I’m a simple man. I’ve never been a technophile. Sure, I love fancy electronic gadgets, but I’ve never gotten caught up in attaining the latest and greatest. The mere fact that such gizmos become almost instantly obsolete has always been enough to scare me away. Heck, I was still clinging to my original Nintendo Entertainment System years after Sega Genesis had rendered even Super Nintendo obsolete.
Fast forward a few years and I was the first among my Northeastern posse to get a cell phone. It was the late 1990s and Bell Atlantic Mobile (BAM!), the precursor to Verizon (after all these years I’m still dumbstruck at what an awful name Verizon is), was still in effect. I never memorized my cell phone number, so I hardly ever received any calls. This also could have been due to the fact that I never mastered the art of distinguishing when the phone was powered on or off. I kept the phone for one year, made only a handful of calls with it, and then became fiercely anti-cell phone. It would be another four years before I broke down and decided to reluctantly join the 21st century. Make no mistake about the fact that those four years were joyous. I felt victorious every time I was successfully able to meet up with my friends without the benefit of a cell phone. Every successful 20th century attempt was another notch on my rotary dial telephone.
Now I find myself at the end of my original two-year contract with Sprint. I feel like a convict finally getting released from prison. I have all the options in the world in front of me and yet, like Red from Shawshank, I’m conflicted. Cingular? Verizon? Which phone? One-year contract? Two-year contract? How many minutes? I’m feeling an inordinate amount of stress over this decision. My brother-in-law, Bubba, already switched his service to Cingular a month or two ago. He knew I was shopping around and offered to answer any questions I might have. Well, after a couple of days’ worth of emails, Bubba retracted his offer and silently referred me to the web site.
Much like Red’s friend Andy, I feel like I’m in the midst of crawling through a half-mile of foul smelling shit. I just hope that what awaits me on the other side is as much of a relief as that small Mexican town was to Andy. Oh, and if you have any advice on my big decision, I’m all ears. And I promise not to abuse your generosity. Sorry Bubba.