One for the Road

A few moments ago, I did something I’ve never done before. I checked in for my Jet Blue flight on. . .wait for it. . .a smart phone. Whoa. For those of you currently living in the 21st Century, this might not seem like news. For me, it’s monumental. You see, although I do have a cell phone on which I can 1) talk; and 2) text, it can’t do much more. It is, for lack of a better term, an exceptionally dumb phone.

Don’t laugh. Actually, you can laugh. Everyone else does.

For Christmas, my family gave me a smartphone. Actually, they gave me a piece of styrofoam with a drawing of a smartphone on it. I think they knew that actually breaking down and buying said smartphone would take me a while, so this was a marker, a promise of things to come.

As the more astute among you will discern, it is no longer Christmas — in fact, the tulips in our yard are about to bloom. But I come from a family that has traditionally been, how do you say it, ever so slightly resistant to change. The variant of the classic joke for my mom’s family is “How many Forbeses does it take to change a lightbulb? Four. One to change the lightbulb, and three to talk about how good the old one was.” There’s a wonderful scene in my cousin Maya’s film INFINITELY POLAR BEAR in which the main character, played by Mark Ruffalo, is aghast at the thought of his kids throwing away an old sponge that has been scrubbed virtually into oblivion. When I attended the LA premiere, I joked with Maya that after Cam’s kids threw that sponge away, it migrated to our house where it was used for several more decades.

These are our current sponges. Yes, they’re new, but only because my wife threw away our perfectly good old ones without my knowledge or consent.

Long story short, two days ago I finally acknowledged that for my journey I would need a phone with 1) apps; 2) good reception; and 3) photo storage that hadn’t been filled up two years ago. So I drove to a Boost Mobile store and got thoroughly lost along the way (because after a year of lockdown, driving is actually kinda hard and I didn’t have a smart phone to check the directions, ha ha). When I did finally make it there, Jonathan, the very patient and kind store employee, took more than an hour to go through everything with me and, with infinite kindness, was able to transfer over the bulk of my contacts. Now I have a fistful of apps, I’m already a Clubhouse junkie, I’ve checked in via my iPhone, and tomorrow morning at 8am, I will apparently be able to use this phone as a boarding pass by swiping the QR code at the gate. Personally, I’ll believe it when I see it.

This is my new phone. I think I’ll name it Clarence.

4 thoughts on “One for the Road

  1. You’re giving me the push I needed to resume a traveling life. See you some place in America and eventually abroad.


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