I Want A Carrier Pigeon

My cheap, ugly, scratched, “disposable” cell phone has died after more years of service than most vehicles can muster.  I’ve been without it a couple weeks (I’m a blogger without a cell phone… go figure).  It sucks.  I’ve reluctantly accepted that it’s damn near impossible to do business and travel in 2013 without a cell phone.

So I guess the bastards are getting some of my money.  I’ve been looking around the web for advice about replacing my broken piece of shit phone with an unbroken piece of shit phone.  Everything was ok… at first.

Then I decided to get one with capacity for an earpiece.  (Which is apparently the incorrect vocabulary.  It seems that only octogenarians and I use “earpiece”.  I’m refer to one those blue tooth hands free devices that make it look like hipsters are talking to the air in front of them while they step into open manholes.)

There is some sort of “if it saves one life” rule that if you hold a cell phone to your ear while driving a commercial truck, the cops punch you in the balls and ship you to Guantanamo.  I never talk on the phone while driving (privately or commercially).  Why?  Because I’m driving dammit!  However, should I, in a moment of weakness, answer a call while at the wheel of a dump truck I’m suddenly a terrorist.  My previous phone was so old that I couldn’t buy a “hands free” headset.  They probably made them once but I’d need to find an antique dealer in Botswana to get one.  (Scratch that… everyone in Botswana probably has a smart phone in their mud hut.)  With a new phone I might as well remove the legal liability (appearance of impropriety?) by getting an earpiece/headset/implant/matrix visualizer.

Once I typed the word “hand free” and unleashed Google, things got funky.  The universe attacked me with smart phone errata.  I’ve been stuffed down the rabbit hole by nerds with plungers.  Also companies that make money selling nothing on monthly payment plans smelled blood in the water.

This is precisely why I hate it when old but functional equipment breaks.  Now I have to ponder stuff that bores me; CMDA versus GSM, Android 4.0 versus 4.x, Bluetooth and/or 3GWifi, and lions and tigers oh my.

This isn’t to say I’m incapable of grokking CMDA versus GSM.  (I not a complete idiot.)  It’s just that I don’t give a rat’s ass about it.  Every second my brain is distracted by smart phones and the people that love them, God kills a kitten.  I like kittens.  (Though I hate cats.)

Surely there is a market niche for someone in cyberspace to service the low cost low care caller?  Someone who’ll identify a cheap phone that’ll meet my needs, write the number on the case phone in black marker, FedEx it, and then disappear from my life forever.

By the way, I did lay down a couple of ground rules that make it harder.  I use prepaid service.  Tracfone I believe.  Why?  Because I don’t do monthly plans for anything less important than a house (or when I’m desperate… a vehicle).  Also, I’ll die before I let an iDevice sully my truck cab.  I’m just sayin’.

I’m thinking I may have to go to WalMart and deal with Lakisha at the electronics department.  I’m not that desperate yet.  I might choose instead to become a sheepherder and join the Basques in Spain.  I’m pretty sure they’d let me borrow their smartphones once in a while and my dog loves guarding sheep.


Update:  I’m also looking for a small metal case for the phone.  It must be metal… because Faraday.  Remember the good old days when wondering if the Government was spying on you phone meant you were paranoid instead of correct?

Update 2:  I had to venture inside a WalMart.  It was horrible!  They were out of stock and the salesman seemed confused by the concept of a TracFone pre-pay as opposed to the “Pay A Monthly Bill Until You Die” approach that is apparently our patriotic duty.  They were sold out and some kid sneezed on my pant leg.  For the greater good of society I should have cracked the little cretin in the noggin.  Instead I fled.  I will order off the Internet and have a phone delivered by FedEx… after I take a bath in Lysol.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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5 Responses to I Want A Carrier Pigeon

  1. Divad says:

    You don’t have to go to Spain to herd with the Basques, there’s a lot of them herding in Idaho.

  2. Sofia Leo says:

    I braved the local CrapMart and bought one of their StraightTalk pre-pay phones. It’s not “smart” but it has a little keyboard thingy so I can text my son, who refuses to communicate any other way. I can take pictures and send them to people but I don’t because that shit is annoying. Set-up was accomplished online in the privacy of my own home because Lakisha pisses me off and I’m not an idiot. My particular model has a metal case that can be ordered online, too, although I prefer the pretty floral one I found at GoodWill. Good luck on your quest…

  3. Douglas2 says:

    If you look up PagePlus, you will find that they are a “Mobile Network Virtual Operator” like Tracfone, but using Verizon network instead of Sprint/AT&T. They will happily take $50 bucks to send you a phone that has everything you want plus a few odd features that you don’t, and take another $35 to send you the bluetooth earpiece — although the phone has a speakerphone function.
    If you look up local dealers you may find that one carries Pageplus phones and has lower-tech models than what are currently online.

    Like tracfone they sell top-ups in a variety of denominations. I like the $80 card that is available from their online authorized dealers like callingmart and Kitty Wireless. I like it because it gives me service for a whole year straight without thinking about the need to re-up my phone.

    If you know someone with an e911 capable non-smartphone Verizon phone that they are no longer using, you can just “activate” that phone for a small fee and begin.

    Works for me because I live in a region where Verizon coverage sucks much less than the coverage from the other carriers.

    As I said, I like it because the $80 “365 days of service/1000 minutes” card means I only need to add airtime annually, and I find the process of adding the airtime much easier than with Tracfone.
    I’ve got no relationship with them or the dealers except as a customer that they haven’t managed to piss off yet.

  4. jc2k says:

    I’ve found the best deal for tracfone to be Amazon. They buy the phones in bulk and sell them for cheaper than you can buy the minutes. http://www.amazon.com/Tracfone-Samsung-Slider-Triple-Minutes/dp/B0073FJ9OS/ref=sr_1_37?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1381155757&sr=1-37&keywords=tracfone+cell+phones (I swear this isn’t spam).

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