Thursday, June 14, 2007

Love / Hate.

I am about to hit a man on the head with a hammer.

Except that I don’t happen to have a hammer on me. And I haven’t hit a man since I was a teenager. And I’m in a perfectly civilised mobile phone shop. And I don’t really want to know what Prison Love is actually like.

I hate my mobile phone. Because. You know. It’s a mobile phone and that. They are essentially hateful items.

But I also love it. It was a Christmas present. It is shiny and looks nice. And. Get this. Not only is it a mobile phone – it’s a bloody camera as well!

Let the good times roll.

It is also my only means of internet access, for reasons too tiresome to recount here.

But there is a cloud upon this utopian horizon.

I don’t really know how it works. I am reliably informed that people can send me messages of a text variety that also include pictures. Imagine it. Words and visuals. It’s like fucking Buck Rogers or something. But without the whole spaceshuttle-being-frozen-for-five-centuries tiresomeness.

Somebody sends me such a message, and I cannot open it. Grr. I could refer to the manual, but am not yet ready to taste those bitter ashes of defeat.

I do some research on the inter-course. It takes ages and I get nowhere. The phone’s GPRS thing is only faintly more frustrating than Ceefax.

I resolve to go into the shop it was purchased from and demand to know why I have no idea how to use it. And they’d better read the manual themselves quick-smart and tell me the things that I don’t know because I’m a busy man, am wearing a suit so therefore must be Important and have a limited amount of time.

Walking into the shop. I locate the poorly-signposted Customer Services desk. And stand there for five minutes. Whilst several youths with ‘interesting’ hair and who sport clothing bearing the insignia of the mobile phone shop mill about in a disinterested manner.

It is clear to them that I am not here to sign-up to an eighteen-month contract named, inexplicably, after an animal.

I am grinding my teeth.

Staff to customer ratio is eight to one. Me being the one.


Somebody lopes resentfully around the counter.

I am already clenching and un-clenching my fists. Without realising.

He looks at me in a vacant, slack-jawed manner.

Mobile Phone Youth: ‘Sup.

Me: What?

MPY: ‘Sup fella?

Me: What?

Silence for a while. His name tag states, improbably, that its wearer is named Cornelius.

MPY: What can I do for you?

Me: Right. [Brandish phone] There’s something wrong with the MMS er thing. Could you have a look? It was purchased here.

MPY gingerly takes phone and taps at the keypad for some time.

I begin to let out the knots of tension from my shoulders. There is a professional on the case. Everything will be Fine.

Some time passes.

MPY: Do you know how to unlock it?

Me: I’ve no problem with the network provider. So I don’t care.

MPY: Yeah. But do you know how to?

Aha. He is testing me. He is trying to get the measure of me as a customer. Wants to know my level of mobile phone knowledge and, by extension, my knowledge of all things Manly.

Me: I’m sure I could generate an unlock code from the IMEI number but that really isn’t the issue in this case.

He looks taken aback. Ha. Got you, you young scamp. Just because I don’t have a stupid haircut and don't have excellent sex with beautiful 20-year-old Vanessa Paradis looky likeys every Saturday night doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or two.

He brandishes my phone at me.

MPY: Can you unlock it for me? Please.

Me: What?

Oh fuck. Oh surely not.

Me: The keypad?

MPY nods.

Me: You want me to show you how to unlock the keypad?

MPY nods, looking at me as though I were an idiot.

I take my phone from him. I do not have a hammer.

Me: ‘Bye.


Blogger Clarissa said...

So did you post this from your phone? Clever monkey.

9:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that MPY is apparently paid to do a job makes me realise for the millionth time just how much piss those who live on Jobseekers' Allowance are taking...

10:00 pm  
Blogger Mr Farty said...

Have you tried hitting the phone with a hammer?

10:08 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Clarissa: Oh no. Even better than that. Posted from my computing machine, using my mobile fucking phone as a virtual DAIL-UP MODEM via BLUE FUCKING TOOTH whatever the fuck that is. I feel I should win some sort of award.

Anon: I have to agree. They say you get more conservative as you grow older. I suspect we are both about 78.

Farty: Knaw. I just asked a twelve-year old.

10:29 pm  
Blogger Misssy M said...

All I need to know about my mobile I have learned from my students.

So my advice to you is, go outside, find a lurking group of said beasts, brandish phone and ask for help.

Don't try and speak "street" to them, as that will mark you out as a tosser.

10:35 pm  
Blogger londongirl said...

Ah. ooops.

I can't get the internety thingy to work on my phone either. I went back into the shop, they condescended in a marvellous fashion but didn't sort it. grr.

I need a 10 yr old nephew.

11:19 pm  
Blogger Will said...

Excuse me for sounding like Brian Sewell, but how is one supposed to respond to the greeting "'Sup"?

11:40 pm  
Blogger Quick said...

So what is fucking Buck Rogers like then? Actually, I don't want to know.

Also, why do they keep putting extra bits in phones if not only does no one know how to use them, no one appears to want to use them?

3:52 am  
Blogger DJ Kirkby said...

Either we are suffering an invasion of MPY's or we go to the same mobile phone shop...

8:16 am  
Blogger Gordon said...

I ALMOST missed the 'punch'line there.. please do not mention the divinely lovely Ms. Paradis again as it sends me off into the most wonderful daydreams.. oh wait..

8:28 am  
Blogger Angela-la-la said...

Never had you down as the type to fancy Buck Rogers...

9:57 am  
Anonymous Mr Angry said...

Hehe, I can fully sympathise. I am currently out of contract on my phone and have visited various mobile shops in the last week and have learned, if nothing else, that all staff training clearly staff to answer "Yes" when any question begins with, "Does it have a..." or "Will it allow me to..."

Apparently my new phone will nosh me off in the morning and will also allow me to bend the space time continuum.

10:39 am  
Anonymous Eliza said...

i found out the other day that my phone can record my voice so i can send a recording of my very own voice to other phones!! how clever, soon we'll be able to actually have conversations via these technical marvels

11:15 am  
Blogger me said...

I had a vision of said 'yoof' opening your picture message to discover an image of debauchery and shame.

Not that i am suggesting you know anyone who would send such filth.

When you have worked out how to use the camera will we then be treated to pictures of your, um, big toe?

12:13 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Missy: Word. Dawg.

londongirl: They were probably too busy worrying about hair 'product'.

Will: I don't know, but anyone with any sense knows that Brian Sewell is the undiscovered comedy genius of our times.

Quick: Oh very good. Maybe someone else will capitalise upon that rich source of comedy 'sliding of signified beneath signifier' (c) Jacques Derrida. No. It's too lame.

I don't know though. Apparently I can send a fax from mine. WHY?

Kirby: I think they just send them all on an under-sea training facility overseen by some evil genius with the required facial abnormality to have every last shred of competence - social or otherwise - beaten from them.

Gordon: Hello. Sorry about the Vanes ..... No. It's gone. What was I saying?

Ang: Christ. Apologies Quick. It seems there is some mileage in this after all.

Angry: Hello. You made me do a laugh.

Eliza: Christ: Did I tell you about the time that I saw two people texting each other? They were sat side by side at the time. THIS IS TRUE.

me: Good God. I don't know what sort of gentleman you take me for. And as for treating any of my readers to any photos of any sort, well, it just isn't That Sort of Blog. I am far too reactionary and contrary to actually take advantage of all the multimedia possibilities of this enterprise. Plus I can't be bothered. And I have a bit of trouble with the HTML script. It IS quite difficult you know.

And no-one wants to see my big toe. Trust me. It is unnaturally large, blunt and bulging with thick angry veins. It's not a pleasant sight.

9:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was the picture you received? was it worth it?

4:59 am  
Blogger Ms Baroque said...

You know, I'm quite good at computers, but I never did manage to work out Ceefax.

Phones, it's just the law of the jungle. And the shops are useless. You have to ring them up, all the people who can speak properly work in the call centres.

1:07 pm  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

My daughter manages my mobile. I haven't a clue. It rang the other day and she answered it. Coincidentally she said "'sup". Fortunately it was her friend. Ringing her on my phone. I've had some strange chats with unknown youths. They claim to my daughter they can't understand me.

6:13 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Anon. None of your beeswax. And yes it was.

Baroque: Yeah. And they are actually have the nerve to CHARGE YOU for speaking to your own service provider. CUNTS.

Dinners: The generational language barrier is often for the best I think.

7:33 pm  
Blogger amphimacer said...

Two matters: first, as to responding to "'Sup?" I have found it useful to remember what a young woman from North Carolina did, when we were out on the town. When someone annoyed her, she addressed the offender as "Chester"; this often seemed to have a galvanizing effect. In any event it amused everyone else in the vicinity, which was the sort of victory for which we often have to settle.

Second: am I really the last person in the Western Hemisphere without a mobile phone? Never mind all the aggravation of the phone itself, there are times when -- HA! -- nobody can reach me. That, my friends, is a priceless and beautiful thing.

9:22 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

You have my admiration and jealousy. I never wanted to have one of the fucking things until babies appeared in my life and i was required to carry the thing around in case 'something happened'. I'm sure things happened pre-mobile phones and it just got dealt with. Oh well.

9:34 pm  
Anonymous dave said...

ah yes... ms paradis. how could i forget

12:26 pm  
Blogger Shell said...

ohhhh you! I'm so broken-ribbed (again) from howling. How like a man ... how many manuals for everything are hurled over fences, over cliffs, buried in concrete wellies to ensure they cannot reveal THAT secret - the one that goes "he turned to page1, you know, he really did, ohhhhh yeah .. i got him good and proper ..."

This tale was BRILLIANTLY told yet again! Thank You!!

1:03 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

dave: I know.

Shell: You're making me do a blush.

8:08 pm  
Blogger Honey said...

"I could refer to the manual, but am not yet ready to taste those bitter ashes of defeat."
made me chortle outloud, it's a man thing.
but i am jealous that you have such a cool phone, mine does not even recognise phone numbers.. sigh

7:44 pm  
Blogger 4kids&adog said...


I did'nt have a phone until I had babies. I did manage quite well without one too.

11:53 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Honey: Thank you. Don't be jealous. It's only a fucking phone.

4Kids: I know. I managed JUST FINE and didn't ever annoy my friends by constantly clacking away at the frightful thing whilst they tried to speak to me.

8:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The correct response to "sup?" is, "oh no, thanks, I already ate."

Sis Baroque

1:40 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...


9:49 pm  

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