Commentary

BASIC MAYHEM

He joined the 21st Century very reluctantly
Kathy Cooke

For me to say that my husband is not tech-saavy or remotely interested in being tech-saavy would be a gross understatement.

The man refuses to live in the 21st Century.

For instance, he had the worst, no-signal, doesn’t ring, piece of trash phone ever made.

However, it was only $19 per month, which he bragged about to anyone who would listen. The fact that it didn’t work 90% of the time didn’t matter. The fact that it was $19 per month did.

I think he basically walked into a phone store and said “I want the cheapest phone you have. I want to be able to call people. I don’t care if they are able to call me.”

Ok, in all fairness, he says he didn’t actually say that, but I have my suspicions.

So that’s what he got. Cheapest, non-working phone possible with no range whatsoever. Nobody could ever get him on the phone, his phone simply didn’t ring when people called him.

I would get so mad at his voicemail that I have been known to actually start screaming at his voicemail, as if somehow the voicemail would convey the message back to my husband.

Like “Hey man, she called 8 times and she is mad! You need to call her back.” But no such luck.

Last Friday, we were working on our Milam County football tab, The Gridiron.

Normally, we have the team photos done well in advance of the last week before printing, but this year one of the teams didn’t get their new uniforms in time and Bill had to wait until 3:30 p.m. on the Friday before printing the tab on Monday. Pretty unheard of, it also meant we were going to work through the weekend.

So Friday afternoon comes around and he goes out of the office, camera slung over his shoulders at around 2:30. He was going to get there plenty early to set up his shots.

At about 3:15 I get a frantic call from my husband. For those of you who know him, he is rarely frantic. Or excited. Or in a hurry.

His voice was very high pitched, also unusual for deepvoiced Bill. “Can you hear me? I have done the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I didn’t bring the card for the camera. I need you to get it off my desk and meet me at the road-side park out of town and bring it to me fast!”

The tone of his voice made me spring into action, Marie and I looked on his desk and neither of us could find it. So she got a spare card and extra battery pack just in case and off I drove with the coveted items.

I was in front of Brookshire Bros. when my phone rang again. It was the large-franticone. “Did you hear me? I can’t hear you? Did you hear what I need? I need the camera card in a hurry! I mean I need it now!”

“Bill, I heard you. I am on my way with the card and I will be there in about 4 minutes.”

He was still speaking in a loud, high-pitched voice.

So I drove to road-side park. Large-frantic-one was waiting on me. We made the exchange and he raced off down the road.

He came home about 2 hours later. He walked into the house, got a cigar and the dog and went and sat out on the front porch, never said a word.

I went outside and slowly sat down beside him. I waited for him to speak. Three or four whole seconds passed without him speaking so I said “Well, what happened? Did you get your photos?”

He blew a puff of smoke out of his mouth slowly, leaned back in his chair and said “Do you want to know where the card was?” I didn’t know if I wanted to know or not but I figured I was supposed to ask anyway. He said “The card was in the camera the whole time, the whole time. That’s got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I can’t believe I did that.” In a show of support, I reminded him that one time he had locked his keys in the car and had to call a locksmith two days in a row. “That is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done sweetheart.”

“I also had no service. I couldn’t call you to tell you to meet me. So I had to drive back towards Rockdale in order to get a signal. I was almost to Rockdale before I could get you. Then I couldn’t hear you answer back so I kept driving. I didn’t know if you heard me or not.”

That is when his Great Epiphany occurred. “I am going to have to get a new phone.”

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how I was able to drag him kicking and screaming into the real world. He griped the whole way to the store and the whole way back.

But he has a phone that rings now. He will at least be stylish when he doesn’t answer it.


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2013-09-05 digital edition



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