Monday, May 21, 2012

How to answer your phone and other ways to go insane

Yes, it’s the “May 2-4” weekend and it’s time to get out and enjoy the bugs, bird shit and damp grass and earth. Fun stuff! To you Americans reading this, us Canadians celebrate Victoria Day in celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday.
Who was Queen Victoria? Well, she was a…well…a Queen. And, well, um, it was her birthday once, and when she was alive I guess people found it important to stop what they were doing to celebrate it. And they always seemed to stop to celebrate her birthday on the Monday on the third weekend of May. Every year. And drive to the cottage and get drunk.
And the tradition carries on to this day.
As I wander the streets this long weekend, I will be carrying my new cellphone with me. It’s my first upgrade in 2 years and in turn, my first real “smart phone.” I do find it a little disconcerting I now hold in the palm of my hands a mechanical object that knows more than me – as long as I don’t go over my data cap.
Now here’s the thing: I build and repair computers. I have “inventory” of computer hardware. I even have a registered side business building and repairing computers. (Side note: Need your computer repaired and be hypnotized while you wait? I’m the one to talk to! I even have coupon days. Kidding.) However, I can’t figure out how to operate my damn cellphone.
I came from a time where phones came with cords that plugged into the wall and you had to spin a rotary dial to make a phone call. I came from a time where calling customer service meant you didn’t have to push 1 then 5 then 3 then hang up then do the hokey pokey, then call again, push 3 and get an operator who, after 15 minutes of conversation, would tell you you’ve called the wrong department and offer to transfer you to the right one only to abruptly cut you off leaving you to start again.
When I got my first cell phone, I distinctly recall it coming with numbers on a keypad that you could push to make a call and there was a handy answer button if someone called you. I also seem to recall it did those sorts of things because it was called a cellphone.
Now let’s move forward in time to one month ago. There I was, staring helplessly at my new cell phone while it vibrated in my hands and belted out some sort of horrific tune. I had a phone call.
And I had no idea how to answer it.
I glanced at the keyboard. I didn’t see any sort of answer button there. Maybe itwas there, but when you try to cram a keyboard that’s normally about 16 inches across into a space that’s about 3 inches across, you kinda lose track of what button does what.
I scanned across the keyboard frantically looking for an answer key. I found a key that had the @ symbol, but it also made the number 2 and it would auto-fill .comand if you held down SHIFT and ALT and @ at the same time, it would send flowers to your girlfriend, but nope, no sign of an answer key.
“Ah ha!” I thought. “What about the touch screen! Maybe something about the touch screen makes me answer the phone!” I touched the screen. The screen didn’t react. It just showed a constant background. I touched it again. Nothing. I touched it a third time with still no reaction. I was going to touch it a fourth time, but I was concerned about the phone either laughing at me or threatening a sexual harassment lawsuit.
I then noticed what appeared to be some sort of arrow-like slider at the bottom of the touch screen with a lock on one side of it.
“It’s locked!” I yelled to no one in particular over the now blaring music emanating from my phone.
I pushed the lock icon expecting it to become unlocked. Nope. I pushed harder. Nope. I pushed on it twice quickly – double-clicking, if you will. Nope.
At this point I debated on whether or not to start talking to my phone. Reason with it. Plead with it. Try different phrases. AnswerOpenPick upUnlock.
I figured talking to it would make me sound even weirder than normal, so I gave up, but as I grasped the phone to put it back in my pocket, I noticed that my thumb caused the lock to move slightly to one side.
I frantically wiggled and slid my finger back and forth across the screen that made nearby women wet just by watching me. One of them even gave me her phone number and asked me if we could role play pretending she was a ringing iPhone. In my most seductive tone, I told her I’d be very interested and what ring tone would she scream out when I made her ring.
She took back her phone number.
I put the phone to my ear, crying out a hello. No answer. Ah, I’m holding the phone backwards. Adjust. Another hello. “Can you hear me?” I said, as I assumed the infamous cell phone pose.
You know the pose? Phone in one ear, finger in your other ear? It’s like you’re trying to keep your brains from leaking out after they melt from the radiation spewing out from your cell phone.
I heard a voice at the other end – it’s working! They asked if Gagandeep was there. Wrong number. They apologized and hung up. I had worked up a sweat. I was shaking. I needed water. But I had answered my new smart phone for the first time.
Now, how do I hang up the phone...
You know what would make a smart phone smart? If it knew it was a wrong phone number and just hung up on them, now that would be a smart phone!
Frankly, given the way smart phones are set up these days, the ability to send and receive actual phone calls is very much a secondary feature. Its primary purpose is to text, take pictures and videos and steal porn using your neighbours WIFI. I predict in 5 years you’ll have to pay extra to have the “bonus feature” of having the ability to send and receive phone calls. You heard it here first, folks!
Enough about my phone. Time for some random thoughts. They’re mobile-friendly, too.
  • Is it possible to fail at doing a car crash-test? How would that work? “We tried to ram that car into a wall and it missed?”
  • I wish I were invisible. If I was, the first thing I’d do is go around from house to house and reverse all the toilet paper rolls in everyone’s washroom.
  • Rather than tossing doves in the air at a wedding, I say you toss squirrels. If anyone catches one, as tradition goes, they’re the next one to go nuts
  • Poor career choice: an armless mime
  • I’d like to harness the technology dogs use to shake themselves dry. They could be sopping wet after standing out in the rain for 10 minutes, yet they can walk indoors, shake for 30 seconds, and they’re not only dry, their fur is right back to how it was in the first place. I want to do that! Can you imagine? You finish your shower, step out, shake for a few seconds and you’re not only dry, but your hair is set the way you want?
  • Most frustrating thing in the world: You’re hungry and the vending machine will not accept your change. Is there anything more frustrating? Think about it.
  • In order to help save the environment, from now on, all light bulbs that go on over your head when you have an idea must be a fluorescent bulb. Yes, they cost more, but you’ll get ideas for 7 years before having to replace it.
  • I want to be a consultant. I wonder who I should talk to about that to help me decide…
  • Screw having a Jack Russell Terrier. I want to have a Jack Daniels Terrier. Way more mellow, relaxed dog.
Speaking of random thoughts, I was speaking to a friend of mine about random thoughts and if they ever creep into the hypnotic commands I give whenever I’m doing a session. (For those of you reading who may not know, I'm a hypnotist). I answered no, they usually don’t, but it got me thinking.
That’s usually a bad thing because it means I come up with answers…and write them down in a journal.
Below are some silly post-hypnotic commands I may give in the future. Fair warning!
  • "You will put relish on your hotdog only from right to left."
  • "You will consider the chicken dance to be a piece of art"
  • "There will be no right angles in your household"
  • "You will never use a salad fork again"
  • "All colours of your socks must be Disney-themed"
  • “At the end of every telephone conversation, you will ask ‘And would you like fries with that?’”
  • “You will fully believe you’ve been misled all these years and in fact it islogs that are man’s best friend.”
  • “You will vote for Mitt Romney.”
Alright, that’s all for this post, folks. It’s time for the long weekend and some fun with friends. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to call them before the weekend is over.