This is a Public Service Announcement

I am not a political person, but recent events compel me to post this call to action.

A disastrous outbreak has occurred amongst the fifth grade population in our neighborhood.

I’m not talking about measles or whooping cough.

It’s . . . my fingers tremble as I type . . . iPhones.

The only “graduating” fifth graders who didn’t get a phone as a gift already owned one.

Needless to say, my fifth grader did not get one. (He did get a nice lunch out at Chik-fil-A. I even splurged on the 12-piece nuggets.)

Never mind that he has a computer and Kindle Fire. Large and medium sized devices are not enough. He “needs” the small version to round out his set.

Attempts to convince him that adversity builds character have fallen on deaf ears.

I’m not sure what’s worse: that many, many people are giving these insanely expensive and delicate devices to eleven year olds, or that I don’t own one.

My dumb phone works fine. It sends and receives calls. I can text. It takes a while to tap out twenty six letters using only eight numbers, but that’s on my time. As long as the receiver isn’t picky about punctuation or capitalization and has a flair for interpreting random or non-existent spacing, I can communicate via this method.

Hey, once you stop laughing, here’s a pic of hub’s phone which does not work without this addition.


(The umbrella. Banana stand not required.)

Our family is all about assigning blame, so let me break it down for you:

  1. refusal to buy new phone: his fault
  2. reason it’s an umbrella toothpick: mine

(Almost every occasion that requires a toothpick is a festive one. This is why I do not bother to buy plain ones.)

Recap: the entire neighborhood population of eleven year olds have nicer phones than we do.

Way nicer.

(To be more precise, the entire neighborhood minus one has nicer phones. The remaining eleven year old is threatening to die of humiliation if we don’t immediately concede to his demands. Barring that, he wants a sleepover. This one’s a wily negotiator.)

Of course, for kids, the iPhone’s least appealing quality for kids is the “phone” part. They want to play games, take selfies, shoot riveting sequels to Godzilla, or highlight each other’s butt with the flashlight, but they do not make calls with it.

Which is what I tried to explain to Darling Son. He sort of agreed, but then pointed out that not only can he not shoot movies or spotlight anyone’s butt with either of his current devices, neither device fits conveniently in a pocket.

Since when did he get all logical? There’s lots of things about puberty that suck, but your kid suddenly becoming a rational debater has got to be one of the worst.

I hereby put out a call to the medical profession to invent a vaccine for this horrible disease. It’s already too late for us, but we must do what we can for future generations.