Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

The Google Phone and a Mystical Chicken

I have always wanted to be a scientist. I imagine myself in a white lab coat, tinkering with machines all day and hot research assistants all night.

Unfortunately I have experienced some reality of science, having worked in a mathematics department and the physics department of a major university. It seemed mostly to be an ever-exploding political drama bomb. I haven’t seen such squabbling since my sister and I, as kids, caused my mild-mannered grandfather to swear aloud for the only time in his life.

Standing in his kitchen and looking highly irritated, he jabbed at the air with both hands and said “Damn!”.

Still, like a great lazy mystical chicken, science does seem to lay a few amazing eggs from time to time when the political strategy allows for it. Just this week they’ve produced alcohol that doesn’t give you a hangover, and the Google phone.

A snippet from the synthetic alcohol article above reads:

Still feeling the sting of New Year’s Eve all these days later? A synthetic alcohol substitute developed from chemicals similar in composition to Valium could give users the pleasant feelings of tipsiness without affecting the parts of the brain that lead to barroom brawls, crippling addiction, and sleeping in your car.

Now, it seems to me that in terms of things that can make you giddy but don’t make you want to fight anyone, we already have something called Marijuana that fits this description. I’m not a smoker, myself (I’m high on life) but I know a lot about it thanks to the collected works of Messrs. Cheech and Chong*. I believe they are also authoritative on the effects of Valium, but I’ll have to refresh my memory on some of their research to be sure.

Speaking of serious works of research, I had occasion to watch The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear last night on Hulu. I laughed my head off. I really do imagine myself to have a highly sophisticated sense of humor, but the truth is that I laugh endlessly at fart noises and slapstick comedy. Oh well.

Fart noises aside, I’m in a bind because my Blackberry isn’t working properly. Some of its keys have gotten shy. They take a lot of pressing and swearing to get them to work.

How am I supposed to dazzle my friends with fart noises when I can’t do anything that includes a seven or the letters C, M and N? Damn!

I headed over to file a claim with my phone’s insurance when, suddenly, those sly foxes over at Google released the Google Phone. I want that thing so bad I can barely stand it. It would only cost me around $180 since I am a T-Mobile customer with a contract renewal coming up. The insurance replacement on my Blackberry is a lot cheaper, though, so I’m going to have to suck it up and live without the Google phone as I have previously done with the Palm phone and the iPhone.

I’m annoyed with T-Mobile anyway. The customer service rep I last spoke to refused me access to my account because I called myself “Jim” instead of “James”. This has happened to me maybe three times in my life. She kept hinting that there might be some other name that I could be called, and I kept refusing to say it because I am stubborn and I thought the whole thing was stupid.

If you’re in my family, you call me “Jimmy”. Everyone else calls me “Jim”.

Unfortunately, no one will be calling me on a Google Phone.

*Thanks to my friend Reid Davis, a serious writer, for reminding me about the existence and use of “Messrs.”