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Sometimes, it can be ‘never ending’
JANE MAY BE FRETTING over her new Smartphone, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t got time to take swell photos like this one of two swans and their cygnets in Crawford County. No matter now high tech Jane may get, the local beauty and wildlife will always be able to ground her.

WEST FORK KICKAPOO - The person who said “never say never” should never had said it. More importantly, I, “Ms. I Don’t Use the Word Never, Ever,’ should know better than to say it.

After over 10 years of carrying on about why I’ll never own a smartphone, guess what? Ms. Big Mouth herself now owns one. Actually, mightown oneis more accurate. The unmasked-man at U.S. Cellular urged me and Dane not to pay off our newphones for 15 days, allowing us to change our minds.

Seeing as I’ve come close to a) tossing this new phone out the window; b) stomping on it with both feet; and c) throwing it at a brick wall with all my strength, it’s a good thing I don’t own it.

I’m in a Smartphone non-relationship, just like 12 years ago, when Dane and I first started seeing each other and I insisted we were “non-dating.” 

“Whatever that means,” as Dane would say.

It’s complicated. For starters, after we left U.S. Cellular, my smartphone became quite dumb. It simply did not work. Dane was driving and I was tapping everything that looked ‘tappable.’ Dane calmly maneuvered a u-turn. Back I marched, fully masked, into the store. 

“It stopped working,” I said, holding my phone in the air, so all the other customers thinking of getting a smartphone could see the stupidity of it.

I handed the smooth salesman my phone, while tap-tap-tapping it with dramatic flair to show it was dead-dead-dead. He flipped it over, swiped once with his finger, and it lit up like a Christmas tree in ... July.  

I mumbled something about how it would be smart if they made these phones with obvious front and back sides as I snatched it back, thanked him, and left.

Dane asked if the sales guy was able to fix my phone. Staring straight ahead, I answered, “He hates me,” while I explained the three tiny circles I thought were on,off, and sleepwere actually the camera.

When we finally got home, we thought it would be fun to sit with our matching phones and program them together. Within minutes, Dane was madder than I’d ever seen him and I was on the landline talking to my new friend, Mr. Salesman. He hates me even more after that call. 

It turns out there’s no reception at my house, no different than with my flip phone and worse now because of my new tin roof. How smart can this phone be?

Struggling to get my phone to turn on, I asked Dane, “Is it just Billy-Bob to turn on the phone or Billy-Bob and the other button?”

Dane looked sideways and said loudly in a way that made me realize he’s even crabbier than I thought, “It’s, B I X B Y, not Bill Bixby and not Billy-Bob, and you only hold down BIXBY to turn it on.” 

I was holding down old what’s-his-face and … nada. I decided to set my phone down and go out and play with the ducks. After all, the next day was the Fourth of July. I could try to turn on my phone tomorrow.

In the morning, no such luck. 

Thrilled that the store was open, but disappointed that my guy wasn’t there, I showed my phone to another salesman who seemed to know all about me and my phone problems. As he started tapping and swiping, I asked what he was doing but he obviously had no intentions of sharing his knowledge. I got the feeling he was crabby too, like Dane. Seems like everyone is crabby lately.

Because we took the pups hiking and swimming and later Dane I went out to photograph swans and flowers, it turned into a fun day. Leaving the phones at home was a smart plan.

But Monday rolled around and I needed my phone to call clients before I got to their houses. I couldn’t, for the life of me, answer my phone when it rang. I could see it was from a client and I could hear it ringing, but nothing I did allowed me to answer.

Frustrated, I drove to Dane’s on the way to work. I called his phone so he could show me how to answer, but he couldn’t. He was right next to me tapping, pushing in Bill Bob Bixby, pressing the green phone button over and over, but no luck. Man, was he crabby. So I said, “You call my phone and I’ll try.”

Dane called my phone, while I pressed everything with a light touch, with a heavy touch, and with two fast tap-tap touches but to no avail. Boy, was I crabby.

I was already late, so I grabbed my phone and headed out the door. When I got to my client’s house, she said, “I called you and canceled. You didn’t answer. I left a message.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’ve got a new phone. Could you take a minute to show me how to answer?”

She grabbed her phone and had me call it and I watched her swiftly swipe on the “call” button. Heck, swipe not tap. Swipe, swipe, swipe.

I told her I hope she feels better and I headed off for the next client.

‘Never’seems like a long time, but so does 15 days.