This Upgrade Megahertz

July 6, 2007

In the good old days there were phones and there were movies, and the two were completely separate. For some reason they remained this way for centuries, even thousands of years, dating back to the time when phones were so primitive you had to put your finger in a circle with a number on it then turn a screw-like thing all the way around before going up on your rooftop to yell, "Hey Frank, what celebrities have been put in jail lately?" And then you and Frank could go and watch a movie starring the celebrities who were in jail, only those days the movie would be carved in stone. Then motion pictures were invented, allowing completely untalented people (like Frank, for instance) to earn salaries larger than the gross national products of smaller European countries.

But I digress. Now we’ve got phones that can play movies. This is the sort of news that makes you want to go up on your rooftop and dance naked. Not because you’re happy, but rather because you can now get someone to hold that phone and actually make a movie of you dancing naked on your roof that your phone can then send as a file to Frank who will pass it along to his agent who will pass it along to a free video site where "Man dancing naked on rooftop" will be viewed approximately one million times.

But I digress. The latest advance in phone technology is that, while in the good old days of, oh, a month ago, people had to press the same button on their number pad to "text" all-important messages like "WHERE R U UR L8", because taking twenty minutes and pressing the same button seventeen times is more efficient than calling someone and speaking to them or leaving a message, now new phones come with a tiny digital keyboard approximately the size of a post-it note. Gone are the old days of inefficient texting! Now all you need is your $500 phone, a needle, and a microscope! This advance is called an "upgrade", which is a very important word in technology. It combines two words, "up", meaning something that will eventually fall on you because you really had to stretch to put it on the top shelf, and "grade", meaning something you hated to get in school. But of course "upgrade" is a good thing. If you only learn one word of technologese, learn "upgrade". I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come upon a group of techie people talking about terabytes and file sharing and DOS and shocked them into impressed silence with my knowledge of "upgrade". And in case you’re wondering, "upgrade" means "thing you will spend three weeks learning how to break". Don’t worry, though, because you’ll have plenty of time to figure out how to use your new phone when you’re arrested and put in jail for dancing naked on your rooftop. Yes, it is true that non-celebrities can be put in jail, but, fortunately, that short video clip of you will be viewed so many times that you’ll become a celebrity, and believe me, there’s nothing more popular in jail than a naked dancing guy. I believe they call the jailing of such a person an upgrade.

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