Member Blogs > ten pound island book companyAll I Want for Xmas is a Droid With Apps

  • Sun, 23 Dec 2012 08:03:56    Permalink

    Here, for the third year, is my annual Christmas blog. Id like to say this weeks entry is back by popular demand, but there has been no demand for it. Bookmans Log, Im happy to say, has never been burdened with demands. The truth is, Im taking the day off in honor of the season. Im going read the Sunday paper, then putter around my office, then turn my compost pile, then watch the football game, then walk to dinner and eat and drink and talk and laugh with the inlaws, the wife, the kids, their kids, and our several unofficial sons and daughters. Then Ill walk home through the wintery woods, bathed in the faery light of that first quarter moon, stars crackling around me, wondering again by what miracle Ive been blessed with this family, this life, this place - and thinking how lucky I am to have you as friends, customers, and trusty colleagues. Merry Christmas to you all!
     Im old, and have made peace with myself, mostly. I suppose you could call it set in my ways. Hence, I feel no need to adjust my wardrobe choices to the dictates of whatever modern fashion might be sweeping the country at the moment. For the past thirty or forty years Ive worn loose-cut jeans, plain or striped oxford shirts, and well-broken-in jogging shoes. I keep my cell phone in the left pocket of my pants, along with my car keys. No cell pouch. No man bag.

    I own a modern primitive cell phone. I bought it a few months ago because my old phone, which was as battle worn as Han Solos Millenium Falcon, diedR.I.P. When I went into the Verizon store I told the kid I wanted the simplest model he had, that I didnt want to do anything on it except make and receive telephone calls. He nodded knowingly and put me into whatever geezer model Verizon was offering at the time.

    But even that phone was way more precocious than I wanted it to be. It was like having a sinister bug or a hyperactive child in my pocket. It loves to take pictures of the inside of my jeans and is constantly beeping and chirping when it bumps up against whatever else happens to be in that pocket. When I yank it out and flip it open to try to quiet it, a voice comes out of it and asks me What would you like to do? The first few times I shouted back at it, Id like you to shut the fuck up. That didnt work. The wife of a colleague has a phone like mine with duct tape up and down the sides. The tape covers the holes where the buttons had been. She told me the most fun was digging the buttons out with a strong, sharp needle. It empowered her.

    Usually, the phone in my pocket bumps up against my key ring. The key ring contains the key to my car which, like my cell phone, enjoys doing things on its own. Last night I went out on the porch for a smoke and it all came clear to me. My phone was making noises and photographing the inside of my pocket. I reached down to throttle it, and bumped into my car key, which promptly locked, or unlocked my car. At that moment I was able to imagine a day in the not-too-distant future when the book trade has slowed and I spend more time on my porch, saddled with more and more smart devices that, just by wiggling my butt in my chair, will be able to lock my car, take a picture of my pocket, start my oil burner, turn on my TV, order some new goods or services from Amazon, speed up my pacemaker, download sports results, and cast my ballot for the winner of Dancing with the Stars.

    Future, here I come!
    The old man phone - perhaps on its last legs

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