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Can you hear me now?

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I’ve got this friend of mine that likes to make me feel like an idiot ... more than my usual amount of idiot.

The other day I stopped by his shop in the morning on my way to work. We’ve known each other forever, so I’ll do this on a semi-regular basis just to bug him. The other day when I stopped by, before I even got my foot in the door, he was asking me if I could help him fix his electrical service. If you’ve ever read this column before, you might be aware that I am pretty far down on the list of people to assist on any kind of electrical project or most projects in general.

Before I could even answer him with a resounding “no,” he had moved on to telling me something about it being a three-phase junction box thing-a-ma-jiggy, and it had to be moved. As I was preparing to tell him where he could put his three-phase whatchamacallit, he was moving on to some other part of the project that needed to be done. How rude!

As I stood there in the door of his shop, giving him the best haughty look of derision I could muster, I realized he was blabbing on about something else. Didn’t he care what I had to say and that I was haughtily and derisively gazing at him?

I started to suspicion that there was a gas leak in his shop because my friend was really starting to act a little goofy. He was telling me what time he would be at the shop and where the fusebox was. I told him in a loud and slow manner, “You are already at your shop, and I cannot possibly care less where your fusebox is!” I couldn’t have made it any clearer.

I really got worried for his mental health when he looked me directly in the eye and said, “Thanks, Steve. See you later.” Oh great, I thought, now his invisible friend, Steve, is also in the room. The crazy people, real and imagined, had me outnumbered.

He then reached up and touched his stocking cap-covered ear, and I realized that he had his stupid Bluetooth earpiece in, and it was somehow magically hooked up to his fancy-schmancy iPhone, and he was talking to an electrician the whole time. Evidently, an electrician named, Steve.

I would like to say that this was the first time I had been fooled by this ruse, but alas, it was not. Due to the fact that my short- and long-term memory are not that good, I have fallen prey to the “I’m talking on my Bluetooth and you look like a fool” ploy on many an occasion.

This brings me to the crux of this column. I have no problem with Bluetooth devices. I just don’t like it when people have a nicer cell phone than me. Sadly, it doesn’t take much. My phone is basically one evolutionary step above those bag phones that you’ll see in movies from the early-1990s. Of course I’m exaggerating, but not by that much.

At this time, I would like to mention that I like my cell phone. My cell phone works just fine. It has worked just fine for a long time. My cell phone is used primarily for talking to other people. I know that sounds crazy, but I’m telling you the truth. I can text on my phone, but I really don’t like to because for some unknown reason, this particular phone likes to spell words wrong. Isn’t that weird?

When I see everybody taking their phones out and flinging angry birds at little green pigs and listening to their well-stocked music libraries, the funnest thing I can do is get my phone out and calculate a tip. I think I can take a photo, but my 7-year-old daughter hasn’t shown me how to do that yet.

I used to get mad as a youngster when the other kids possessed cooler toys than me. I guess in some ways it’s today’s version of the 1973 “… but he has a Big Wheel,” episode all over again, except this time I can’t have a conniption fit in front of my parents like I probably did back in the day. The only person I can get mad at now is myself. I stink.

One of these decades, when my contract is finally up, I’m going to buy myself one of those snazzy cell phones with all the bells and whistles that you can possibly imagine. I’ll be able to get fancy apps, and I’ll be able to play cool games and listen to out-of-date music. I’ll be a Facebooking, Twittering fool. With that cell phone, I’ll finally be one of the cool kids.

And that will make it that much more unfortunate when I accidentally drop it in a toilet.

You can contact Wallace at gwallace@bcrnews.com. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.

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