April 17, 2009
New cell phones, especially the ones with fancy touch screens, have all these things they call "apps". I’m pretty sure that’s short for "applications", but in today’s high-speed, ultra-tech, upgraded, microwave, minimart, pre-fab, fast-food world there’s no room for polysyllabic words anymore. Even "polysyllabic words" has been shortened to just "pols", although polls show that three percent are against this, two percent are in favor of it, and ninety-six percent have no clue what I’m talking about. There are all kinds of apps. Want to find a three-star sushi restaurant in New York and find the exact amount of time it would take you to walk there from Seattle? There’s an app for that. Want to hold your phone up to a speaker in a restaurant because you can’t figure out what that song is that’s playing and it’s driving you crazy? There’s an app for that. Completely lost your mind and need to check yourself in to the closest psychiatric clinic? There’s an app for that-although you’ll need to get the syringe attachment and the Prozac plug-in for your phone. There’s a tiny little piano app, in case you’re the guy in that joke who walks into a bar with a foot-tall pianist. And there’s even a harmonica app which allows you to make music by blowing on your phone, and when you’re done cleaning the saliva off the touch screen you can then actually use your phone to call someone. I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before cell phones come with an ATM app, although for at least ten years people in Italy have been able to use their cell phones to buy sodas from vending machines. This is because, before the Euro, the Italian economy suffered so much inflation that people needed wheelbarrows full of lire to buy anything from vending machines.
What is there not an app for? Well, on my phone at least there’s no app for blocking unwanted calls. When my phone rings with a number I don’t know and I answer it and the person calling me says, "Who is this?" maybe there should be an app to tell them they’ve called the wrong number so I don’t have to do it myself. And there should definitely be an app for blocking any future calls from them because they’re probably going to call back in a minute and say, "Oops, sorry, misdialed again." Technically there is an app for blocking these calls on my cell phone, but I’d have to switch to a plan that’s an extra twenty bucks a month and I’m too cheap to do that just for wrong numbers. On the other hand the unwanted text messages are driving me up the wall. Some guy out there thinks I am a woman named-I’m not making this up-Saharla, and he keeps sending me annoying text messages. Sometimes they’re downright creepy. One morning I was going into work early. Really early. So early I thought maybe I should have just not gone home the night before. And as I was on my way I got a text message from him that said, "Hey Saharla are you awake?" While I give him credit for actually spelling out words like "are" and "you", it was weird that I was getting this message at a time when I just happened to be awake but would normally be asleep. According to my cell provider there’s no way to block unwanted text messages, not even for an extra twenty bucks a month. Oh, sure, it’s possible to do all kinds of other fun things with your cell phone, but you can’t block unwanted messages. The only option is to send the guy a text message or call him and tell him to knock it off, and I’ve done that at least twice now. Each time he’s said, "Oh, I’ll talk to the person responsible for doing that." And I know what he means by that because that’s an expression I’ve sometimes used when I’m too ashamed to admit that I’ve done something really boneheaded. I should just be honest and admit that I’ve done something boneheaded, and am, therefore, the person responsible, but sometimes that’s just really hard to do. Maybe it would be easier if there were an app for it.