Kids, I'm going to tell you an incredible story: The story of how I met my cell phone.
Slut Daughter: Ugh, dad, I don't have time for this. I have dudes to bang.
Dumb Son: Derp dee derp. We being punished, dad? Derp.
No. This is a long, awesome story, so listen closely.
Slut Daughter: But Johnny's meeting me in 45 minutes, and he's paying me $700 (inflation). Then I meet with Kevin. I'm only charging him $250, but he's only requesting that I suck his...
Silence, whore! You must listen to my story because this is more important than anything you have to say. Thirty-five years ago, before I was dad to you useless idiots, I had this whole other life...
It was back in 2000. I was about to turn 18, close to graduating from high school. I was going to Six Flags Great Adventure with my friends Josh, Frank, Pat and Chris on Senior Cut Day. My life was good, until Pat went and screwed the whole thing up.
Pat: I lost the locker key.
Me: S***! My cell phone is in there.
See, kids, we didn't fancy gizmos like you have today. No teleportation machines to go from one place to another instantly; no holographic technology so you can be in multiple spots at once; no kielbasa sextant to measure what percentage USDA Man other guys are (sorry, Matt Millen). And no, whore daughter, the penis hadn't been cloned yet, so you couldn't have intercourse and give a guy head at the same time. We didn't even have cell phones, kids! Well, most of us didn't.
You see, kids, I was the only one of my friends with a cell phone at Six Flags that day. My dad had just given me one that very morning. "Call if you get stuck somewhere," he said. And no, I couldn't text him because that phone did not have texting capabilities like the Samsung Galaxy S4. Since no one else had a phone, the only thing I could literally do was call my dad or my friends' house numbers.
Anyway, we put that cell phone and our other belongings in the locker. Pat had the deepest pockets, so he placed the locker key in one of them. It must have fallen out while we were on one of the rides because it was no longer there when we were heading back to the lockers.
You'd think this would be a common issue, but Six Flags made us wait for two hours while they called the locksmith. I remember feeling like it took forever. The only bright spot was when Frank said something along the lines of, "When is the master of locks coming?" Everyone made fun of him for this because it sounded funny. Pat and Chris would go on to refer to the locksmith as the "lord of locks" and "emperor of locks" in jest.
The master of locks finally arrived. He opened our locker and - EVERYTHING WAS GONE! My cell phone was stolen the first day I ever had it.
And that, kids, is how I met my first cell phone.
Dumb Son: Gee, dad, that's a great story, derp dee derp.
Slut Daughter: Why would you tell us this? Just talk about the cell phone you're referring to.
Will you relax? I'm getting to it. Like I said, it's a long story...
Call-Only Phone No. 2:
My dad didn't trust me with another cell phone for a few years - even though it wasn't my fault that I lost it - but he finally gave me another chance. Sort of. The year was 2004 now, and he handed me another call-only phone. This was no longer top-of-the-line material; everyone had a cell with texting now. Some phones even had a camera like the Samsung Galaxy S4. Mine had a black-and-white screen with two buttons outside of the normal numbers: call and cancel. I was going to be so cool.
"You better not lose this," he said.
I didn't lose it, but I didn't have it for very long either. As it turns out, this phone was the worst thing that could have happened to me because I had to use it to talk to my girlfriend at the time. I liked talking to her initially, but she wanted to have a 3-hour conversations every night - she went to school about an hour and a half away from mine - and it got old very quickly. I would eventually play video games while on the phone with her, making sure I occasionally went "uh huh" and "OK cool" every couple of minutes or so. She did all of the talking, so it wasn't the worst thing in the world because I got to fire up my Playstation 2, but spending so much time holding my cell phone to my ear would give me headaches.
I walked this ex-girlfriend to her car at the end of one of her visits. It turned out that she parked in the wrong lot and had a $15 ticket on her windshield. The normal reaction to this would be "ah that sucks." What she did was appalling. She broke down and cried. She moaned and whined, and tears gushed out of her eyes. I offered to pay it, but she whimpered, "No, I have to do it! I have to do it!" She cried for 20 more minutes, and that's when I decided that I had to end this relationship.
The thing is, I couldn't really end it. My phone fell apart, and I didn't have her number - it was only saved in the phone - so I couldn't call her from my house number. She didn't try to contact me either, so the relationship just ended - all because my phone broke.
Again, this wasn't my fault, and my dad even understood it this time. You see, kids, this was the same model as the other phone. It had been used by many people over the past six years, so it was on the brink of falling apart. My dad was fine with it; he just wanted to see that I could keep a phone without losing it, so he bought me a new one...
First Flip Phone:
Kids, in 2005, flip phones were a hot commodity. Everyone had one, and if you didn't, you weren't allowed to sit at the cool kids' table. This phone could text and take pictures, and the screen even had colors like the Samsung Galaxy S4!
Unfortunately, the camera got me into trouble. My friends and I began drinking at 2 p.m. on the final day of Senior Week - the day before graduation - so as you can imagine, I was completely hammered by the time the bars closed at 2 a.m.
My friends wanted to go to McDonald's, which was right down the block. I didn't want anything there - I was waiting on pizza, which was on the way back to the dorm - so I just sat down while my friends ordered. I looked at them in line, and something immediately caught my eye. There was a girl standing there with the shortest shorts I've ever seen in my life. They were so short that her a** was completely hanging out of them.
My friend Nick sat down, and I told him to look at it. I then drunkenly muttered something like, "Thiisisss beeesstt niiiiighthtt eeevvuurr I goottssss taaakkee piccctuuree nnnnn sshoooww eeeverryooonneee." In my drunken state, I thought snapping a picture of that girl's a** and then sending it to all of my contacts was a good idea. It was hanging out for everyone to see, after all.
Kids, what I did that night would eventually incite a riot at that McDonald's. And you can read all about it when I publish Jerks on My Floor, which is a collection of Jerks of the Week-type entries from my college years.
Slut Daughter: What? You're going to make us buy the book?
Yeah. I'll even autograph it for you. For $200, that is.
Slut Daughter: I don't want your stupid autograph!
Shut up, skank, and buy my freaking book! Now, where was I? Oh yeah, the flip phone. It was probably the second-best phone I had ever owned, but my dad was adamant to give me an advanced cell after I graduated Penn State in the spring of 2006. I wasn't going to decline his offer, but perhaps I should have...
My dad bought me a RAZR after I graduated. It looked extremely cool. It was incredibly thin, and it had a sleek screen and shiny buttons. Unfortunately, the phone itself was a piece of crap when it came to reception. I couldn't get service anywhere, which is the opposite of the Samsung Galaxy S4. I always had to go outside - even when I was in my own house. That was so ridiculously annoying.
It was even more frustrating when I got my first job. I became a loan officer in January 2007. That didn't last very long because the job sucked. It didn't help that my bosses were a**holes either. One, a fat, old Jewish man named Goldy, locked himself in his office for most of the day. I suspected that he was jerking off to porn this entire time, but I eventually came to realize that he had no idea how to use the computer. The other, a guy in his early 30s named Adam, was a complete dick. He would tell me what to say to customers, and I'd do it - I even began writing it down, word for word - and he would yell at me after the call, saying that I did it completely wrong.
I'll have more on these incompetent idiots in Jerks on My Floor - their company folded months after I stopped working there - but I'm bringing them up now because of the RAZR. You see, kids, I worked at this company with Josh, but he quit before I was let go. He called me up to tell me this, but I couldn't understand him.
Josh: Hey, I don't think I'm ... I'm ... I can't ... I just don't want ... I'll see...
Josh: I said I ... not coming ... going to ... go back ...
This went on for 10 minutes until he got so frustrated that he hung up the phone. I figured I'd just talk to him about it at work, but he never showed up. I later learned that he was trying to tell me that he was not coming into work anymore because he quit.
That very same day, I got my first promising lead. This woman Pauline wanted to refinance, so after three weeks of failure and endless cold calls, I was finally going to get a nice commission. Adam was still a dick - he said something like, "I didn't think you could do it, but you proved me wrong!" - but I didn't care. I was only working on $300 per week base salary, but a mortgage commission would be anywhere between five and 10 grand.
I gave Pauline my cell number, and she called me the following morning when I was on the train. As you can guess, I couldn't hear her very well.
Pauline: Hi! I was able to ... copy of my ... can't wait to... refinance!
Pauline: I said I ... mortgage statement ... good deal ... refinance!
Me: What? I can't hear you!
Pauline: Hello? Hello?
Dead silence. Still though, there was enthusiasm in her voice, so I figured all would be fine when I called her from the office phone. I did this the first thing when I sat down at my desk, but she didn't answer. I tried back a few hours later and left a message. I didn't hear back from her. I tried the next day, and nothing again. Same the following day, and the day after. I never heard from Pauline ever again.
My commission was gone - and all because of my stupid RAZR. Had I never upgraded, I could have made some money on that refinance. But it's a good thing I didn't because A) I was let go for sucking (no sales in six weeks!) and B) I was finally convinced that I had to buy a phone that actually let me hear my conversations.
I'll never forget the first day I met my Juke. It was a hot summer day in July. I went downtown to the Verizon store because Josh worked there. He said he'd get me a great deal on this phone I would love, and he was right. I was instantly sold on it. It was love at first sight.
It was, at times, a long, difficult road. But I'm glad it was long and difficult because if I hadn't gone through hell to get there, the lesson might not have been as clear. You see, kids, right from the moment I met my cell phone, I knew I had to love this cell phone as much as I can, for as long as I can, and I can never stop loving it; not even for a second. I carried that lesson through every stupid call I ever received, every 8 a.m. alarm sound, every football Sunday afternoon; through every speed bump, every pang of jealousy or boredom, or uncertainty that came my way. I carried that lesson with me.
And I carried it with me when the Juke started to break. Even then, in what can only be called the worst of times, all I could do was thank God. Thank every God there is, or ever was, or will be, and the whole universe, and anyone else I can possibly thank.
When I saw that awesome cell phone in that Verizon store, I had the guts to buy it, open my wallet, hand the credit card to Josh, and buy it.
And that, kids, is how I met my cell phone.
Slut Daughter: That's it?
Slut Daughter: No, I don't buy it. That is not the reason you made us listen to this.
Oh, what's the reason then?
Slut Daughter: Let's look at the facts here: You made us sit down and listen to how you met your cell phone, yet the Juke is hardly in the story. No. This is a story of how you're totally in love with the Samsung Galaxy S4. And you're thinking about keeping it and using its voice-to-text feature all the time, even when there are lots of people in the room and it's rude to talk into your cell phone.
I can't believe this. I kept this story short, and to the point, and you guys still missed it! The point of this story is...
Slut Daughter: Is that you totally love your Samsung Galaxy S4!
No, I don't!
Slut Daughter: Yes, you do!
Dumb Son: Derp dee derp dee derp.
Slut Daughter: You totally love the Samsung Galaxy S4!
Dumb Son: Derp dee derp dee doo.
You're grounded too!
Dumb Son: Doo doo wah wah.
Even if I did love this Samsung Galaxy S4, I have you two to think about. You guys are so used to seeing me in pictures with my Juke, and hearing all of the stories about the Juke...
Slut Daughter: Come on, dad. The Juke's been gone for 21 years now. It's time...
Maybe you're right... Wow, how did I raise such a smart daughter?
Slut Daughter: Because I'm the best! Sooo... can I have that orgy in the basement that I've been asking for this weekend?
Dumb Son: Derp dee doo dee derp?
Shut up, fool, you're still grounded!
Dumb Son: Derp doo wah wah.
Hold on, I have to do something completely nonsensical that will really piss off my audience.