Sunday, December 30, 2012

“Happy iHolidays”

c. 2012 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Readers of this column know that sometimes, the subject matter contained herein can resonate with themes of outright fantasy, parody, or satire. Yet the most compelling stories seem to come from genuine events. Such was the case recently, when I received a surprising Christmas gift under our household tree – an Apple iPhone 5.
In personal terms, I have seemingly never been on the cutting edge of technology. My writing career began on a Royal KMM typewriter from the 1940’s. I was a late adopter of the Compact Disc, clinging to vinyl with passionate devotion. My last computer was ten years old before surrendering to electronic fatigue. And until the past weekend, I had never used a smartphone.
But that changed with a bit of Yuletide magic.
With the frenzy of holiday sales spreading across Geauga, one of our prosperous mega-retailers offered a deal on the most modern Apple iPhone that was insanely attractive. After months of pondering a replacement for my aging LG EnV2, I surrendered. Santa (in family form) insisted on giving this incredible wireless tool as a Christmas gift.
So with that single act of benevolence, I joined the modern age.
On Christmas Eve, I used the device to take photos at the Lutheran church where my niece is pastoral resident. It documented her service with technological proficiency.
Then, Christmas Day arrived with a kind of rapid connectivity that I had never known. Using the Facebook app, I sent posts about drinking coffee, cleaning the house, wrapping presents, taking a last-minute gift to my neighbors, and getting on the road.
I visited the Chardon post office, then roamed around the square taking pictures.
In Hambden, I gathered with family members to celebrate the birth of Christ, arrival of Santa Claus, and other beloved traditions. This was accomplished with due reverence to the late Steve Jobs, while facing Cupertino, California.
My sister was fascinated when I produced the new iPhone, after unwrapping presents. I demonstrated the various features it offered, including maps, weather conditions, text messaging, Internet access, photography, video functions, music downloads and sports scores.
She nodded her head in approval, while offering a gift of jowl bacon from an ethnic store in Cleveland, and a SPAM calendar bought from Amazon.
Then, it was time to roam. Savoring the quiet of this special day, I paused at the bank to check my account, before wandering.
A favored personal tradition has become, after celebrating the day, to drive around town while enjoying the holiday quiet. I took a tour of the city, listening to festive tunes on WMJI 105.7 FM. Up Court Street, around the square, and into a parking space.
Surrounded by peaceful vibes, I walked across this oasis. Seasonal lights flickered, meaningfully. Window displays shimmered in the distance. A Christmas train spun its colorful wheels with motionless energy. The Grinch stood guard on sidewalk duty. Santa’s mailbox beckoned for late submissions.
I checked weather alerts while standing across from the gazebo. With GPS authority, it noted my location and provided corresponding information. The iPhone intuitively sensed each move that I was making.
Finally, I retreated to my vehicle. Inspiration was arriving, rapidly. With the “notes” feature on my phone, I began to compose a faux country-music tune that seemed destined to become a YouTube video:

Android phones are like dog bones
You’ll find them everywhere
Windows 8 on a tablet slate
Nobody seems to care

Thank you, Mister Apple
For your technology
Virtual maps, a million apps
Pretty things to see

Got a pickup truck
I’m down on my luck
Yes, I’m stuck here in the dark
But I’ve got the only iPhone
In the trailer park

Blind dates with Bill Gates
Won’t get you far my friend
Blackberries in the trees
Mean nothing in the end

Typing on a Jitterbug
Like a senior texting fool
Will only leave you wishing
For a hotspot in the cool

Got a pickup truck
I’m down on my luck
Yes, I’m stuck here in the dark
But I’ve got the only iPhone
In the trailer park

Thank you Mister Apple
For bringing us the world
A wireless cornucopia
For every boy and girl
The finest Kyoceras
Don’t have a prayer today
Try LG and ZTE
You’ll be comin’ back to me

Got a pickup truck
I’m down on my luck
Yes, I’m stuck here in the dark
But I’ve got the only iPhone
In the trailer park

With my composition complete, I drove down the hill again to the local Get Go, for a cup of coffee. The beverage bolstered my stamina enough to make my final journey home to Thompson.
It had been a happy holiday. Now it was time to embrace the night.

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