“You can’t use that phone here!” “YOU told me to tweet my experiences.” “When did I say that?” “I’ll show you.” I bring up my Twitter feed.
Farley’s right. The numbers don’t add up. “If the Singularity has happened already where are our computer overlords?” “Look in your pocket.”
I quickly take my hand out of my pocket. “What do you mean?” Regi says “Is that a cell phone in your pocket or are you happy to see me?”
“You call it a cell phone, but it’s really a pocket computer with a phone app.” “No, it’s a cell phone and yes Regi, I’m happy to see you.”
“Arkaby, when was the last time you actually made a voice call on your cell phone?” “I don’t think I ever made a voice call on this phone.”
“And yet you persist in calling that device a phone.” “Yes I do.” “You are engaging in rearview mirror thinking.” “I’m not even driving!”
“It has nothing to do with driving. You’re looking at new technology backwards and missing its true impact.” “So my phone is not a phone?”
“It’s much more than a phone.” “If I use my cell phone to make phone calls, then I can call it a phone, right?” “That’s not the point.”
“OK. I’ll make more calls.” I dial at random. “Welcome to Body Parts R Us. Press 1 if you know the organ or member you want to replace.”
It’s that damned Interactive Voice Response system again! I quickly hang up. “Press 2 to continue in Spanish.” I press End Call repeatedly.
“Press 2 if it is your 2nd attempt to end this call.” I press End Call. This is the same IVR system I encountered at the start of this case.
“Press 3 if it is your 3rd.” This malfunctioning answering machine will run through the entire numeric phone pad if I give it the chance.
“Press 4 if it is your 4th attempt.” I hand my phone to Farley “Here. It’s for you.” He removes the battery and mike-drops it on the floor.
“Press 5 if it is your 5th.” “What the?” Farley raises the phone intending to dash it to the ground. “Wait!” I take the phone from his hand.
I pick up and reinstall the battery. I say “I can’t talk right now.” “Press 1 for goodbye. Press 2 to continue in ASL.” I press 1. “Goodbye”
I’m surprised it works. Regi says “Something really weird is going on.” Farley says “Ya think?” “Yes. I never have enough battery power.”
“My phone always dies by lunchtime. Arkaby never seems to run out of juice. Yet he tweets continuously.” “I use the power saver feature.”
Farley says “It’s even weirder. This room is phone signal shielded. How did you reach the Body Parts R Us switchboard?” “Is weirder a word?”
“Shouldn’t you say it’s more weird?” “More weird than what?” “More weird rather than weirder.” “I’m pretty sure weirder is the word I want.”
Regi says “What?” “We’re worrying whether the word we want is weirder or more weird.” “THAN WHAT? WHAT IS WHAT WEIRDER OR MORE WEIRD THAN?”
Farley and I stand toe to toe. He says “WEIRDER than everything.” I say “MORE WEIRD!” Regi says “ARKABY! LET MY UNCLE COMPLETE A SENTENCE!”
I step back. “Go on.” “This began when Arkaby first tweeted ‘Willum Mortimus Granger was beside himself’ about my brother’s untimely death.”
(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)