I sat near the top of the bleachers in the gym and waited for the next basketball game to start. I watched all those around me stare at their phones. Occasionally they pushed the phone with speedy rapid fire fingers. Far too cheap and far too introverted to be a candidate for a seat on the cell phone party bus, I sat alone in the stands, the obvious oddball out.
I do have a cell phone. In fact, the teenager received a new phone for Christmas and I am the new owner of her old phone. I’m not sure I could tell you the number. I use it occasionally- for calling. It would take me half an hour to text you a sentence. I rarely remember to charge it. And that is why, when I finally decided to call the husband-to join the cell phone party in the bleachers-I pulled a useless dead phone out of my purse.
The teenager had given me her new cell phone to hold while she played her basketball game. I held her fully charged phone in my hand and pushed the on button. It didn’t turn on. I pushed the other on button. It didn’t turn on. I may have pushed a few more buttons, randomly, in my efforts to turn the phone on. I did not push those buttons out of frustration. I pushed out of curiosity. I wondered out loud to myself, “How hard could this be?”
It wasn’t very hard for the boy. The boy knew how to operate his new phone almost immediately, almost instinctively. Now a teenager himself, the boy did not want a “stupid phone”. The rest of the family owns cheap, pay as you go phones that, while rarely used, are still a significant upgrade from our fairly recent status of owning no cell phones at all. The boy was not impressed with our progress. He was however impressed when a sympathetic Santa Claus gifted him the most advanced pay as you go phone on the market. His friends at school seemed impressed with the boy’s new $40.00 touch screen phone with camera, video recorder, MP3 player and Bluetooth, mobile web and app capabilities. They had never seen such a phone. “It’s like an iPhone, but smaller! It’s so cool. What kind of phone is that?” The boy, ad libbing, told his friends it was a “Samsung Optimus LG Sierra Touch 4 “. Without question, they nodded their approval and vowed that someday they would own one too. The boy, a far more social being than the rest of the family, quickly became attached to his phone. He is most certainly eligible to hitch a ride on the cell phone party bus.
It’s true, I lack the proper appreciation of this modern gadget-the cell phone. And it's also true that I have made little effort to further my relationship with the cell phone. As a result, I do not possess the same instinctive cell phone skills that the boy does. I did finally, weeks later, learn how to operate the teenager’s phone. I was not however, successful that night, sitting in the bleachers at the basketball game, pounding away on the buttons. I never did get that thing to work.
After the game, the teenager asked for her phone back. I gave her the phone and she turned it on immediately.
She quickly turned to me, her face a bit paler than usual and calmly announced, “I’ve just called 911.
Given the seriousness of her announcement, I stared back, a bit surprised, for longer than I should have. I wondered why she would do such a thing.
“ Hang up!” I finally yelled, which suddenly seemed obvious to me. “I think you can go to jail for that!”
“Mom,” she said soberly and very deliberately, “What have you done to my phone?”
Check This Out!
Big Salad of the Week
1 corn tortilla
salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder
1 small head romaine, chopped
1-2 TBL green or red onions, chopped
1-2 TBL cilantro, chopped
1-2 TBL jack or pepper jack cheese, grated
1/4-1/3 cup frozen corn, defrosted. Heated if you wish.
1/4-1/3 cup black beans
1-2 TBL light Caesar dressing
A few shakes of cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
A squirt or two of lime juice (optional)
Cut corn tortilla into strips, toss with a bit of oil or cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, garlic powder, cumin and a tiny bit of chili powder. Bake on a cookie sheet, 400 degrees, until crispy…10 min?? Perhaps toss half way through.
Toss romaine, onions, cilantro, cheese, corn and black beans.
Stir dressing with remaining spices and lime juice. Pour over lettuce mixture and toss. Top with tortilla strips.