Under the Wire

Take that anyway you want


December 14, 2022

I guess you could say I have been “flipped off.” Now, depending on how your mind works, you may think Sue popped the clutch on the pickup while I was feeding off the flatbed. Some might assume this is a story about another of my horse mishaps. Probably a couple readers will have the old single finger salute in mind.

The truth of the matter is, you are all wrong. I am talking about, of all things, a cell phone.

Here is the story. Sue and I may be some of the earliest cell phone users in the country. Years ago, when balancing rodeo travel, kids at home, a growing radio and writing business, the first cell phone ever produced was a Godsend for us. We went from bag phones with huge antennas to smaller, more portable versions until the small, folding “flip phones” emerged. My technical skills stalled out right there. While I reveled in my little black phone’s efficiency, toughness and reliability, Sue and the rest of the world moved on to all the next best things, culminating in the iPhone era. Through those years I have endured hundreds of invitations to upgrade and even more ridicule when I popped open my “fold up and stick in your pocket” antique. At my somewhat advanced age, I have spent thousand of hours on my cell phone and have never “thumb typed” a single message, had an affair with a lady named Siri or googled “What can I do with a dead body” on my phone or anywhere else, for that matter.

Last week, Sue came home the proud owner of an iPhone 11. Tossed in the bottom of that same bag was her old iPhone 6 for which they had offered her sixteen dollars trade-in.

“Dad, here’s your chance to try a smart phone, son David and Sue beamed. “Smart phone, me?” I replied “Do they make a low IQ phone?”

Ever one to jump at a good deal, I decided, “For sixteen dollars, how can I go wrong?” Reluctantly I agreed with some stipulations. I never want to text. Somebody sends me one, I won’t answer or respond back. My fingers each cover three keys on the little keyboard, making “thumb typing” impossible. My keyboard remains a 12 inch square piece of plywood covered with cup hooks nailed on the wall by the backdoor where keys to our vehicles, pasture gates, out building and such hang. I have relegated “Aps” to sentences which begin, “I’m ap to get stuck if I drive into that snow drift.”

That gal Siri somehow got my phone number and now demands I ask her permission to make calls. The other day I told her to “call Ralph," my friend in Western Colorado. She called a grocery store in Los Angeles, Calif. It has been closed since Johnny Carson left the Tonight Show, I was told.

The deciding factor was when someone informed me my old phone would soon no longer be supported and would just quit working one of these days. “How will I order Pizza?” was my biggest worry. Faced with a phone that will no longer call anybody, I guess you could say, “I’ve been flipped off.” Take that anyway you want.


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