Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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November 19, 2013

John Cannon: Still stuck in last century: 11/20/13

ASHLAND — I continue to prove time and again just what a difficult time I am having leaving the 20th century.

Recently, my wife and I needed to make a few important phone calls while en route to Lexington. Since she was driving, she handed me her iPhone and asked me to make the calls.

Big mistake. I am extremely uncomfortable with iPhone and have yet to master texting.

Wanting to call her sister in Nebraska, my wife said: “Type in Peggy and her number should come up.”

“Nothing happened,” I said after obeying her instructions.

“Look at what you typed,” the love of my life said. “Maybe you missed a letter.”

I did as she suggested and immediately replied, “No, I did not miss a letter. I missed five letters.”

“Five letters!” my wife exclaimed. “You only had to type six letters and two of them were the same. How could you possibly make five mistakes?”

“I don’t know,” I confessed. “I guess it’s just a gift I have. I can’t type on iPhones. The letters are too small. That’s why I don’t text.”

“I thought you didn’t text because you think it is dangerous,” she said.

“Oh, it is when you are driving, and it’s also against the law,” I said. “But since I am not driving, it is not so dangerous, but it still is difficult to hit all the right letters when they are so tiny. My fingers are too fat for texting.”

“Your son-in-law is much bigger than you are and his fingers are fatter, and he texts from his iPhone all the time,” she replied.

“Well, he must be more nimble than I am,” I said. “But I just can’t do it. “

“OK, let’s try it this way,” my wife said. “Do you see that little microphone at the bottom?”

I said that I did.

“Push on it and say, ‘Bud’s phone,’” she said. “His number should come up.”

Bud is my brother-in-law, Peggy’s husband.

I did as she said, but instead of “Bud’s phone,” the stupid iPhone thought I had said, “Bug’s phone.”  

“Try again,” my wife suggested when I told her what had happened. “Only say it slower.”

Again I followed her instructions.

“This time it thinks I said, ‘But phone.’”

I found that humorous, because I occasionally get calls from my 18-year-old granddaughter she did not intend to make. Instead, she had somehow moved or sat in such a way that she had pushed the quick-dial number for Peepaw on her cellphone in her back pocket. She calls those unintentional calls, “Butt calls.”  

“Maybe it thinks I want to call Aryssa instead of Bud,” I told my wife.

Convinced I would never be able to make a simple phone call to either her sister or brother-in-law, my wife pulled off Interstate 64 at the next exit, grabbed her iPhone from my hand and not only called her sister but also several other people our list of folks to call.

That being done, she began to return to the nearby interstate.

  “Don’t you want me to hold your phone in case we get any calls?” I asked.

“Why?” she replied. “If we did, you would just panic and we’d still miss the call.”

I said nothing because I knew she was right.

“Remember in the old days when car phones were as big or bigger than the phones in your house?” I asked.

“Vaguely,” she said, “But that was way back in the 1980s.”

“Well, I wish they were still that big,” I said.

“If they were I am sure you would still find a way at being inept at using them,” she said.

In defense of my lack of electronic skills, I must say I can use my cellphone in the car and can make calls from it. However, I still don’t like to use it when driving. I mention this only to say I am not completely inept with modern technology. Just mostly.

JOHN CANNON can be reached at (606) 326-2649.

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