Monday, October 23, 2006

S.W.A.K.

Hollywood is a town where people are always out of work and yet no one is ever home. Among cell phones, voice mail, Treos, answering services, answering machines, three-way calling, call-forwarding and Spanish speaking maids, I can usually find someone, although the maids just say ‘Meesis no home’ over and over until I’m forced to hang up. But I’m starting Spanish lessons and soon I’ll be able to tell them to fuck off before I hang up. And believe me, those will be the first two words I learn.

I have a friend in the Midwest who doesn’t have a cell phone, an answering machine or voice mail. But she assures me she can make blackberry pie when I bring up the eponymous PDA. I yell at her all the time to get something that takes a message but she says technology is going too fast and she longs for a simpler time. Yes, for god’s sake, let’s get out the butter churn, throw it into the covered wagon and head over to the quilting bee.

What is she really missing? Texting? That’s as gay as it gets. You’re already on a phone, people. Dial.

PDAs? I got an email from a friend in NYC who had picked up my email to her and was returning it five minutes later from the # 6 Lexington Avenue subway. Was I awaiting her decision to give me a kidney? Lend me a million dollars? No, I was just asking her how she was.

Caller I.D.? I didn’t mind *69 which was great for trapping people who lied about calling, including me. But the *82, the *62, not to mention all the ones I can’t remember, what kind of control freaks have we become? I once starred when I should have pounded and my friend Metia looked at me horrified.
“Now he’s going to know you called because you didn’t STAR it, you POUNDED it.”
“Hey, pound this; I just wanted to know if he was home tonight, that’s all. And he wasn’t.”
“What if he’s home having sex and not answering his phone?”
“Fuck.”

The ubiquitous cell phone? I miss the days when I was bothered by someone’s chirping pager going off ten feet across a room. For seven seconds. The instruction book for my cell phone has eighty-four pages. It might actually dust and do dishes, but I wouldn’t know since I’m not about to read those eighty-four pages anytime soon.


And finally, the home phone as corporate grift. I have MCI, which is hooked up to my Delta Frequent flier program and I get five miles for every dollar spent. If I call Shanghai every day for six years, I’ll get a round trip ticket to Cleveland. And if I use MCI’s online service, I get one dollar off per month on my bill, but there goes sixty free miles a year on Delta because you have to choose one or the other. I could always fly American, which long ago merged with T.W.A., thereby boosting my frequent flier mileage to just one hundred and thirty-six miles under the twenty-five thousand miles required for a free trip. But for just one hundred and twenty-five dollars I can still turn them all in and get a round trip ticket from San Francisco to Berkeley or hook the phone line up to Blockbuster’s new program so I can get one out of every four DVD rentals free. Only I hate DVD’s because I don’t care what went on behind the scenes during filming, what scenes didn’t make the final cut and the alternate endings that the studio hated but the director loved. I never want to hear what M. Night Shyamalan has to say about anything at anytime unless he explains why his middle name is ‘Night’. Yes, I know I don’t have to watch those special bonus features but what was wrong with VHS again?

Maybe I’ll stop yelling at my friend in the Midwest and just write her a letter.


End of chat.

9 comments:

  1. Just write her a what, now? I always love the concept of writing letters, but it has been so long that now my hand immediately cramps up upon holding a pen.
    Will reply to your hysterical email (love the pictures, but not enough of you. Oops, did that sound creepy?); as soon as I read it last night my daughter began vomitting and has not stopped. Am pretty sure you had nothing to do with it, though. xox

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Creepy: I have made many people vomit over the years so it sounds logical that I might have had something to do with your daughter's throwing up. Maybe she's seen my work?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why IS his middle name Night?

    Hmmm...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Because the M. stands for a name in a language that no one understands, much less can pronounce?

    Because Day was taken by Sandra O'Connor? Because Afternoon would just sound retarded?

    ReplyDelete
  5. The thing is, though : he can use whatever name he wants, if you ask me. He's hot.
    D."Midday" Creepy
    p.s. Daughter has not seen your work, but you somehow managed to give her a fever as well!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why on earth would you ever want to go to Berkeley?

    The funny thing is I never send anything via the post office. I pay bills online. I sent something via postal mail two weeks ago, and it never arrived. The postal service keeps complaining because they are having to haul less mail. How about maybe getting the mail we send though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The last paragraph made me laugh out loud. Could this frequent flier crap be any more complicated? You're hilarious, Suz.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous11:31 AM

    I love my mail lady, she brings me my stuff from e-bay.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Suzy, you are getting quite the fan base. This blogging thing ain't half bad.

    ReplyDelete