Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Death Knocked at Val's Door, and Let Himself In

MY PHONE IS DEAD! Not only merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead!

Oh, I tried various revival techniques, courtesy of Dr. Google. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Bupkis. Not even a call to my electronic miracle worker, Genius, could save the patient. I tried his "plug it in all night" advice. I think that might be akin to me turning a malfunctioning electronic gewgaw off, then on. Or using System Restore when my computer goes on the fritz. It doesn't really do anything but make me feel in control. And sometimes coincidences make it seem like I've fixed it.

Anyhoo... with Hick driving his friend to the hospital, and me without a cell phone, I had to rely on contacting Genius by email! Sure, I have a landline. But that's LONG DISTANCE to call Pittsburgh! I waited until noon, and sent the email. Genius is working from home now, designing the driverless car, but I thought he could spare time on his unofficial lunch hour to call me. Apparently, he could not! I had to send another email after 6:00. Genius dutifully called.

"Well, that phone is at least five years old. You can order one online."

"THEN what will I do? I don't know how to set up a phone!"

"I can talk you through it."

"I looked up the Sprint stores, and the one over in Bill-Paying Town is open! Reduced hours, from 11:00 to 6:00, but it's OPEN! Can't I just get one there, and they can set it up for me?"

"You can. It's risking your life, but you can."

"Dad says they're all young smarta$$es in there anyway! According to our local tally, only 9 people in that town have the VIRUS, and I figure they won't be working in the Sprint store. I can stand 6 feet away and make a transaction. I wash my hands! Or Dad says the best way would be to order a phone and have it sent to you, and you could set it up and send it to me. But that's a lot of time."

"It would be easier for you to get it at the store. They'll set it up."

"So when I walk out, I'll have a phone that works, with all my stuff on it?"

"Well, if your phone is dead, it won't have all your stuff on it. No. But you can mail the old one to me, and I'll see if I can find a sim card and get your pictures."

"I looked online, and found a phone that they have in stock. It's a Samsung, for about $192. I don't need anything fancy. I only call, text, and take pictures. I don't play games or do internet searches or watch videos on it."

"Well, good luck with THAT. It will probably only last you a year. Those cheap ones aren't that good. You'd be better off getting an old iPhone."

"I don't know how to use an iPhone! And how will I send money to The Pony? That app was on my phone!"

"You'll have to get the app again. If you already had a password and account, all you have to do is sign in when you get it. It will work the same way. You'll love an iPhone, once you get used to it. In about a week, you'll have it mastered."

"Wait! I'm trying not to cry and laugh at the same time. A WEEK? That's for a normal person! It would take ME six months!"

"Oh, come on. Send me that phone link, and I'll look some up, and then email you back with the choices."

He did.

"That phone you found is crap. Forget about it. Here's a Samsung A50 for an android, and the iPhone 8. They will both require you to learn how to use them. I included a link to an iPhone instructional video. It's two hours long. You don't have to watch the whole thing now. Just take a look, and see if it would help you. The iPhone is $100 more, but I would be willing to pay that $100 just to make you get it!"

"Speaking of that, we are STILL PAYING FOR YOUR PHONE on our bill!"

"Yeah. And?"

"Well, I don't mind it myself. But Dad brings it up every now and then. Usually when he talks about how you're rolling in dough. He says, 'That boy can afford to pay for his own phone!'"

"I could. Yes. But I haven't switched it to my own account, because IT'S SUCH A GOOD DEAL that we have grandfathered in! I can't find another deal like that anywhere!"

"I figure it's worth it, to pay the $20 fee having your phone on our bill, just to have you on call for all my phone and computer problems. Or maybe it's $40, now that you don't have the Garmin discount, since you have a work phone provided by OOBER."

"That's a fair trade-off. I'm okay with that."

Are you sure on the prices? I couldn't make it give me a purchase price. It said "may vary." Only showed the lease price."

"I was logged into the Sprint website. It showed me if I hovered over the lease price."

"What's our password now? It makes me change every time I log in. Okay. Let me write that down."

"Or you COULD use a password manager..."

"No way! I don't want all my passwords saved in one place for someone to steal!"

"Mom! It doesn't work like that."

"That's what YOU say!"

"Okay. I could explain it to you, and you wouldn't understand. Or you can just believe me, with my four years for a college degree and three years of working IN THE COMPUTER FIELD!"

"I'll look at these phones, and talk to Dad, and send you an email in the morning before we go, to let you know what I'm doing."

"Do I need to call YOU, and give you a pep talk to make sure you get the iPhone?"


By the time you read this, Hick and I will be breaking Stay-At-Home-Down to venture to the Sprint store. While we're out, we might pick up some takeout food. AND I might throw caution to the wind, and get a 44 oz Diet Coke and scratchers.

Don't judge! I made it a week. I can make it another week, after driving by the post office to drop off letters, pick up medicine at my pharmacy, and grocery shop at customer-limiting Country Mart on Thursday. Then I'll stay home for another solid week, and learn my new iPhone. If all goes right...


  1. Wash, stay away from people you will be okay. Phones area pain in the a$$ but we have made them so necessary. I love your son he treats you just like my oldest treats me. Like I am pathetic and dumb, who raised these kids to be as successful as they are anyway? Village idiots unite!

    1. Genius the drill sergeant punished me like Louis Gossett Jr. punished Richard Gere in "An Officer and a Gentleman."

      I know I'm really stupid with electronics, but Genius had to get his smarts SOMEWHERE!

      I washed my hands TWICE after handling my new phone.

  2. Wow! You are going to be busy pressing buttons all week. My phone erases the things on my front page. Bill says it's not the phone it's the operator. One ringy dingy.

    1. I thought I was picking things up really well, until Genius called to ask me about my new phone. Apparently, I AM a technology simpleton.

  3. Well, we have a lot of time to learn new things - I think you will get the swing of things in time :) I try to convince my mom to get a new phone too, but then I remember I AM TECH SUPPORT HERE - so I keep quiet haha!!

    1. I prefer to learn them a little at a time, as I need them. Genius thinks otherwise. He's the boss! With electronic gewgaws, anyway.

  4. Replies
    1. I need it more than ever! Even more than on a CasinoPalooza.

  5. OMG, now I am scared stiff something might happen to my phone and the AT+T store is closed...or this thing is real bad in Jersey and I don't want to leave home.

    1. Get that thought out of your mind! Don't look at your phone. Ignore it. Don't give it any ideas.

      If I was in Jersey, I'd probably be barricaded inside my house, with a maze of booby-trapped bug zappers lining the perimeter.

  6. Woo-hoo! New phone! When learning it, just learn first the things you use the most, like texts and reading them, the app you need for The Pony and the camera part. Everything else can be learnt in your own sweet time. my android is about 7 years old now and only cost me $119. But I still don't know how to transfer photos from it to my laptop, so I SMS them to my daughter and she emails them back to me and I save them to use on the blog sometimes.

    1. That was my plan. Only the texts, how to call, and how to use the camera. Genius had other ideas...

      I email my photos to myself, then save them on my computer.

    2. "I email my photos to myself, then save them on my computer." You mean there is another way?

    3. I tried emailing them to myself but because I'd used the phone once to access the internet to check my email, it sent my photos right back to the phone.
      @joeh, yes there is another way, most I-phones have a cord that connects them to your computer and you can download the photos. I don't know how to do that from my android.

  7. I need your address so I can send you some masks! My son is also on our account and is always on call to fix things I mess up! my email is

    1. Thanks so much, but you really don't have to! Hick won't wear one, and I'm staying in except for occasional grocery trips, now that I have a phone again.