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Flip the Hero Phone
Biography of a Faithful Device: 3/15/22
© 2022 James LaFond
In 2006 I was forced to get a phone as a condition of my General Manager job. It was to be on, and on me, at all times. I hated that. That little silver shell phone took much abuse and finally failed in 2016. It was the free third phone on my sister’s family phone plan.
I do not qualify for credit of any kind, in 2018 could not even qualify for an Amtrak credit card so I could spend my travel points. I was going to get a track phone. My sister said this would be better.
In 2016 I went to the Verizon store in White Marsh, Maryland to get a flip phone that could take voice mails. My Voice mail had not worked since 2010, when I quit my manager job and turned off the phone and the scores of voice mails jammed it up and I forgot my password.
The sales woman, my age, argued with me for a solid hour trying to get me into a smart phone, even saying, “Don’t you want to join the 21st century?”
To which I responded, “Why, when I never got used to the 20th century?”
Eventually, she relented and spent a half hour in the back. She came back to the sales floor almost in tears and informed me that this was the last phone, on the bottom, of the last stack, and that I had ruined her day. She also told me that that my information, contacts and such could not be transferred…
My knew phone was named Flip, because, like comedian Flip Wilson he is black and well, he does flip. Flip has no pass code, because he inherited none, being dispossessed before his birth by the privilege of that silver-tongued racist shell phone.
Of late people older than I at The Bar have been impugning Flip. In addition, my editor, various friends I speak with across the country, and a certain darling cuddle maiden have complained that Flip is dropping their calls and has poor audio quality.
Today I picked up a random phone call, figuring it was one of the many publishing agents wanting to get promotional fees out of me for promises of making me the next Cormac McCarthy. I get two such calls a week and answer one a season, just to be reminded that the world hates me. An entire winter of bronchitis and KillYourBoomerAssNacron has left my voice weak, and speaking loudly vibrates the eye nerve. This Filipino faɡɡot then started complaining that I needed to speak up louder, after he called me.
Flip said, “Click, jungle monkey.”
The way that a smart phone must be used is an ancient act of supplication, of proskinesis to Mu. [1] I will not engage in transhuman worship of the neodivine nor assume the attitude of timeless supplication encouraged and in the main dictated by the smart phone design. When can clearly see that those texting and reading and often speaking on these devices are in a state of hypnosis.
Flip is fading.
But Flip is a hero, has saved my life numerous times. One of these occasions shall be related below.
When Flip was still young and I was wounded and becoming undone, close to quitting my coaching gig at Jimmy Frederick’s because of a torn hip rotator and getting fat, I was leaving his Baynesville school after sweeping and moping the mats one Sunday.
My Hungarian Honey was waiting for me. She was a sensitive lady, who, when I said I would be at her door at 4 P.M., would be waiting at the door, her hair brushed and her herculean lift bra strapped on awaiting me with dinner and a smile.
She lived down in “The Oaks,” a half mile away on the other side of a mini ghetto. I stopped into the liquor store on the side street, where three young thugs waited outside to waylay folk. When I left with my six-pack of National Bohemian bottles the leader marked me with a nod and the largest fellow followed my close across the street.
Even a minute late and that tight green sweater stretched over those eager triple-Gs would be stained with tears, buoyed by fears that I might still be on the mat with some female kickboxer.
I turned, set down my six pack, pulled out Flip and motioned with the hand of pale power that had damned the black man for untold ages of big-headed Yakubian conquest, signaling for him to wait his turn as Flip dialed Lilly Hun.
The slavish brute stopped gaggle-mouthed and wide-eyed, two paces from me, I up on the white concrete curb, he beyond the gutter on that low black asphalt on Yakonna, I think is the street’s name, within sight of the Raven Inn across Loch Raven Boulevard.
She answered the phone, expecting to be disappointed that Oliver and I were training on Colored People Time again, “How long?” she asked with the pain of pending rejection in her voice.
“Baby, I already left the liquor store. But there is something here in front of me I have to take care of—It’ll just take a minute.”
She screamed through the phone, so that I had to take it away from my ear. I noticed, as I had been looking at this misdirected warrior the entire time, that he now regarded my phone in horror.
Was it because he knew that the Koreans down at the Lexington Market would not give him $30 for this phone like a smart phone. Or was it the enraged voice of The Hunnish wench shrilly declaring from Flip’s open maw, “Kick his fucking negro ass! Send that savage back to Africa and don’t you dare take a minute!”
Well, I had, back then, when we were lovers, before she fired me for infidelity in October 2020, promised not to put in writing what a racist she was, how little she pitied the poor, downtrodden victim of my oppression, who had seconds before thought he was going to make a score and of a sudden realized that his prospects for success were once again being dashed on the ivory rocks of blue-eyed deviltry.
He turned and skulked back hang-dogged to his fellow subhuman hunters, having been bested by a Yeti bull whose tusks had not yet been worn dull by cruel Time.
Was it Flip?
If that look of horror in his eyes came only from the realization that he had been sent after a mark that had no valuables, or if it came from my cool confidence that he was hitting the asphalt in 3.0 seconds or that a wicked racist bitch was screaming for his blood through Flip, Flip the Hero Phone had been that summer evening my salvation, had prevented me from being persecuted in the media as “a Natzi Kung-Fu Master” after my assailant’s friends threw his ass under the bus and yelled “World Star” as they videoed my racist crime of stomping his teeth out in the gutter.
Thank you, Flip.
When you finally give up the ghost, I will miss you.
If any readers know of a type of simple machine that I could use for giving and receiving text messages that could be prepaid, please contact me at jameslafond dot com at gmail dot com.
-1. Egyptian hieroglyph representing “Man in his many actions” and thus the collective ascension of humanity to godhood. I will not worship man, even upon his ascension.
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