iPhone, Why He Doesn’t Answer?

Although Dearly Beloved has been happily incommunicado ever since retirement, the rest of us have found it a pain.  He gives out my cellphone number to businesses, we can’t reach him when he’s out and about, and he ought to have one for emergencies.  Finally, Good Egg Son could stand it no longer and gave his dad an iPhone for his birthday.

I thought immediately of how driving separate cars to the beach would be simpler now.  That sounds silly, but when we’re making a trip and I make a pit stop, he turns around and comes looking for me, worried about what might have happened.

“I had to pee” sounds so anticlimactic.

Back when he had a cellphone, too, I could call to tell him I was stopping.  It wasn’t always simple because one of us–usually him–would forget to turn his phone on, so the caller (me) would have to pull alongside beside the callee,  honking the car horn and waving the cellphone out the window as a reminder to turn it on.

He has an iPhone now.  Problem solved, right?

I should have been suspicious when I called Sunday  to see if he needed anything from Walgreen’s.  He didn’t answer.  When I got home and asked about it, he said he must have been in the shower .

“I don’t have the ringer on, but it vibrates.”

“Where is it?” I asked him.

The phone was on his dresser.  Kind of hard to feel that vibe, I’d think.

His ringtone is a harp sound that he and one of the grandsons selected.

Yesterday we set out in the pouring rain for the beach, driving separate cars.  We agreed that we would stay in touch.  I was several minutes ahead of him, so when I reached Chick-fil-a, I called to tell him I’d get his order if he’d tell me what he wanted.  No answer.

I tried again.  Same result.

Frustrated,  I called Daughter Pogo from the Chick-fil-a parking lot and asked if she knew how to make that damn phone explode in her father’s pocket.

“I’m not trying to blow off body parts,” I said, “Just a mild shock will do.”

“There’s probably an app for that,” she told me.

About that time he pulled up in the parking spot beside me.  Neither of us wanted to get out of our car in that rain.  Seeing that I had my phone to my ear, he held up his phone, thinking I was calling him.  I was still talking to Pogo.  My phone beeped.  Now he was calling me.  I told Pogo I’d call her later and answered his call, giving him my lunch order.

When he got into my car with my sandwich, he told me to go on ahead, that he was going to sit there and fiddle with his phone.  The harp tone wasn’t playing, the ringer wasn’t ringing, and the vibrate option wasn’t vibe-ing.  I suggested that he ask any one of the teenagers working behind the Chick-fil-a counter to fix it for him.  He wasn’t amused.

At our next pre-arranged stop–the peach stand with the homemade ice cream–I called to see how far behind he was.  No answer.

Good grief.

He arrived about ten minutes later and said he’d fixed his phone.  I asked why he hadn’t answered, in that case.  He looked perplexed and asked me to call him.  We sat there in our separate cars, the rain now slowing to a drizzle, while I called him time after time.   He’d call me on his phone or shout out his window, “Did you call?”

I sat there, eating my ice cream and listening to a book on CD as I watched him piddling with his phone. When he’d call, I’d call him back.  Once when mine rang, I answered, “Yes-s-ssssss? ? as seductively as I could manage with a frozen mouth.

A strange women’s voice asked to speak with DB.


I snorted and lowered my car window, motioning for him to come over.  He held up his phone.  I shook my head and beckoned again.  He waved his phone, indicating that I should call him.  Reluctantly, I set my ice cream down on the seat, warning Miss Piggy not to touch it, even though she was in the back of the station wagon.  I stepped out of my car into the rain, walked over to DB’s car, and dropped my cellphone into his lap.

“It’s for you.”

Back in my car,  Miss Piggy had hurtled her fat self over one seat and was on her way to the front.  I picked her up and carried her  around to stick her in the back again.  We pile our clothes, cooler, and any other luggage we’re taking on the second seat and leave the entire back to her.  It’s a little kingdom –her bed, water, a chew toy–yet she climbs over at every opportunity.  The dog has no gratitude.   If she could drive, I’d be happy back there!

Back in the front seat–alone–I resumed eating and listening to the Jonathan Kellerman mystery as I watched DB.  He had finished talking to the mystery woman and had a phone in each hand now, calling his with mine to see if he’d fixed it.  Finally, he started his engine and drove off.  I went tearing out behind him.

He stopped at the stop sign just before the highway and got out of his car to bring me my cellphone, laughing at his cleverness.  That made one of us.  He said he had his fixed, that one of the grandsons must have turned something off.

Oh, sure.

The mystery woman was someone calling to set up an appointment to service our furnace here at the beach.

Too bad it wasn’t Granny Smith.


18 thoughts on “iPhone, Why He Doesn’t Answer?

  1. cw

    Pogo obviously inherited her wonderful sense of humor from you!!! lolol.. I think you guys ought to create a cartoon from that exchange alone!:) SERIOUSLY!! :):) So, just out of curiosity, do you have a special ringtone for when DB calls you? A barking dog, a quacking duck, a voice yelling ‘fore’?! :):) An ‘ap’ for that – lolololol….:):)

      1. cw

        UPGRADE!! You’ll love hearing it quack, bark, or croak! awkawk:):)

        Good Son, should you be reading this, you got the ‘his’, now it’s time for the ‘hers’!! :):)

  2. Girl, you are a STITCH!

    Maybe DB has aged out of the Technology Window. When my dad was eighty and living alone for the first time in 53 years, we gave him a cordless phone so he could take it outside when he worked in the yard. I’d call him and he’d answer, telling me the phone didn’t work. DH would buy him another one and write down the instructions. Dad would call me to tell me it didn’t work. We did four cycles of this, each phone more expensive and elaborate than the last.

    Finally, we gave up on portable conversation and bought him a new corded phone with BIG NUMBERS. And…wait for it…nary a problem thereafter.

    1. We used to have a neighbor who was hard of hearing, but didn’t do “cordless” either. She had one installed in the garage and it rang loudly enough that I jumped out of the tub to answer it once before I realized it wasn’t our phone.

      Your DH is, indeed, a DH!

  3. Why is it I identify with Dearly Beloved? This story has the makings of a hilarious TV episode.

    There is simply too much technology. Oh for a phone that only has two buttons — one for on and off and another to answer/call. Forget the pictures, keyboard and all the other options. How about a phone just to….you know, phone!

    1. That’s funny, Jerry, because our son put several apps on it that he thought would be helpful, then the grandsons talked him into letting them add a few, THEN he realized he could listen to his music on it. I think there were a few days there that he forgot it WAS a phone!

      Believe me, we often feel like our life is a sitcom.

  4. Ha! Love this post. My hubby has the Cellphone Resistance gene too. He used to have one of those “phones in a bag” in his truck until our wireless provider finally told him they wouldn’t support those anymore. I was so glad he had to get rid of it. It was such an embarrassment. May as well have had a CB like Smokey and the Bandit. Gah!

  5. whatsnormality

    I know what you mean when it comes to needing a cell phone, whether for yourself or not. I just got myself my first job, meaning that soon I will be able to buy myself a cell phone, meaning that on those lovely days that my dad forgets to pick me up at rugby practice, he is just a call away and I will no longer have to wait hours outside.

  6. This may be the best laugh I have had in weeks! Though I do have to wonder if “piddling” with the phone is a Freudian slip and you meant to write “fiddling.” No, on second thought, I’m sure you did mean piddling.

    Maybe you could get him one of those Jitterbugs to keep in his car and keep it turned on when you’re traveling back and forth in two cars. Travel in two cars??? iPhone is off limits!

  7. LOL! I wrote this in a hurry because we were going to a movie and didn’t do a very good job of proofing. I had used fiddling previously and this time I had put “diddling.” WordPress gave me some suggested corrections and I quickly agreed. Thus, he piddled on his phone. 🙂

  8. That was a hoot and like Jerry, I can totally see this as a sitcom. Modern Family would love it.
    You are delightful and I am glad your daughter did not fall far from the tree.
    Somewhere I missed why the two cars situation so I will check back posts to see the reason.
    Thanks for my morning chuckle.

  9. Kelly Hay

    This post is hilarious! Oh the drama (and comedy) surrounding cell phones! Whenever something goes wrong with mine, I immediately hand it over to my teenage daughter, who – of course- fixes it in mere seconds. I’m sure she wishes there was an “app” for clueless parents like me!

  10. Oh My God!!!!!!! I thought the Boss was bad by making me ring the phone once then calling back before he answers the phone when I am away from the house……thank goodness he doesn’t have a cell phone and there is no way he would ever travel anywhere no matter how close without having me in the same car….the man has to talk constantly…..so don’t feel bad things could be alot worse…

  11. You need to set it up so his phone is locked on one of those ringtones that sing some naughty song loudly. Bet he’ll answer every time and quickly.

  12. Tammy McCloud

    Ah come on DB the iPhone is the easiest phone I have ever owned and I get pretty challenged by cell phones.

    Oh and I remember the first time I watched Howard you guys gave me your cell number but forgot to turn them on. Lol the second time you locked me out and I had to get a key from your neighbor. Lol

    Just sharing…. 🙂

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