Smart phones are really smart


All night, I tossed and turned. Thoughts of what soon would be mine kept running through my head. I’d waited six long months for this moment, and gazing sleepily at the clock on the dresser, I saw the day had finally arrived. The new toy would soon be in my hands – guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment.

I dozed off for only a moment. In an instant, I was 7 years old all over again, back at 110 Flamingo Street, and Santa’s sleigh had just landed on the roof. Only this time, my item of desire wasn’t being delivered by a pudgy man in a red and white coat. It was being delivered by a big red and white truck.

The new iPhone had arrived and has been touted as the smartest of the smart phones. At 4 a.m., I quietly got dressed so I wouldn’t wake The Wife or the gray and black cat. You don’t disturb her while she is sleeping. If you do, claws come out and someone’s gonna get hurt. And if you wake the cat, she gets upset, too.
I drove in silence. It was so early in the morning, the streets in town were deserted but for a few motorists. A lone garbage truck hissed to a stop as I passed, already loaded down with old, discarded, out of date cell phones, no doubt.

Around the next corner, I gave a friendly wave to Officer Tom doing his morning rounds – probably protecting all the deliveries of iPhones to local stores. Not wanting to be late, I actually did something totally out of character. I sped up to the posted speed limit.

There were two reasons why I arrived outside the phone store three hours before the doors had actually opened. The first should be obvious by now: I really wanted the new iPhone. The second reason: I really don’t like standing waiting in line.

So yes, I sat outside in 50-degree weather for three hours so I wouldn’t have to stand in line, in the nice warm store, for an hour. Yep, The Wife thought it was a silly thing to do too. She may even be smarter than a smart phone. While I was sitting cold and hungry, she was still warm sleeping with the gray and black cat.

I really thought we would get something for getting to the store so early, sitting and waiting for three hours. And we did. The doors opened promptly at 8, and we all finally got the chance to pay a ridiculous amount of money for a phone that, if dropped while trying to answer it, would also cost a ridiculous amount of money to replace. Times really have changed.

Growing up, we had one phone in the house, and it wasn’t in anyone’s pocket or hanging precariously on a hip ready to fall. It hung on the wall in the kitchen.
When it rang, Dad would yell for someone to answer it. When dropped, Dad would yell again, but the phone didn’t break – it bounced. That is, if it even reached the floor. Most of the time the cord was so tangled, it just bobbed up and down like a yo-yo.

Remember phone cords? With all the iPhones out there, I bet the phone cord industry is not doing so well nowadays. But I digress. Time to hang up on the past and get connected again with the future via my new iPhone.

Once inside the phone store, I proudly announced I was there for my first smart phone. A group of sales associates looked my way and then started to talk amongst themselves.

I wasn’t really sure what they were discussing. Was there an upper age limit after which they couldn’t sell you one? More importantly, was there an intelligence test? Maybe I was too old and not smart enough to own a smart phone.

I must’ve passed both tests because a nice saleslady came over and spent an hour setting up our two phones.

Yep, while The Wife was taking her catnap, I was out braving the elements, on an empty stomach, fighting through the crowd, to purchase her a smart phone, too
Okay, so I did stop off at Starbucks on the way in, but still … it was quite a difficult ordeal. I couldn’t find a parking place and had to walk across the parking lot. No one was one the road because they were all getting their morning coffee – which, by the way, you can buy using your iPhone.

I spent the rest of the day trying to understand the smartest of the smart phones. Then, at 10 that evening, I gave up and did what I should’ve done to start with. I called The Boy and told him my issues.

First and foremost, I couldn’t even figure out how to answer the phone when it rang. Finally, he stopped laughing, “Just power it down. I’ll come over in the morning and show you how to use it. But whatever you do, don’t leave them on overnight touching each other.”

When I asked him what would happen, The Boy just laughed again and hung up the phone. I walked into the bedroom and told The Wife about the conversation.
Then I said, “I know what happens if we leave our two iPhones on overnight while they’re touching each other. In the morning, we’ll be the proud parents of a bouncing baby iPad.”

The Wife groaned and pulled the covers over her head.

[Rick Ryckeley, who lives in Senoia, has been a firefighter for more than two decades and a columnist for The Citizen since 2001. His email is]