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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Be Nice" App

I bit the bullet and did something I rarely do: I bought a cellphone, brand new, from the dumb orange store. You know, as opposed to used, and from E-bay. Not only is the phone new, it's a BlackBerry. Because I am twelve, I call it my "DingleBerry." Welcome back to seventh grade. Schdork. We've got just enough time for your noogie before math class.

My DingleBerry is more phone than I could ever need. More phone than is prudent or appropriate or reality-based. There is BlackBerry App World, and the AT&T AppCenter. I don't know what the difference is, and I am petrified to download an app from either. Even a free one. Besides, I'm sure the free ones blow. There is nothing free that is remotely interesting or engaging. Except for this blog, of course.

(By the way, if I could figure out a way to charge you for coming here that didn't involve ads or mouthfucking skeevy guys in bathrooms, I would do it.)

Without really realizing I was doing it, I managed to have my DingleBerry sync up with Facebook so that, if we're pally-wals on FB and you call me, your fucking profile picture and your school/business affiliation pops up. When I first realized that I had done this, you would have thought I had just annexed Poland. I thought I was the Second Coming.

(That's what she said.)

I have yet to record and set dozens of Gilbert & Sullivan tunes to serve as caller ringtones, but I will do that when I have a free two hours or so. Don't worry. When you ring me up, it might just be the last twenty-two seconds of the overture from "Ruddigore" that blares out from inside my hip pocket, thoroughly confusing all but the most ardent Anglophile in line at the post office.

This 4" x 2" device is quite extraordinary, and I am very much in Like with it, because it can do oh-so-many things-- far more things, I am sure than I can even fathom-- but, for all the miracles great and small that it effortlessly performs, it can't make me call my mother.

I wish it could, because I can't seem to do it these days without a little assistance from assistive technology. Typically, the guilt that would arise within me like bile after not speaking to her for several days in a row would be sufficient to encourage me to dial her number for a brief chat, but, lately, not even the guilt-vom does the trick.

Having been seriously depressed lately, you'd think that one's mother is exactly where a well-bred Jewish boy would flee. Ordinarily, you'd be right. I did try that a few times, but the calls ended up in disaster. I found myself saying deliberately cruel things, mercilessly ass-fucking the censor that has the misfortune to dwell inside my head as I tried to inflict hurt and pain on my mother. Which isn't fair. But it is most definitely what I was doing.

The thing is-- for a basically nice guy-- I'm very good at being mean. Call it the Mr. Apron Effect.

And maybe it's the knowledge of that potential for rancor within me that has kept me from picking up my shiny, chrome-effect smartphone and calling up the house where I grew up to talk to my mother. Maybe I've decided that, right now, the best way to maintain the loving relationship we have is to give her a little break from... well, me. It would be nice, I think, if I could work through my feelings of anger and hatred towards my sister without using my mother as an emotional punching bag. She doesn't deserve that. My left hook's a real bitch.

I thumbed the scrollie-wheel tonight to see if either BlackBerry App World or the AT&T AppCenter had a "Be Nice" App, or a "Remember, She's Your Mommy" App-- something to remind me to behave, to watch the PH balance on my notoriously acidic tongue. To play fair. To be angry at whom I'm angry at-- not at the woman who gave birth to her and, admittedly, enables her. But no. There is Salat, "an Islamic application that gives accurate prayer timings." For $1.99. And I thought, "Damn, it would suck to be Muslim and live in a country where you're suspected and persecuted and are even forced to pay two bucks to the AppNazis to find out when the fuck you're supposed to lie down on your little rug.

But I digress. Intentionally. Because it hurts when you're too down to call your mother, and she's not calling you.

Not that her picture would pop up if she did. She's not on FB, and she never will be. And I'd have to be in her presence for longer than 5 minutes to snap her picture with the phone to make it happen. And she always hated to have her picture taken, even when we were all young and beautiful.

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