This last weekend my cell-phone was finally rendered hors de combat.
It's been kind of spotty for the last year, fading in and out at irregular intervals, but what kind of did the needful was my agency hauling off and giving me a whole bunch of new responsibilities all of a sudden.
My agency tends to run on e-mail. to the point that I can state, firmly and with no exaggeration, that when the e-mail server goes down, you can feel the incipient panic in the air.
Anyhoo, my beloved cell-phone ganked on me, so I walked into the local Three Letter Acronym store, cell-phone lovingly cradled in my cupped hands, showed it to the lass behind the desk and whimpered, "Fix it."
Sayeth the lass, "I've never even seen on of those before."
I gently point out the Three Letter Acronym Mega-Corporation logo on the case, what matches the one over the entrance to the store, and she starts looking in her computer, blinks for a moment and says, "Wow. They haven't made those in a while."
Sensing an opportunity to make a sale, she starts asking questions. Where do I work, what are my needs, that sort of thing. I remember a gentle admonition from someone Higher In Rank Than I that I should really consider getting a phone that can receive e-mail, so I mention this to her.
Then she starts pulling cell-phones off the display and piling them in front of me, all the while delivering what is probably a well-rehearsed patter that involves the names of phones that have been lifted from an astrophysics lecture.
I raise my paw, look down at the pile of shiny glass and say, "These are all smart phones, right?"
"Yes, sir, that's exactly what you need!"
I poke something with a fruit logo and enough computing power to run the entire 1960's NASA program with an index finger.
"Do you have a smart phone that's been sitting in the corner and eating paint chips?"
She blinks at me. A lot.
I continue, "I need to be able to speak to people, I need to send texts and I need to get e-mail. That's it. I don't need a fingerprint ID lock, I don't need a GPS, and I don't need to play YouTube videos. I need a phone. Preferably the digital equivalent of a smoky fire and a blanket."
There was a lot more blinking. I got the impression that there was some kind of IF/THEN loop spinning behind her eyes, but probably not a Blue Screen of Death.
"The ability to function after being bounced off someones forehead is a plus." I added, helpfully I thought.
She had to go get a manager.
So, I am the new owner of what the manager insists is the dumbest smart phone he could get ahold of.