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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on November 6th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 35 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 35

Can you hear me now?

Krider's wife's iPhone is one-way only

BY ROB KRIDER


My wife has an iPhone. This little miracle of technology can accomplish about a thousand different things and still fit in your pocket. But my wife’s particular iPhone, it isn’t used for a thousand things. It isn’t even used for 10 things. It actually only exists to do two things. Its most important job is to be available to play solitaire at night (which can be done with a deck of cards, which is about the same size as an iPhone, yet costs 500 percent less). The other thing my wife does with her iPhone is make outgoing phone calls. I specify outgoing because apparently that is the model of iPhone that she bought: outgoing calls only. It doesn’t accept any incoming calls; it only makes phone calls so she can tell other people what to do.

When I want to get hold of her and tell her to do something—like pick up light bulbs, stamps, and ketchup from the store—she can’t be bothered with that sort of nonsense. Her phone doesn’t accept calls, and thus she is not available for chores. Instead, my wife’s phone will go to voicemail. I won’t hear the sound of her lovely voice on the voicemail, since she didn’t bother to go through the process to set that up (in her defense, it does take about 32 seconds to set up a voicemail message). Instead, her voicemail greeting is just the standard computerized voice that says “The person at this number is not available. Please leave a voice message and they will get back to you.” LIAR! She won’t get back to anyone because she doesn’t bother to check her voicemail. Every time I call my wife and it goes to her voicemail greeting I start to rant into the phone, yelling at the generic voicemail voice, “Why do I even pay for this damn phone if she isn’t going to answer it?!”

My wife, whom I love, has her own take on telephone conversations, which is … she doesn’t have them. Her rationale is, “If I wanted to talk to someone, then I would have called them.”

“But it was me!” I tell her. “Your own husband! I wanted to talk to you.”

Her reply is simply, “I have your number.”

It seems like this is where our society has gone. We don’t even talk to each other anymore. Instead, we just text. We are all too busy to be bothered with the simple pleasantries of an actual conversation, like, “Hello. How are you? Great. Well the reason I called is because your dog crapped on my lawn again.” Instead we just text each other little scripts of code: “FYI Scooby left a surprise on my lawn.” Nobody wants to take the time to talk to another person, let alone leave a message, because we see it as a waste of time to bother to check the message.

I grew up in a generation that found conversations and messages to be important. I had my own phone line in my bedroom, with my very own actual answering machine with a cassette tape in it. HOLD ON—I have to take a break for a quick history lesson on what the heck a cassette tape is. Kids, a cassette tape was an analog form of recording sound on a magnetic tape, which was stored on small reels inside a plastic case. This portable plastic case, called a cassette, could be removed from one recorder/player and moved to another player. The tapes could be erased and rerecorded on. It was very popular in the earlier century, as was a man named Vanilla Ice, whose music album was released on cassettes.

I specifically remember my high school girlfriend’s parents bringing her answering machine cassette tape over to my parent’s house to discuss some inappropriate messages I may or may not have left on said answering machine. Long story short, in the previous century cassettes equaled evidence.

In the digital age we have information coming at us so fast and so frequent people are starting to completely discount human interaction. I called a business associate the other day and his voicemail message had this to say: “The person at this number is currently not taking calls … period.” Then the phone hung up on me. I didn’t even have the option of leaving a message, and this guy was an insurance broker. How does he expect to do business if a customer can’t leave a message?

I called my brother the other day, and I got his voicemail (Is there a pattern here/ Nobody wants to take my calls?). His voicemail message was quite frank when it said, “Don’t bother leaving me a message. If you want something from me, then text me.” I thought it was a bit rude, but then I had to compliment him for at least being honest. My wife has a voicemail account, which is just some sort of tease—like maybe, just maybe, she will listen to my message and get back to me. But I have learned over time that just isn’t going to happen. If she needs something, she will call me. If I need something from her, I better figure out how to do it myself.

I was complaining to my wife about how she never takes my phone calls or never responds to my voicemails. Instead of arguing with me, she told me to listen to her voicemail account and hear myself and what I sound like. It turns out there is really no reason to accept a call from me. Here is what I heard:

“Hey beautiful, yeah, um, I can’t find my keys … so, um, yeah, do you know where they … oh, just found them. Nevermind! Bye. I love you!”

“Hey beautiful, yeah, um, I don’t see anything to eat in the fridge so I was wondering if you were going to hit the store on the way home because I’m hungry … oh, I just found some peanut butter and some Cheez-Its. Dinner is served! Nevermind! Bye. I love you!”

“Hey beautiful, yeah, um, I’m in the back bathroom and we are out of toilet paper, I was wondering if you could bring me some from the front bathroom … oh, I just found some under the sink. Nevermind! Bye. I love you!”

Who could blame her for not answering the phone when I call? Frankly, I’m surprised that when I come home she answers the door.

 

Right now Rob is listening to his wife’s voicemail greeting AGAIN and is contemplating tossing his own phone out of the window.