Good morning, World:
Last weekend I finally got around to buying a new cell phone to replace the blackberry my old employers had supplied.
Having experienced both the addiction and frustration of being accessible via email 24 hours a day, I knew I did NOT want a blackberry. In fact, I've attended daily BAA (Blackberry Addicts Anonymous) meetings since my departure from the hotel. A blackberry at 1 AM is not a toy but I tended to not recognize that after several glasses of wine.
At BAA meetings, we start by saying things like, "Hello, my name is Chicken, and I have emailed inappropriately" or "Hello, my name is Chicken and I have only sent work-related emails for two weeks now" (light applause).
I've heard so many Blackberry abuse horror stories that even the thought of holding one of those suckers in my hot little hands is making me a little queasy.
So off I went to the T-Mobile store. I found myself an adorable T-Mobile rep named Anibal (rhymes with cannibal) and the following conversation took place:
Anibal: Welcome to T-mobile, what can I help you with today?
Chicken: How do you pronounce your name? Is it Mexican? Good thing you don't live in Arizona, right? Wow that's a cool name. I'll bet people call you Anibal the Cannibal ALL the time, am I right? Or animal......(Chicken stares off into space thinking of more ways a middle-school bully might make fun of the name Anibal).
Chicken: (Looks around in surprise) Oh...right. Well Anibal, I need a new phone. I want to add a line to the account I already have for my son. I only use it for emergencies, though, so I only want a phone that can text or call, and it needs to be free and I want the cheapest plan you have. In fact, I really only need a phone that I can receive calls on because I have no intention of ever picking up the phone and calling anybody. Actually, I have no intention of answering anyone's calls either....so I guess I just need texting.
Anibal: (Truly perplexed and looking around for the cameras and Ashton Kutcher)...Ah, Ma'am, well, all of our phones can make and receive calls. But you don't have to use those features. Now, let's see, your best bet is to upgrade to the family plan and when we add in internet, insurance, tax.......that's going to come to ninety-eleven hundred dollars a month. Not bad at all. What do you think.
Chicken: I'll tell you what Anibal. That's a lot of money for features I don't even need. Are you sure you don't have anything that just sends and receives text for....say.....five dollars a month?
Anibal: (Poker face) Ma'am, maybe what you need is a telegraph. We don't sell those here. Maybe Western Union?
Chicken: (Stunned then delighted). Anibal...you made a joke. Good on you! You're right, I AM being an asshole. Okay, show me the phones that come for free with the plan.
Anibal: Shows me two (fugly) phones.
Chicken: Okay, okay....these look like good phones. But where is the keyboard? I need a keyboard, Anibal....
Anibal: Oh we have phones with keyboards, Chicken, but those are upgrades. Here's a nice one that costs an additional $99 hundred, but just for today, there is a $98 hundred fifty rebate if you mail in the rebate form and receipt....
Chicken: (thinking fast). O.K. Anibal, I'll take it but you have to do the whole rebate thing for me right now because rebates involve mailing things, which I am averse to....
Anibal: (mentally nominating Chicken for freak of the year award). Sure, Chicken, I can do that for you. There you go, all set, enjoy your new phone and let me know if you have any questions...
And now I have a brand new pretty blue and white Samsung phone with a handy slide out keyboard. Imagine my surprise when one of the options I found on the menu was...email....
But I swear I'm not going to use it.... although I might have to email Anibal just to check on my rebate and catch up...
I have to get ready to go visit the Bears now, World, so I don't have time to tell you how I found myself but check back later, ok?