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Views from the Veranda: Cell phones who needs them?

I experienced a major trauma in my life last night and I'm now in a quandary. Some things we are equipped to handle better than others. This is a quality of lifer for me. The problem? My cell phone is about to give up the ghost and I have to make a major decision about replacing it. Now, I know that for some of you technology geeks that would be almost like Christmas getting to pick among the toys. For me? Just try to remember the worst toothache you ever had and double the pain. As Fred Sanford, the junk tycoon on Sanford and Son, used to say, this may be “the big one.”

I don't like modern technology and I especially dislike the so-called advancements in cell phones. Those which are modern today will be like yesterday's newspaper this time next week. My 10-year-old granddaughter who can send and receive a thousand messages with photos on her fancy phone every five minutes has no idea what a fax machine is. This time last month, I couldn't operate a fax and I still don't understand how it all works.

I have owned this phone for the past three years. Same phone, I just charge the battery now and then. It does all that I need for it to do. When it rings, I answer. When I need to make a call and can control my large fingers to touch the right numbers, I call. I neither want nor need it to do anything else except be quiet. But, now the old fellow is dying and I have a decision to make.

I stopped in at the Sprint store this morning to look at the choices. The nice young man working there knew he had a problem when I began by asking if he had a cell phone with a rotary dial. His smile disappeared and the conversation went downhill in a hurry. He began by inquiring how I used the phone. I didn't know there was more than one way. When I told him that when it rings I answer it, I noticed that he began to perspire and a crowd started to gather. He asked if I needed Wi-Fi and I said no and that I also don't need a television. Now, he is in a full sweat. In a voice growing feebler as he spoke, he inquired if I need to get emails on my phone. I told him no. That's why I have a computer, but I don't like it much either. At that point, I think it was probably Russian that he was speaking so I decided to wait until later and try a different tactic. He was shaking his head and looking for a chair as I left.

So, here I sit with a phone that may or may not work the next time I get a call. If you have any suggestions, I'm open to them but don't call, just write and be sure to use English I can understand. In the meantime, I'm going to the veranda.


Y'all have a good day.

Jerry Sailors is a columnist and public speaker.

He can be contacted at

Posted on: 11/13/2012


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