An Ode to the Smart-Phone

imgresAn Ode to the Smart-Phone
by Carol-Ane Woodard

“Hey, Future!” I whined. “Where’s my flying car? You promised it to me, back in the 50’s…”

“Yo. Sorry bout that. Wanna trade for your smart-phone?” Mr. Future declared, parking his vehicle on my lawn.

“Wow. My own flying car.” I breathed.

Then I blinked. “Wait. What? You want my smart-phone?”

“Yeah girl. Just hand it over…and you get the keys…”

I breathed again. And stopped. “Wait? What am I gonna use for an alarm clock?”

“Umm…you can buy ‘em and set em…” Mr. Future replied.

“But, what about my flashlight?” I demanded. “I wake up in the middle of the night, and can’t go back to sleep and reach for my cell-phone, and turn on the flashlight. Then I don’t stumble around in the dark and wake up my husband…”

“You can buy flashlights…”

“My camera! I took all those pictures of snow and trees and sunsets. How will I post them to Instagram?”

“Lady, I’m just here to deliver the car your ordered.”

“Will the car fit in my pocket?”

“Lady, it’s a car!”

“Cause, right now my stereo receiver only gets NPR. I like NPR, but once in a while I want to listen to AM 1030. So I have to run upstairs and get the radio and plug it in…and then I’ve missed whatever I was listening to in the car. My smart-phone gets all the stations, and I just put it in my pocket, and my radio is with me all the time.”

“Lady, do you want the keys or not?”

“Umm, let me just think a minute…”

“Wait.” I continued. “How will I block telemarketers? I…umm…messed up once and did an E-mail survey…and the results weren’t pretty. Now I don’t dare answer any call that isn’t local or in my contact list. But, with my smart-phone, if they call more than once, I just block the number. Can your car do that?”

“Lady, it can fly!”

“But, will I lose my music and pod-casts? I mean, I have this part-time job. Umm, stuffing envelopes. Music and podcasts are important to my sanity.”

“It will fly right over all the traffic.”

“Oh. That’s important. But. I don’t drive all that well in two dimensions. Would the sky be full of flying cars? Would I have to register with the FAA? What about drones?”

“Lady, I’m just here with the keys. I’m not an oracle.”

“Wait. FreeCell! FreeCell! I’ve got Free-Cell on my phone. And Words with Friends. The part-time job…you know…stuffing envelopes. Sometimes you have to wait for a new tray. I hate to pull out a book, cause it looks funny. But, I have games on my phone. Everyone’s always on their phone. I look…normal…”

“Lady, I gotta get back to the 50’s. Trade or no trade? It don’t matter to me.”

“Wait. I use my phone as a GPS.”

The guy sighed. “I don’t know GPS from Elvis…”

“Wait. And my book! I’m in the middle of this great book that’s on my smart-phone! I gotta finish it…”

Then, the future shrugged, and flew away in my beautiful flying car. It was a pink convertible, and the guy had slicked back hair and a leather jacket. He was playing Wipe-Out by the Beach-Boys. I listened sadly as he, and my dreams, disappeared into the clouds.

But just then, I got my daughters ring-tone. She wanted me to face-time Max so she could start breakfast. And my son texted that he and the boys were just leaving their house, and could we give him a coffee while he dropped off the boys? I quickly used “Find Friends” to figure out whether my husband, who was on a walk, was close enough to the house to save me from my grandson’s before they arrived.

I sighed again about the flying car. My dreams were crushed.

But, then I realized that I should show gratitude for what the future had brung. I gripped that phone tight to my ear, and whispered a solemn vow into its mouthpiece.

“Beloved”. I swore. “I’ll never give you up. Not until they pry you loose from my cold dead hands. Even if they offer me a flying car…”

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