A couple of weeks ago I snapped my phone in half. It was bound to happen eventually — we live in an age where we are always tethered to some piece of expensive technology that isn’t necessarily designed to last forever. We’re expected to pump dollar after dollar into the machine. I don’t really mind doing this because I am a bit of a tech-whore. I love exciting new crap and there is exciting new crap every day. This is why it’s fun to be alive here in the “future”! But, I don’t have any money. That’s also the sad part. These things we need — computers, cell phones, personal massagers — they are no longer frivolous luxuries. If you lose your phone or your computer, then you lose your connection with the world!
So, I get the phone and it’s pretty swank. This is good because I’m contractually obligated to keep it for 15 years. Unfortunately all the phone numbers I’d collected don’t make the transition when I switch out the SIM card. Who remembers phone numbers anymore? I know my Ma’s number, my Grandma’s number and Papa John’s. That’s all. I needed to refill the numbers. So, I did something I vowed I’d never do: I went back to Facebook.
As you may or may not remember, I left this den of ignorance and procrastination months ago in order to concentrate on writing and furthering my career and seeing naked ladies. While I missed the many informative questionnaires comparing myself to fictional characters or the many useful and necessary groups, club, and petitions that circulated through my inbox, I felt that I’d outgrown it all sometime around my 13th birthday so walked away. But I actually thought that this time, during my hour of need, Facebook could redeem itself in my eyes. I thought that I could pop onto the accursed thing and simply ask my friends for their phone numbers. They’d say “Oh, it’s our old pal J’Mel! Sure, I’ll give you my number again! Call me when you want some pie!” and all would be well.
But, as my mother has often said, “That would be too much like right.” That solution was too simple and logical to actually happen!
I went onto Facebook and more or less posted this simple message... “J’Mel snapped his phone in half. Please send your phone numbers to my e-mail. Thank you.”
Now I’m sure that you there, reading this — I’m assuming alone — can see that this was a completely logical and simple request. I’m sure that if I asked you, personally, to tell me your phone number because I’d lost it you’d give it to me immediately, and I’d call you and we’d have pie. But any simple task filtered through the hive-mind of uselessness that is Facebook becomes an exercise in futility.
Let’s assume that out of the 141 “friends” I had on Facebook, I had half of their numbers. That’s 70 people. Let’s say that out of those 70 people, only half of them logged in during the eight hours I had the message posted. That’s 35 people. Perhaps 10 of these people didn’t see the post. So, 25 people saw that I’d lost their phone numbers. But since what I was asking for was a rational and logical thing, 23 of the people didn’t know how to respond. Two people actually responded to my simple plea and, God bless them, they were two people who didn’t get lost in the great phone break. So that means that absolutely 0 phone numbers were retrieved. Zilch.
To be fair, I did receive some responses. “Look who’s come crawling back to Facebook!” and “Welcome back!” and “How did you break your phone?” and my absolute favorite response “I think that my number is on my profile page,” which took twice as long to type as actually typing the phone number. It was a principal call, I guess.
I’m not here to call names or to talk badly about these people- they’re still my friends. I simply chalk it all up to the Facebook way of thinking, which is, the more useful or helpful or unique the activity, the less likely it is that it will be attempted.
At the end of the day all this adds up to is this: there are now about 70 people that I will never call again. As Corky Thatcher sang each week, “Life goes on...”
Upon sitting down at a recent picture show, a loyal fan recognized me and asked if I’d be writing about the movie. “Not if it’s good,” I answered. Reviews about good films are sort of boring. You really have to have a low opinion about some flick to bang out 1,500 entertaining words about it. Plus, you people don’t want to read about things I like anyway. You want to see the despair. You want to swim around in my ire like Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money bin. You bastards. Love you, too!
So, this isn’t about the film because the film (Drag Me to Hell) was awesome. This is about the film experience. Those of you who are long-term readers know that I love going to the movies but I hate people that disrespect the experience by talking on phones, texting and worst of all, bringing their babies into the theatre!
The rule is and will always remain, have a baby and you can’t see movies. If you must come to the theatre, GET A SITTER. I still find it amazing that some people are so selfish that they are willing to ruin the evenings of 200 people because they don’t believe in the rhythm method.
Twenty minutes into the film a family with a baby enters. Immediately I begin to get angry because I know babies and they don’t like darkened, loud places. If they did, then there’d always be babies at the strip club, crying and ruining the mood. Of course, 10 minutes after they enter, the baby starts crying. But it was almost worth it this time, because she was immediately yelled at by the awesome guy sitting behind me.
“Are you serious!?” he said. “Take your baby out of the theatre!”
“I’m fixing to!” the woman replied.
“Then, ‘fixing to’ faster!” he quickly and angrily replied.
You could physically feel the entire audience mentally high-five each other and cheer.
It was hilarious, but necessary. She was wrong. You don’t bring your six-month-old to a nighttime showing of a horror movie. I can think of no exceptions to this rule. So again, kudos to the guy that took control of the situation and saved the film for us while making fun of the woman’s broken English in the process.
You’re the real patriot, sir. You’re the hero.
Stories by J’Mel Davidson appear in every issue of Birmingham Weekly. Write to email@example.com