Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper’s “smart” phone went dumb and he—the keeper, is celebrating by relaxing in a soft chair and thinking that maybe the world would continue to rotate without his intimate connection to it, and that the very concerned person who called regularly about his credit card or car warranty would get into some other line of work, maybe wearing a street corner signboard that said, “The end is not near just because your damn phone went out.” The respite from having a dead phone encourages remembering the many times the smart phone did such dumb things the keeper was very close to crushing it with a maul: making undirected calls that caused embarrassment, refusing to connect with Google when an argument was about to be lost, or just being downright contrary. One of the keeper’s earliest phone memories is of his older cousins “playing” with an old crank wall-phone by calling grocer Harry Meyers and asking him if he had Prince Albert—the tobacco, in a can. Whereupon, when Harry said “yes,” a cousin would say, “Well you had better let him out for some air,” and then, of course, the cousin would fall on the floor in a fit of adolescent laughter. The keeper will likely replace his broken phone. Or maybe not. He is thinking he might stay “in the can” with Prince Albert.
(See billstokesauther.com for more Kickass and news of the novel MARGARET’S WAR.)