Back To The Future

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - October 22, 2008
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How many times have you or someone you know said, “I don’t know what we used to do before we had cellular phones.” Well, I can tell you, because for the last week I literally went without one because mine broke. While our company pays for my service, I purchased the actual phone on my own. That’s because I’m kind of particular as far as my phone is concerned, and I am willing to spend a few of my own dollars to have a “cooler” phone. Some years ago, when the price of a gallon of gas was low enough for me to buy a V8 Sport Dodge Ram truck, I decided to buy a slick cell phone.

That habit followed me to when I bought the one that just broke. While it’s not a Vertu, it’s a higher-end Nokia. I’ve seen them used in Jerry Bruckheimer movies and on HBO’s Entourage. My wife chided me when I first got it because it cost more than our family budget usually allows.

Of course, you only live once, and since I constantly use a cell phone, I decided I was going to get the one I wanted. Well, fast-forward to last week when I accidentally dropped the phone, shearing the metal stop on the slider. Consequently, every time I answered my phone, it would hang up.

Like everyone else, we’re watching every penny, so I couldn’t just run out to get a satisfying replacement. I found if I cup the phone just right, I could answer it without losing the call. Of course, the closure spring still worked, so if I loosened my grip the phone would slam shut.

I think it was maddening for people who called me as 99 percent of the time I ended up losing the call. It was especially frustrating for my wife, who will not have anyone hang up on her regardless of the reason. Out of desperation, I figured out a way to make it work - McGuyver-style, that is.

I found a thick blue rubber band on my assistant’s desk and used it to hold the slide in place. It wasn’t pretty, but it kind of worked. That bought me time to seek out the right replacement and save enough money to buy it.

When my wife first saw my jury-rigged phone, she teased me, saying, “Look at Mr. Cool now.” That didn’t bother me. But one day when I was with my 11-year-old daughter and her friends, I pulled out my phone to answer a call. This was in front of a generation that is cell phone concentric, and later my daughter exclaimed, “Dad, don’t ever do that again!” I guess that was the modern-day equivalent of my dad showing up with a piece of rope holding up his pants instead of a belt.

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