Apparently I’m too dumb to understand people with smart phones. I have a flip phone with a slide-out keypad. To me that’s a new-fangled gadget, and, yes, the keypad is pretty slick.

Those with look-what-I-have phones, internet influencers and Harbor rats alike, carry them in upraised clenched hands reminiscent of the ash-preserved body I once viewed at Pompeii ( which no sixteen-year-old needed to see). Full disclosure: he wasn’t grasping a phone, and I know it was a guy because, well, it was preserved.

Recently, I was at a corner store. The elderly lady ahead of me had placed her phone on the counter for her three-minute purchase of a six-pack of Pabst beer. In her defense, maybe she was an on-call trauma surgeon, a drug dealer, or on alert for tsunami warnings. These I understand, having run into a few of the first two. As for the tsunami, grab a tree and hold your breath. There. That’s all you need to know.

I’ve seen people, immediately upon being seated at restaurants, suck up their phones as if they missed something of great importance in the thirty seconds it took them to walk into the establishment. I’ve lived most of my 65 years in Ashtabula, and, trust me, nothing has happened.

My advice? Toss your phone and look into the soul of the person across from you. There’s importance there.

In other news, rest gently, Editor Hutton.

Debra Cary


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