Tag Archives: phones

Hadley and the Cell Phone Glare©

(a 2014 offering repeated)

Letongaloosa has a fine performing arts center. The center brings nationally and internationally known performers, musical groups and other topflight entertainers to town. Hadley Wilkins always buys season’s tickets to the center’s “It’s Broadway” series. His seat is in the middle of the first row of the lower balcony. That’s where the cell phone glare episode happened.
Hadley was at his seat early for the first performance of the season. Just before the house lights went down, a man in a dark suit made his way along the row and sat next to Hadley. Before the man’s pants touched the seat, he had a large-screen cell phone in hand and had begun thumbing through a series of messages. As the curtain rose, the man’s eyes remained on his cell phone screen. The glow of the cell phone was distracting, but Hadley waited a few moments before touching the man’s arm.
“They said to turn off and put away all cell phones,” he whispered.
The man didn’t look away from the screen.
“Don’t bother me,” he said, and kept on scrolling
Finally the man set the cell phone screen-up on the arm of the chair between him and Hadley. Moments later the phone emitted a “ping.” The man touched the screen, pressed a button, and began thumbing a text message. Hadley saw no allies seated around them, so he subsided in his seat and watched the show.
As the audience streamed out of the theater, Hadley looked for a staff member, but found none. The next morning Hadley drove to the center to talk to the manager. Hadley explained the encounter, and the manager expressed sympathy, and asked what seat the cell phone user had occupied.
“He was seated on my left,” said Hadley, and gave the seat number. The manager typed, and looked at the screen.
“Oh my,” he said.
“What’s the matter?”
“That seat belongs to Clemment Boxley. He’s a senior executive at Red Grove Industries. The company has just transferred him to Letongaloosa from New Jersey. Red Grove is one of our largest corporate sponsors.” He touched another key. “And Mr. Boxley is one of our “Starfire” level contributors. He contributed $5,000 to the center this year.”
“And that means?” asked Hadley.
“And that means,” said the center manager, “that we are going to find you a marvelous new seat. Do you want to stay in the balcony, or would you prefer the main level?”
“I prefer the seat I’ve occupied as a season ticket holder for the last 10 years,” said Hadley.
“You have that choice, of course,” said the manager.
“But you’re not going to do anything about that man and his cell phone,”
I apologize, but, no, I am not.”
“I see,” said Hadley, and he left.
Hadley Wilkins is an electronics wizard. He developed important parts of current cell phone technology. Hadley decided this was a job for Cyberman!
The next performance was sold out. The center spokesperson welcomed members of the audience, thanked the performers and sponsors, and made the ritual cell phone announcement. During that announcement, Clemment Boxley’s eyes were on his cell phone screen and his thumbs were on the keys. The face up screen glowed on the arm of his chair.
Then, just before intermission cell phone tones erupted all over the theater. Baffled audience members fumbled for their phones in their purses, pouches and pockets and pulled them out. Scores of cell phones glowed in the darkened auditorium. It looked surreal. On each cell phone screen, in Ariel Black type, was the same message: “Ain’t teknology wonnerful?”
The Associated Press ran a short piece about Letongaloosa’s “cyber glow phenomenon.” The story lasted one news cycle in the mass media.
A few days later the performance center manager came to see Hadley.
“Mr. Wilkens, the center wants to reward you for your years of loyalty as a season ticket holder. Here are six complimentary tickets to our upcoming ‘Pop Culture Parade’ show.” Then he said, “By the way, Mr. Boxley has been transferred back to New Jersey. Apparently the company didn’t think he was a good fit for the Redgrove plant here.” -30-

-Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Sent From My…©

 

When you receive a message with a pretentious post-script  telling you that the sender was e-mailing you from a super-duper cell phone, you can reply with your own super-duper post script:

1.Sent from my 1943 Jack Armstrong Radio Show secret decoder ring.

2.Sent from my electrified chain link fence.

3.Sent from my Dog’s supper dish.

4.Sent from the drain spout on my Aunt Clara’s kitchen sink.

5.Sent from a cell phone I found in a dumpster behind Kelly’s Pizza Parlor.

6.Sent from my wife’s hair dryer. (from my girlfriend’s, from my boyfriend’s, from my grandpa’s hair dryer.)

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hadley Hacks A Hacker

Hackers cause all kinds of grief for cell phone users.

Hadley Wilkins was an electronic engineer who had helped develop cell phone technology. He hated hackers, so he decided to go after Henry “the Hulk” Histoid, the meanest, most intrusive hacker in the business.

But he decided to do his work not as mild mannered Hadley Wilkins, but as Cyberman, defender of the cell phone innocent and the digitally clueless.

Using his own genius software, Hadley lurked on the Hulk’s cell phone circuit. He watched and listened for a week as the Hulk did his dirty work on other people’s cell phones—listening to, and sometimes interrupting, their conversations. He also messed with their private cell phone files.

Hadley hacked into the Hulk’s file of personal phone numbers. There were lots of them. Hadley collected the Hulk’s personal data and credit card information. He already knew a lot about the Hulk’s buying patterns and e-the mail addresses of the companies he bought from. Hadley knew he could order all kinds of merchandise from online companies and catalog stores. He could even mimick the Hulk’s voice if the companies recorded the sales calls for verification.

When everything was ready, Hadley punched in the cell phone number that only the Hulk’s friends and close associates knew. The Hulk’s cell phone screen said the call was coming from “Amber.”

“Amber. Baby! Long time no talk,” said the Hulk.

Amber’s voice came on the line, and Amber’s face appeared on the Hulk’s cell phone screen, but the message was Hadley’s.

“I just called to say I never want to hear from you again, you jerk.” Click.

The Hulk dialed Amber’s number. He got a “caller blocked” message.

Panicked, the Hulk dialed his best friend Torgel.

“Torgel” answered the call with a happy voice: “Hulk, thanks for the hundred smackers, man.”

“What hundred smackers?” asked the Hulk.

“From your bank, Dude! They called me yesterday and said you’d gifted me a hundred dollars for my birthday. My birthday isn’t until next month. You’re the Dude, dude!” Then “Torgel” hung up. Torgel’s number rang unanswered when the Hulk tried to call back.

The same pattern was repeated for every friend and associate that the Hulk tried to contact: anger and denunciation for supposed insults, or warm appreciation for the Hulk’s generosity.

The Hulk called his bank and demanded that it replace the funds withdrawn. The cashier explained that the bank had the Hulk’s voice on a recording asking for the payments and declined to replace the funds. The cashier bumped the Hulk’s call up to the assistant manager who gave the Hulk the same message and bumped the call up to the bank manager who gave the Hulk the same response using the exact words the cashier had used. Then the incoming calls began.

“Mr. Henry. This is Art Larsen, World Wide Travel calling to confirm your trip day after tomorrow to Estonia. We expedited the visa process by paying the large surcharge that you authorized. Just give the airline your name and show your passport when you check in.”

“Mr. Henry. This is Ollie Olsen, from Peterburg Outdoor Outfitters. You can pick up your new all-terrain vehicle and your camping equipment anytime at our Southside facility.”

Panicked and distraught, Henry Histoid ran to his car, put his cell phone on the cement in front of a tire and ran over it. Then he went back inside and sat down with his head in his hands. A phone rang. It was the Hulk’s land line. He never used that line. In fact he had forgotten he had a land line. The phone kept ringing. Hulk finally picked up. “Hello?”

“Have you learned your lesson about the pain hacking causes?” asked the voice on the phone.

A crestfallen Hulk responded “Yes. Yes I have.”

“Good,” said the voice. “You are lucky this time. All those calls were as fake as the hack calls you’ve been making. The next time you hack a phone that stuff will happen for real.”

“Who is this?”

An announcer’s voice from a bygone era intoned:

“It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s CYBERMAN!” Click.

-30-

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,