Will I ever need to perform the kind of high-level user modifications that Android allows me to make? No. Will I?stand for a company telling me I CAN'T make those modifications? Never!

In 2011 Wes thought to himself "It's been too long with the old flip phone, you deserve an upgrade. You deserve the shiniest, prettiest phone on the market. And make sure it can do a whole bunch of things that sound cool at first, then reveal themselves as being worthless gadgetry inside of a week."

Thus, I purchased my new phone. Now, for legal reasons, I won't say the exact name of my phone. I?will, however, tell you that it rhymes with HTC EVO 3D.

It takes pictures in 3D! Can you imagine? I'll never forget a moment again when I?can capture it in stunning three dimensions; the future is now!

And I?was right, so long as the future is wrapped in a gauzy haze and filled with jittering phantasams that bear a slight resemblance to my friends.

Maybe a 3D camera is a little more sensitive to movement than a regular camera, and maybe a guy with tremors should have been told that by the people who sold him the phone.

Again, legal reasons prevent me from naming the business proper, but let's just say if you were dyslexic you would probably call it Shady O'Rack ... no ... no, that sounds like a disreputable Irish strip club. How about we leave the business out of it all together?

My new (in 2011) phone was more than just whiz-bang camera features! Behold: the ability to turn any extended conversation into a cliche romantic comedy scene as my phone refuses to acknowledge I hit the "Call End" button.

"You hang up first."

"No, you hang up first."

"No, seriously, I've been stabbing this button for three minutes now, you're going to have to hang up first."

I had this happen once while talking to a friend of mine who has a similar issue ... the end result was me pulling the battery out of my phone.

And the less said about my phone's unfortunate ability to answer a call without my knowledge, the better.

As we all know, when we enter a new relationship with a phone it isn't monogamy, it's polygamy and the cell provider is your second wife.

And like all polygamist families (based off my extensive research consisting of watching "Big Love") my first wife and my second wife hate each other, almost as much as they hate me.

My provider, who I?have mentioned before in these most hallowed column inches, has frequently dropped my calls, failed to deliver and/or receive messages and made me drive to Wal-Mart every day for a solid week because that was the only part of town where I got reception.

Do you have any idea how much worthless garbage I?bought trying to justify my hours spent wandering the aisles of Wal-Mart? For shame, Sprint! For shame!

And all of this pales in comparison to the fact that, despite taunting "unlimited data" they forgot to mention that your in-town data speeds would be comparable to the escape velocity of a boot being pulled from mud.

But it's all OK now. The paperwork has been filed, the fees have been paid and soon the separation will be complete. Now that I'm single and full of a moderate amount of disposable income, I'm ready to get back on the market and see what's out there. But I refuse to make the same mistakes that led me to my last, toxic relationship. This time will be different, this time I'll pick a respectable phone, from a dependable provider ... something that will treat me right.

Although, I?did hear the new Sony Xperia can take pictures under water; how could I pass up something like that?

---

Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or wburns@timesrepublican.com.

 
 

 

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