If you felt a disturbance in the Force this past weekend, that was Jay Bell, my good friend from “Bradenton-Fun-in-the-Sun-Baby-Florida.”
“Morris. Morris. Morris,” he said. “I’m calling from a landline. Can you believe it? My cellphone died. All my contacts? Gone. You’re lucky I had your number saved in this phone. Must’ve done that 10 years ago.”
By nature, the Jaybird is a social animal who needs to be in touch. I immediately understood the gravity of the situation.
(He was wildly upset, but the Mighty Daily Journal is a family newspaper. For an idea of his true feelings, insert one naughty word for every four regular words.)
“I stood in line three hours at the phone store,” he said. “Guess what they told me?”
“Your phone is dead?”
“I’m serious, Morris.”
“You’re right. Sorry about that. You were at the store …”
“And they tell me if my phone had quit a week earlier I would’ve gotten a new one. My year was up, they said. So I said, ‘How come my year’s up when I’ve got a two-year contract? I know it’s the company’s policy – not your fault – but why am I paying $8.95 a month for insurance if there’s no replacement?’”
“How’d they respond?” I said.
“They tried to upsell me another phone,” he said.
If it’s something important, like a trip to a strip club or dog track, Jay will plop down whatever cash it takes for a good time. In fact, the day his phone died he eased his sorrows by losing more than $100 at a dog track in Sarasota.
“Didn’t win a single race,” Jay Bell said. (My earlier note about language applies doubly here.) “I could’ve gotten an iPhone 5 with that.”
To Jay’s way of thinking, he should’ve been able to spend that money at the track because his phone shouldn’t have died.
I’m 90 percent sure I would’ve taken the upsell and gone home to play with my new iPhone 5, but I respect Jay Bell’s approach.
His friend had an idle iPhone 3, so he activated it.
“For free,” he said, as though he was both happy and angry about it.
“You could send your HTC phone to the manufacturer,” I said. “Maybe they’ll fix it.”
“That’s a thought,” he said.
Until then, he’d dealt with a service provider that didn’t care which phone he used, as long as he kept paying.
A day later, he called again.
“Morris. Morris. Morris,” he said, bubbling over with excitement. “They’re going to send me a new phone. For free. The Jaybird talked ‘em into it.”
“Great news,” I said. “You should go to the dog track to celebrate.”
“Can’t do it, Morris,” he said. “I’ve got to find my other contacts. I can’t be stuck talking to you all the time.”
M. SCOTT MORRIS is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.