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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Phone(less) Home

I discovered during this Christmas trip that my parents live in a ‘dead zone’. Maybe you’ve seen the commercials recently from one or the other of those cellular carriers, trying to scare folks away from these dead zones, with their zero bars and scratchy towels and crabgrass-infested yards.

(For the record, my parents have retired to an apartment, so if there’s any crabgrass nearby, it’s really none of their concern.

The towels are kinda scratchy, though.)

At any rate, it seems Mom and Dad live in an area outside of the 3G coverage I’m used to in Boston. Also, there’s no 2G going on. From what I can see, there are no Gs whatsoever, anywhere in the area. Maybe the crabgrass got ’em all; I have no idea.

“It slices, it dices, it juliennes; it’ll make you wet your pants, strip them off you, clean them up and shimmy them right back onto your ass.”

The point is, when I’m at their place — indeed, anywhere in the whole town — I’m in perpetual roam mode. No data. No updates. No web. I could probably, in a dire emergency, call 911 — provided I dialed the area code, a 1 and some sort of other-carrier code to make the call go through. And assuming I was willing to sign the deed to my house over to AT&T or Sprint to pay for the privilege. Probably easier just to bleed out or let the mass murderer in the door, at that point.

All of this is a real disappointment, considering that I was really looking forward to showing off my fancy new phone. My parents are smart cookies, but they’re not exactly what you’d call ‘early adopters’. Mom’s just getting a handle on this newfangled World Wide Web gizmo, and Dad’s still working up to operating their cordless phone without mishap. I’m only kidding about one of those. And only a little bit.

(In their defense, I was only recently able to rescue them from a long-term relationship with AOHell. The brainwashing takes a while to wear off; I’m weaning them slowly away from using ‘LOLzerz!!!!1eleventy!’ in emails now.

It’s a slow process, I’m afraid. I just hope none of the damage is permanent.)

So I was going to get a kick out of bringing this crazy new bit of 21st century technology back home to meet the folks. Any old smartphone would wow them, but this thing puts the ‘Gee!‘ into ‘G1′. It plays music, it takes pictures, it scans barcodes. It slices, it dices, it juliennes; it’ll make you wet your pants, strip them off you, clean them up and shimmy them right back onto your ass. The talcum powder option costs extra, but if you have the cash, it can do it all!

Except, when I’m at my parents’ house, make actual fricking phone calls.

Naturally, that’s the first question they asked. ‘A telephonomotron, eh? What sort of reception does it get?

Um… none. Right now, anyway. I’m roaming.

Aw, too bad. Well, can you surf that web doohickey with it?

Yep. Anywhere except, oh, here, it turns out.

I hear Google made that thing. Got Google on it?

Not without a connection.

Google streets?

Not at the moment.

Google maps?

*sigh* Ordinarily.

Google search, at least?

Not in this neck of the woods.

Cause we used to have that Google search back on AOL, a couple of years ago. Maybe you don’t get that up in Boston yet, but it’s pretty handy. Let us know if they ever catch on to that interweb stuff up there.

Just kill me now. And don’t bother calling 911; I can’t afford the cross-carrier fees.

But at least I’ll feel right at home. In the ‘dead zone‘.

Permalink  |  1 Comment



One Response to “Phone(less) Home”

  1. kerry says:

    sounds like my parents.

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