The other day a friend texted me, “We won’t be back from Lexington ‘til a little after 6, so if you guys are okay with meeting us at the restaurant at 7 instead of 6:30, that’ll give us time to freshen up and not have to break any laws getting there in time.” I texted back, “C u 7,” and it took me only six or seven minutes, because I’ve improved my texting speed considerably. My first attempt was “Scd y5i bk,” so I had to backtrack a little. I later found out that he had texted his message while driving, which to me is comparable to writing King Lear in longhand while delivering a baby on the back of a moving flatbed truck.
I’ve had the same Dumb Phone for about three years. I think it takes pictures and does some other things besides making phone calls and texting, but I haven’t explored those options yet. I was thrilled when I found the $ sign – not because I use it that much, it just made me feel more tech savvy. I keep looking for ways to use things like £ and ∑€and ¥, but I just don’t run with that crowd. My wife thinks we should get smarter phones, but this one is so much smarter than me already, and I’m not sure I want some smart-aleck phone telling me my clothes don’t match and yelling directions at me while I’m driving.
I’m not a total idiot when it comes to technology, and in fact have been feeling very hip ever since I bought my MacBook Pro after owning only PCs forever. I think the “PC vs. Mac” commercials with the paunchy dweeb and the hip guy pretty much said it all. You don’t see a “PC Store” in the mall staffed by an army of twenty-somethings in matching T-shirts with piercings, tattoos and welcoming smiles (they’re trained to ask you your first name, and get a giggle every time “Mack” brings in his “Mac”).
They love me there, because when I walk in, I immediately become the Least Hip Person in the Store, raising their cool quotient several degrees and making them all look like fifth-graders with facial hair. Still, not one Genius has ever rolled his or her eyes when I’ve asked a Cro-Magnon question, but I just know they’re dying to. They must be trained to keep straight faces and stifle explosive laughter. I saw the shadow of a giggle starting under one’s nose ring the other day, but he stammered diplomatically, “Ah, yeah, um, that, well, sure, you know, that can be confusing” (to a clabber-headed old fart who probably still has a rotary phone).
I’m getting better. During the holidays a friend texted to ask what we were bringing to dinner. I couldn’t resist: “pecan π.”