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September 18, 2020

Worthy to Print Column: It’s Just a Phone

By George Worthy, Gonzales Columnist

Do you have a “smart phone?” I’m not sure what makes a smart phone or a dumb phone, but I’m pretty sure I got the dumb one. I mean, I see folks walking around all day looking at their phones, and if the phones were dumb, how much fun could that be? I mean they must be getting something out of the concentration I see.

I have other reasons for having opinions about smart vs. dumb phones. I’ll give you an example. I have been married to My Angel for over 30 years. Before that, we lived together for four years. I am also a few years older than My Angel. Let’s say 14. It might not be 15, but that’s pretty close. And all those rumors that were going around are not true. Her parents were really happy she married me. OK, maybe not happy, but curious might be a better word. In any case, let’s keep it to the subject of smart phones and dumb phones.

We are both old enough to have lived in the age of politeness. That’s before personal phones were invented. We would be watching TV and some subject was addressed on a program and perhaps a strange word was said. A word that is not familiar and the use of the word was not plain. My Angel would not turn to our collection of World Book Encyclopedia and look up the word. Why should she? She was sitting next to her hero that knew just about everything. Or, he said he did anyway, and the age difference was such that My Angel accepted my explanations of esoteric mumbling that convinced her I was right. She would sit back, and with the prettiest proud face you have ever seen, she would say, “Thank you,” and when she did, you would know why I call her My Angel.

Often times the word would come up in conversations with her other friends and they didn’t think my description fulfilled their curiosity. Because of her love and respect for me, she would just think whomever she was conversing with just didn’t know the facts and she didn’t want them to think she was an argumentative young lady. Ah yes, those were the days of wine and roses.

Then these cursed portable phones were invented. I had already come to the conclusion that since my bride was a first-generation American there were things that she was told by her parents; Nelda and Eric, immigrants from the Bellinzona and Guibiasco area of Switzerland, which she believed and that I had to reeducate her about. But these phones! They were my Achilles heel.

After obtaining her own personal phone, she discovered, from her technological friends (who I was convinced were disciples of a foreign religion), there were things she could look up the meaning to or the description of by simply spelling the word or item. I thought that was the end of our honeymoon lifestyle. Why would she want another means to find out the truth? I would never lie to her or lead her down the wrong path. Although, her parents thought that I had already destroyed all the teachings they had strived to give her as a citizen of America. OK, there was that one time, but in my defense it was for a good thing.

Now, as we sit in our little house of love, she will hear or see something said on the electronic heroin that she is curious about. Wham! Out comes the phone and not a thank you for my years of trying to help her understand many things. “No honey, you are wrong. It says here …,” and she will quote some misguided explanation. Yes, of course it would be the correct answer, but I may have explained it wrong. I imagine that it is; since I speak English as taught by the masters in Great Britain and she is stifled due to her parents’ lack of familiarity with the language of their adopted country, that our answers do not correspond.

Often we will spend an entire weekend talking and expressing our love of each other and not one time will she ask me to explain a word or meaning of something she has heard. Now that you know about my problem with “smart phones,” allow me to speak freely. I buy the most inexpensive phones that I can find. This has also led to some misunderstanding of all faucets of the “cell phone.”

If I try to find a simple answer to an uncomplicated question, my phone goes into a frozen state. It matters not how I speak to this mysterious “Siri,” she fails to give me the information I seek. I have asked in English, Swiss, Spanish and other colorful languages and none seem to break through the firewall Apple has built in to the personal communication device.

I will never speak ill of those who are no longer with us, but I’m sure there must be some explanation that Steve Jobs knew something like this would happen. I’ll bet, if he were still with us, his superior intellect would never allow Apple to make such a dangerous device.

My Angel and I are together forever and I can’t remember a time there was even one harsh word between us. However, for marriages not on the same footing as ours, I would expect to crumble if the same circumstances existed. Do not fear, men! We will continue to be breadwinners in the institution of marriage and our Angels will continue to brighten our lives. (This article has not been proofed by My Angel.)

God Bless.

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