Friday, August 20, 2010

The Cell Phone

Today was a day Steffi has been looking forward to for months – the day she got a cell phone. Why today? Because last September we told her we would get her one in August before she went to middle school, and she circled this day on the calendar.

So Stef and I went to the Verizon store today and picked out a phone. She loves it. It’s blue, it’s got a slide out QWERTY keypad, a camera, and best of all, her own cell phone number.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it has one more thing. I asked the salesman what packages they had to help parents monitor a child’s cellphone. “You mean the Lojack Tracker?” he bellowed in a voice that rattled the walls of the store. Before the echo subsided, Steffi asked, “You want to track where I am on the cell phone?”

The first thought running through my head at that moment was why Verizon calls such a thing the Lojack Tracker. Couldn't it be called Rainbows and Sunshine, Project Candy Cane, or something innocuous so your pre-teen doesn’t know what it is. Why not the Clean Up Your Room? Kids stop paying attention after that phrase.

I sounded like George Bush when it was discovered he had been wiretapping our phone calls for years. “I don’t want the service to spy on you,” I explained to Steffi. “I want the service so I can protect you.”

In the end, Steffi was happy, Verizon got another customer, and I had a new appreciation for W. Okay, let's just say two out of three ain't bad.

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