Saturday, October 2, 2021



What! I looked at the phone and it looked at me, broken and shattered like a mute parable of the state of our nation. Seriously, what isn't broken right about now. Our governance, borders, elections, finance, and all that it is to come together as a country; who we are as a nation?

Shattered glass aside, I went into the T Mobile shop to get a fix for the phone I'd foolishly dropped the night before, "I need a new phone, this one's glass is shattered like the state of Union itself."

Bonnie Blue

Of course they could have got right on it but here's the thing, I was invisible to their system, off grid. No kidding, no IMEI, no social, no name, no nothing, the manager wasn't even allowed, by the system, to access my account. "What do you actually do?" he asked, "That," I replied, "is a very good question."

We looked at each other in a moment of understanding. "Look, man, all I want to do is sell you a phone, at the right price." I thought for a moment, "Yes, that's what I want too, we think as one." And we did.

Sure, it took a while, but in that time we talked of late antiquity, the ruins of Rome in the 6th century, Detroit, architecture as a reflection of the soul of a nation and how we're sadly wanting in that regard, and so much more besides.


As time went interminably call-center on I amused myself by marching about the store and saluting, Brit style, various icons, images of phones. "Eyes Left!" Quite the drill movement, to say nothing of about turn on the march and let me tell you, all were impressed. As in open order, right dress! Ahem.

Militarist gymnastics over I checked out with a brand new nicely discounted phone, and learned that the manager of the shop's cousin(?) was a Captain and that his store associate had just left Ft. Hood after 4 years of service. 

She told me, "I cried when I left." She loved Ft. Hood and the Army and has serious disabilities to contend with. "I will pray for you," I offered, and meant it wholeheartedly. 

What a good store. I love these people and wish them well. By the left.

Your Old Friend,



LL said...

I'm sorry for the demise of your old phone and happy that you have a new one in your tale of death, resurrection, and Ft. John Bell Hood.

Kid said...

Does this mean the country is gonna be OK now? I sure hope so. Otherwise let's crack this freak show good and get on with the restoration, hoping we find competent personnel at the shop.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Being clumsy by nature plus a fumbling senior, my phone and tablets are heavily up armoured.

SgtBob said...

Interesting that Probyn's Horse is now a unit of the Pakistan army.

Ed Bonderenka said...

See, here's the thing.
The phone breaking was a good thing.
You would never have met the captain otherwise.
God ordained this.
That, and you getting a new phone.
How can you be that off-grid with a smart phone though?

LSP said...

Thanks, LL, it was a curiously good time and a welcome opportunity to polish off drill movements, albeit dismounted. And as you note, a sermon in itself. At T Mobile. There's a lesson in that, I think.

LSP said...

Kid, I hope so too, I really do, but I fear the cheese has slid off the cracker. We're in deep mendacious clownland.

LSP said...

You're wise, Mr. WSF. I should've taken a leaf out of that very same book. Expensive drop, dammit.

LSP said...

Kid, that's a really good question and it utterly baffled the shop manager, and me.

What had happened was that my account was so ancient that it lived in a kind of NULL SPACE, unseen, inaccessible to new systems search.

Yes, I liked that, but had to have a new phone, which meant becoming visible to our tech overlords. For now.

LSP said...

I know, Sgt.!

They kept the best units, I think. And they fought against each other in the '60s -- Probyn's v. Skinner's etc.

Do you remember 45's visit to India, with all the Lancers and Gurkhas? I think it was Delhi, at the old Residency. The Raj still lives, in a way. I love that.

Anonymous said...

Too late now but two technical points for future reference.
1. The shattered phone can actually be repaired, the glass screen is replaceable.
(Any tech geek can do it easily but the carrier has no financial incentive to do anything other than sell a new phone, so they don't generally train their staff to do repairs.)
2. The anonymity of the ancient account can be retained by buying an unlocked phone and moving the SIM card from old phone to new phone.
(Almost anyone can do this themselves, just make sure the unlocked phone is compatible with your carrier's network.)

Good story though. I had a similar experience with my old phone about a dozen years ago, but I didn't salute, I just started singing, until they rushed me out of there to spare the other customers.

LSP said...

Anon, I know, and thanks for the tips.

I usually buy unlocked phones etc but here's the thing. This little beast was SO SMASHED and there was nowhere to fix it outside of Dallas so I had to fix the prob here, in this country town. That meant a new phone, dammit.

But yes, good call on all counts.