“Carpool Tunnel” and Other “Smart” Phone Maladies.

phonesI finally gave up my Blackberry and went out and bought the iPhone 6S deluxe.

I endured a decade of ridicule and scorn as a Blackberry user. Why did I stay loyal to that awful phone? The keyboard! And the auto correct. (Lack thereof). I loved the fact that the makers of Blackberry trusted me enough to say what I was intending to say , without their help. If I wanted to misspell a word for a creative flare? I could do it!

Blackberries were made for English Majors. Apple is made for you-tubing, face-timing , snap-chatting , video-splicing, music-downloading, photo-shopping, app-buying people. I just wanted to write an email and google something every now and then.

Was it the peer pressure that made me give up my Blackberry? No. It was their hold music. I once listened to 45 minutes of horrible hold music just to see if they could break their previous record of 40 minutes.
What else? Was it the fact that when I called the Blackberry “help line” it would usually go like this: “please hold, I need to find someone who works on the Blackberry account”. Insert hold muzak.

Twenty minutes later: “how can I help you? Which device do you have? The Q10? Give me a minute, I need to find the manual for that device, is it ok if I put you on a brief hold?”
“Noooooo” , I implored, into the hold music.
Ten minutes later: “How can I help you?”

And yet, that happened to me so many times! Why did I stay? The keyboard!

I wanted to form sentences that made sense the First time I typed them.
Apple’s touch screen keyboard is celebrated for ALMOST getting the right word. “The phone is SO smart it guesses what you were trying to say!!” Yay!! What if it guesses wrong?

Let me quote my idol Mark Twain: “the difference between the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug”.

I would always get so miffed reading texts and emails from the applers that were replete with hideous misspells and malapropisms followed by the two word correction that I call the “Apple oops”.

Just as I would be replying “What did you mean by: ‘donut new lite?’ an Apple oops would pop up: “Don’t be late”.

I especially like the Apple signature that people place at the end of all their messages: “Please excuse all typos and misspells”.

Imagine that…. We all just accept it.
Please excuse my car, sometimes it stops in the middle of traffic and the windows open and close !

Speaking of Windows try to spell Windows without a capital w on your iPhone! I dare you ….go type Windows. It was a noun long before it was a software company! Windows Windows Windows …….every time!

My brother Warren sent me a text three days ago, and I quote: “I saw easy as paint me at the Wizards game”
I replied:
“Huh? Are we speaking code? Who is Easy as Paint Me? Is he that Native American friend of yours?”
Warren: “Sorry, Siri translated EZ Ed Pinckney to easy as paint me”.
Ahhh, got it, cool, that was fun. Two can play this game, so I asked him:
“Was my kill tom’s son playing?”
Obviously not, Michael Thompson is hurt.
I just wanted to confuse him! Give him a taste of his own medicine.
He quickly replied:
“No, he’s still hurt”.

Applers are like those code breakers from World War Two.

And then there was the Apple emoji scourge! That also wore me down.

Applers would send me 5 or 6 of those little gremlins and my blackberry didn’t have the wherewithal to translate so all I would see is little tiny question marks inside diamond shaped icons.

Is she mad? Is he happy? Was he offended? Am I supposed to pick up milk?

I would sometimes just have to say: what were you trying to say to me with those little icon thingies? Talk about demoralizing!

Why couldn’t we have just stayed with the two accepted and universal messages of a smile and a winked smile? My Blackberry and I could do those!

But, NO, they couldn’t leave it alone!

….the skateboarding , frisbee throwing, hula hooping Apple techies in Silicon Valley decided to convert the punctuation smile into an actual yellow smiley face.
That changed the whole game! Blackberry never caught up. The company was basically killed by a little yellow smiley face.?

(Hang on, I need to take a break, this email is long! My Carole tunnel is acting up. Sorry, I meant to say carpool tunnel. OK, one more time, let me get a running start: carpal tunnel.)

Ok, I’m back. I put on some Ben Gay and I can move my fingers with only a modest ache. I have Typer’s Elbow.

Where was I? Ahh, emojis. Short for little stupid colored pictures designed to humiliate Blackberry owners.
Made me crazy.

And I am sure it was an appler who decided “k” is a word! I can appreciate why we shorten and abbreviate WTF, but K?
….you are in such a hurry that you can’t type “ok”?
The word has already been cut in half once!
Now we need to cut it in half again?
Am I the only one outraged by all of this?
Where the he&@ are my fellow English majors? Someone needs to stand up and say “Give us back our words!!”

I heard my mother yell at her iPhone the other day: “I am purposely tying to misspell that word!!! “. (She is also a recently , reluctant, iPhoner. We need a support group).

Making fun of Apple’s short battery life and hideous auto-correct gave me great joy but then SHE showed up. I’ll never forget the day I first heard Siri. She replied to my son: “it is going to be 65 and sunny in Reykjavik tomorrow, would you like that converted to Celsius?”

Say this in your best Jan Brady whine:
“Siri Siri Siri”. I hated Siri! I could get over the emoji thing, but to have your very own , know-it-all , talking personal assistant? That did it for me. I was a broken man. You win Apple.

Me: “Siri! Set my alarm for 530am”
Siri: “Okay Big Daddy, your alarm is set”

And then she says, in a hushed tone: “did you notice how I used four letters to spell okay?”
Siri loves me. ???