web analytics

Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Phones That Do Everything

Once upon a time, cell phones were used to make important calls: I’ll be late, please bring home some milk, I have a flat tire, etc. Nowadays, the call function has become an incidental issue, a side benefit.

The phone takes photos, sends texts, works as an alarm clock, and tells you where all the highway speed traps are. The phone teaches numerous languages and offers the complete works of Shakespeare. It can scan grocery items’ barcodes, and tell you where to buy the product for less.

None of this impresses me, except for recently when we were in a shoe store, looking for stylish flats for Mashenka. The prices were nowhere to be found. Paying $250 for a twelve-year-old’s spectator ballet flats was not on my radar, and definitely not on my phone.

“Where are the prices marked?” I am irked at the thought of having to corral a sales clerk and ask about each pair we plucked from display.

He chuckles, my man-about-town.

“There’s an app for that,” he winks, scanning the shoebox with his phone, and receiving the price instantly.

Okay, that was helpful, I’ll admit. My husband, though, is beyond mesmerized.

Someone has told him that there’s an application to change traffic lights from red to green.

“Isn’t that what we call ‘anarchy’? Don’t you think everyone would want to change the lights at their whim, too? Can you say ‘ambulance’?  I shoot a withering look in his direction.

Upon further investigation, he’s dismayed to learn that the traffic light transformer doesn’t work. Society is a safer place.

“A level,” he holds up the phone one day as we’re visiting his brother-in-law, the bubble gliding side to side, as though he’s suddenly a bonafide building contractor.

“Brilliant,” the BIL replies, making a note of this fantastic feature.

A girlfriend shows me her cat’s close-up photo on her phone. He just died and I find myself virtually petting his fluffy face and purring pleasantries while she weeps beside me. The photo-phone helps us say our goodbyes to a good, old, feline fellow whose only shortcoming was that he was a cat.

Petya decides to go fishing, somehow synonymous with the Russian soul and deep-running, icy rivers. I must have missed that growing up, and now have an aversion to eclectic establishments offering Espresso and Live Bait. We are in the midst of summer’s heat and five of them wish to head to the ocean, battling mosquitoes piercing any inch of exposed skin and crabs grabbing at submerged toes, to which I respond, “Bon Voyage. Petya conspires with his father, my non-fishing husband always happy to please, as they hunch over the i-Phone and giggle like little old ladies.

“Papa says there’s an app for that,” my son says excitedly.

“A tide chart,” Benedetto whispers in awe, as though this city-dweller were now Captain Ahab.

He can send and receive faxes, and all of his supermarket courtesy cards are currently uploaded onto his phone (or is that downloaded?). It’s all beyond me. While waiting anywhere, he peruses the Bible, or volumes of Sherlock Holmes. He rarely has time to answer the phone any more.

“Did you ever know how Holmes and Dr. Watson became investigatory partners?” he tries to wow me one morning in the car.

“Umm, no. Could you microwave this?” I hand him my cooled-off coffee. “And while you’re at it, get the satellite going. I need to beam a live feed to Istanbul,” I add.

“There are limits,” he huffs. “You really need to learn what a phone can do these days.”

“As long as it can clean the house, bathe the dogs, and hem the kids’ pants, I’m in.”

There must be an app for that.

———

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,