“Can we Facetime, Pappy”? asked Lucy last weekend.
“When Carrie’s home,” I told her. “It doesn’t work on my phone.”

Fifty-one years ago …

We were watching the All Star game — daytime, black ‘n white — when within moments Johnny Callison ended the game with what was not yet termed a “walk off” home run AND our Grandpa Irv honked; he was waiting outside.

We jumped, Hal and I, and midst the tumult my pop (which had been resting on the television), not only knocked over, but dripped through the vent backing the set … destroying what I later learned was the picture tube.

“Why did you do it?” my Mom asked when she got home from work. (Forty-five years later she would go to her grave awaiting the answer).

But here’s the point: The next day or so Cousin Howard Hoffman came to our house, replaced the part, and turned it back on! No muss, no fuss.

Two decades later, or thereabouts …

We had cable by now. Pong too, and PAC-MAN, and ESPN.

I recall again the TV going down, a name from the Deak Directory coming out, and watching how after ten minutes of his button-pushing, he turned it back on. And it worked.

Two more decades later, or thereabouts …

Netflix is the best! (Ed. Note 2: Ah, but not as good as last decade, when it sent you the discs. Please read on).

“Blue Bloods” is our show. Watch I do, with Carrie — once, maybe twice per week. Comforted, I am — that the TV works fine…
But NEVER, as I enter our boudoir, do I have any reasonable expectation that I’ll be able to tune in the show. No, wait I must … for my wife … who, propped up in the bed, fondles two (or maybe three) remote controls, pushes numbers and icons, and scrolls up, down and around until Selleck emerges.

Anything happens to Carrie and I never see that show again!

I stopped at Verizon just Tuesday.   Greeted was I, by a freshly-scrubbed thirty-something singing hello.

“Can I help youuuuuuuuuu?”, she offered, brandishing a hand with five blue nails. (Ed. Note 3: No sea has ever been as shining those nails — or spears…whatever they were).

“My Facetime doesn’t work. Can you fix it?”

Eyeing it, flipping it upside down, she studied it like an ER doc examining a rash:

“It still doesn’t work”.

“Try it now.”

“Maybe you need a new Sim Card? she suggested.


If this doesn’t work,” she advised me, (replacing the Sim Card), “Then I can’t help you. You’ll have to go to Apple”.

“But I bought the phone here, LAST YEAR!”
“It’s a warranty issue.”

The Sim Card didn’t work. (Go figure). Ever so politely, then, I suggested it didn’t seem right that I could purchase a Verizon phone AT Verizon but that Verizon couldn’t make it right.

“You may want to check your settings,” she suggested. Or “jumpstart” them, or something like that. (I can’t recall quite her verb). By that time, alas, it mattered not.  Indeed, I’d have asked for the manager but she with the vacuous smile, was it!

“Thank you for your time, ” said I warmly, bidding adieu.

On my way out … to drive home to my wife … she of beauty and clear nail polish.  And YES, at ten that night, the two of us (after Carrie set it up), watched Season One’s finale of “Blue Bloods”.

I’m thinking maybe this weekend I’ll borrow Carrie’s phone to call Lucy…on FaceTime.  After a long week, it’ll be better than running to Apple.


Leave a Reply