Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Test

We've been hemming and hawing about getting The Happy Wanderer a cellphone for emergencies. Emergencies such as Ma locking Dad out of the house. Ma is afraid of being alone in the house. She's convinced that men are going to break in. It's an old hold over fear from the time some twenty years ago when the Weebles home was broken into when the Weebles had gone to church. The house is now armed with deadbolts and medieval gate locks. You know a giant piece of timber held in place by iron brackets. When Dad goes out, Ma goes into lockdown with a speed that would astonish Iron Mountain. Screen doors are locked. Dead bolts are slid home. And because she's as deaf as a fence post, she doesn't always hear him ringing the doorbell like Quosimodo ringing the church bells or pounding on the door like Fred Flintstone. Wilmaaa! WilMAAAA!

Trouble is technology and weebles don't always go hand in hand. I field enough phone calls because "they don't give him his email" or how to print, without taking on how to work the cellphone.

Himself and I had talked about getting Dad the Jitterbug phone. Large buttons and one model has to have calls put through by an operator. It sounded like a perfect solution. The downside is the phone is expensive and then there is the cost of the monthly plan.

We were watching television the other night when an ad came on about Safe Link Wireless, a free cell phone program in our state if you received food stamps or receive a social security check. Our ears perked up. Free is good. I went online to check it out. Looked good. The phone is a Tracfone. You've seen them. You can buy airtime cards at places like Target or Walmart. Himself and the girls each have a cellphone. The phones are small and lightweight. Fairly easy to use.

On Christmas Day, Himself drove to pick the Weebles up. Himself usually calls me to let me know they have left the launch pad. This gives me time to adjust the meal preparation time or a last minute tidy. As expected, the phone rang and caller ID flashed Himself's cellphone number.

"Hi, Kid!"

"Hello? Hello?"

"Hi Dad!"

"Hello?" and then faintly "Where do I talk? Hello?"

We spent a pleasant holiday. The Brother made a surprise visit. The Weebles were thrilled. It was a good day.

Christmas night we were relaxing in front of the television.

"So, your phone test was an epic fail," I said to Himself.

"It was awful. Poor guy was in the back seat and I'm trying to give him directions to turn the phone on and get the phone directory. 'Push the red button. The red button.' When I heard the happy chimes that the phone was on I told him to press the round button and then to scroll down. ''Use the down arrow button to scroll through the directory. The down arrow. In the center.' I think he called your friend Teague."

We laughed.

"I guess the Tracfone isn't the way to go."

"Definitely not. I'm not even sure the Jitterbug is a good solution."


Erica Vetsch said...

We've had weeble/technology interface issues ourselves. It all started when the FIL got a digital watch in the 80's and it's gone downhill ever since.

Nutterone said...

One try and you call it failure? Jeesh... no teaching for you. Make picture explanation with step by step directions he can later follow... to practice. (is the teacher in me coming out? Aren't I on vacation?)