You just can’t make this stuff up, part 2 of 2

PREVIOUSLY: Part 1, in which we partake of a very expensive bay cruise, and Dave goes for a swim.

AND NOW: Part 2, in which we nearly die, all future cell phones of Lee’s are relegated to a plastic baggy, and Steve Jobs puts out a hit on Dave.

But first, A WARNING: If you happen to own a pair of black plastic-rimmed glasses, listen to emo, and work as a graphic designer, please do not read further. This story includes gratuitous violence against Apple products that will horrify your fragile indy-rock soul.

We are two iPhones down, and Cheryl makes a plan. Monday or Tuesday, she decides, we’ll take the boat over to the Cape and drive up to Hingham where there is a Mac store, and if need be, we’ll continue to Quincy and beyond until we find new phones. Well, seeing as I’m responsible about my technology and have a functioning iPhone to prove it, I don’t actually need to go on this trip, but a random afternoon off-island adventure with Lee and Cheryl, two of the funniest people I know? Well, I’m certainly not going to miss that.

I suppose I should stop for a second and explain Lee and Cheryl. The best I can come up with is 60 going on 22. My sister’s way of describing them is the “silver foxes” weaving in and out of the twenty-somethings at bar close. They work hard, they play hard, and their personalities fill a room to bursting. They make the rest of us look like amateurs.

So when we get the call from Cheryl Tuesday morning that we’re leaving on a 1:15 boat, we know we’re in for some fun. We’re going to try to get the car on the boat, but seeing as it’s August on Martha’s Vineyard, the chances are probably slim, so we have keys to someone’s off-island car that Cheryl has procured. “Wait’ll ya see this one!” she says. “It’s gaht no air conditioning! It’s a nineteen-ninee-eight Buick! It’s a boat!”

Oh dear. We pile in the nice, comfy, air-conditioned Range Rover and drive to the boat dock in Oak Bluffs. Can we get the nice, comfy, air-conditioned Range Rover on the boat? Well, if we wait an hour and a half, but seeing as “We’re on a mission from God,” we need the Blues Brothers-esque wheels to complete the package.

A boat ride, an SSA shuttle ride, and a couple beers later, we get to the parking lot in Falmouth where our navy blue chariot awaits. It’s about 85 degrees outside, and I suppose we’ve taken this mild temp for granted as we open the doors of the sedan to find it’s about 360 degrees inside. We pile into the deep, velour covered cushions, my back and legs forming an immediate sweat barrier, and pull the doors shut. Each door is courteously hung with a scented air freshener. Problem number one arises as Dave tries to open his window. No dice. I’m already coming to terms with my child safety window that gives me about three inches of access to outside air. Then we figure out we’re locked in like convicts or four-year-olds. Lee gets out to help us disengage the child-safety locks, momentary claustrophobia abates, and we’re off.

As we drive toward the Bourne Bridge, I’m craning my head up to the top of the glass, trying not to waste a single gust of the air that is barely brushing my forehead, and I’m contemplating the storm that’s supposedly moving in. Would it make the air cooler, or would the rain mean I’d have to roll up my window? Meanwhile, Cheryl has found the soft-rock station on the radio, and I think the only working speakers are directly behind my head. But faintly, through the sounds of Peter Cetera crooooning his love for me, I hear a ding ding ding as if something somewhere is ajar, but no, it’s only that the brake light has come on. The BRAKE LIGHT HAS COME ON!! Range Rover, with your lovely leather interior, your sweet vents shooting icicles onto my hot brow, your ample cup holders, your FUNCTIONING BRAKES…Where art thou??

We pull over at a gas station where Blue Betty sucks down a quarter tank of gas and the only can of brake fluid on the lot, and once again we’re off. The alleged storm has cooled things considerably, though the velvety barcolounger rear seat is still imprinting itself in perspiration on my backside. Everyone but Cheryl (who is driving) pretends to sleep for the 45 minute drive to the Apple store.

Cheryl heads off to do some clothes shopping, and Lee, Dave, and I, three sweaty and road-weary travelers (time travelers from 1998, that is, judging by our ride), enter the world of Mac. We are soon surrounded by the happy elves of iLand, with their black-framed glasses and their shiny white nametags around their either emaciated or ample necks. “Can we help you?!!” They bounce! It’s all so gleeful! Gleeee!! Macs!! Wooooo!!! I wonder if there are drugs in the back room, or if they just go back there and sniff the boxes of beautifully designed technologeeee!!

We hook up with our elf, explain Dave’s Michael Phelps moment and his iPhone’s reluctant participation in said, and then throw in that I’d like to upgrade from my old iPhone to a new shiny model (a decision I had rationalized between the car and the store entrance). “We can do that!” he says, and he’s so excited about the prospect. “Let me go get you some phones!!” And off he bounces to huff laptops in the back room. This gives me enough time to caress the MacBook Air. They really are preeeetty…. Until soon! he’s back! and he has iPhones!! And he’s so happy about it!!

That is, until he types my information into his little piece of round-the-neck gadgetry (not Mac! Horrors!!) and finds that I’m on a business account, and he cannot give me an iPhone. His hand protectively slides the box back toward him. This is when I become mean lady who tells a five year old there’s no Santa. I tell him about the six hours on the phone with AT&T and the two cross state excursions. I tell him I live on an island and we have no AT&T store. I tell him this whole Apple-AT&T dirty marriage was ill conceived, and I tell him that they should have enabled him to answer my questions and if he can’t, someone should. I thought I was very polite about this. I was told later, well, not so much.

Meanwhile, he and Dave suggest moving on to Dave’s account. But Dave’s on the business account too. Am I the only one who realizes this will be a problem? So elf man slowly picks up the two iPhone boxes and starts slinking away to the backroom door. His pupils have shrunk and he’s visibly shaking. The boy needs to smell a white one-buttoned mouse quick or I think he might pass out.

I step out onto the sidewalk. I’m irritated. I’m pissed. This is when Dave decides to free his SIM card from his old iPhone so that he doesn’t have to carry around the broken phone anymore. The elves are all standing in a row between the MacBooks and the white desktop boxes o’ heaven, glaring through their black rims at the meeean angry people who just left their bad energeee all over the store. Before the audience of Mac elves, Dave forcibly drops his iPhone onto the cement sidewalk. They gasp! They jump! They shout out!

“It’s already broken,” he says. “See?”

He drops it again, harder this time. They scream as if he’s just dropped the baby Jesus!!

I suddenly get the suspicion that the Hingham police are on their way.

Then Lee comes out, ranting and raving. He’s going back in to complain to the manager about something. At least he’s got a new damn phone! I’m ready to tell anyone who’ll listen that this is just plain un-American. I have money to spend, give me a damn phone already! I mean, really! I’m being discriminated against because I live on an island. I have to go in person to an AT&T store to get this phone. They do not actually have the phone at an AT&T store. I have to go there just to order it. Then come back seven to ten days later to pick it up. In person. They will not ship. Can the manager of the AT&T store get me all squared away and then print me some kind of voucher that I can carry to the Apple store 100 yards down the street, from whence the AT&T store iPhones are probably being shipped, and walk out with an iPhone? No. Nobody’s really thought this through completely, have they? I can’t answer that question. Do you believe in Jobs, the father, maker of heaven and earth? I- uh… Do you believe in one Holy and Apple-stolic church? Wha-? I- uh….

Yeah, I thought so.

Luckily, this is about when Cheryl interrupts our curbside preaching and drags us into a bar. Where they are kind to us and give us alcohol. They don’t care that our cell phones are on a business account. They care that our money is green, our credit is plastic, and our livers are strong. (Actually, they probably don’t even care about the state of our livers. Good thing.)

The ride back, we go through the motions. We stop every once in a while to add more brake fluid, the pile of empty bottles collecting at Dave’s feet. And oh! Surprise of surprises, Dave’s window finally opens! Peter Cetera woos my ear some more. We don’t even get a chance to complain about the usual things – the shuttle bus driver from the parking lot to the boat is punctual AND pleasant! Which is good, because I think we’re all bitched out at this point.

We sip our beers on the boat ride home, admiring Lee’s sweet light pink iPhone protector, though Cheryl reminds him that next time he goes on the boat, it’s her two-year-old pink Razor with the cracked screen he will be carrying, not his iPhone. Dave is once again cell phone-less, which is the story of his life. And maybe for good reason. I suppose Jobs works in mysterious ways….

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8 Comments »

  1. Justin said

    I’d be lying if I said this story doesn’t completely me. I think its time Dave just gives up on expensive phone technology and picks up one of those Zach Morris Saved by the Bell cell phones.

  2. Justin said

    crap, i mean to say completely surprise me….i spell good.

  3. ifyoubelievethenclap said

    Ha! I thought you were trying to say “Dave completes me!”

  4. livewire said

    i just made another road trip off island, thank god i was driving my big boat with my pink covered iphone ( one that dave does not and never will have) in a safe place . my only wish is that i should have captured daves tantrom in front of the apple store to put on utube with my new iphone.

  5. […] Part 2, in which we nearly die, all future cell phones of Lee’s are relegated to a plastic baggy, and Steve Jobs puts out a hit on Dave. […]

  6. Dave said

    OK, UPDATE!!

    I finally did get a new iPHONE, this time for about $500 of my hard earned $$. Damn that’s brutal. At least I can call people again though..

    I love technologeeeeeeee

  7. […] Trips to New York, New Orleans, Boston, New Orleans again, Baltimore, Hingham (heh), New York again, and […]

  8. Conor said

    Hey Linley,
    I want to say nice blog…its tremendously funny. Before the next time Dave goes anywhere the water he should get one of these:

    http://www.aquapac.net/usstore/erol.html

    I’m considering getting one for my almighty device before the summer…I dont want my phone to be claimed by the Edgartown harbor..hehe

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