For some years I watched my little grandchildren with their smart-phones. They played games even while I was talking to them, they texted each other while I was teaching them, and they were taking photographs while I was trying to show them something. Once or twice I asked them to show me and they did, for all of three seconds, and then they grabbed it away from me and went back to their games. “It’s complicated, Pop! Better you stick to your old phone.” And so I did.

But it gnawed at me. I was good with my old model phone and I helped other people here at the Retirement Home with their old phones by deleting their unanswered messages, finding their new unanswered messages and adding new people to their contacts. I also use an iPad. I can zoom my way from the Stock Exchange live to the sports results to a quotation from Shakespeare in microseconds.

I should have a smart phone, one as smart as I am, one that will make my grandchildren gape at me in admiration. “See that old guy there on the bench? That’s my grandfather. He’s busy texting his broker! Not bad at his age, huh?”

I hunted around, checked prices, found a shop with a nice sounding name in Nathan Road, Hong Kong and ordered my smart phone. Here the story ends – I am no longer smart.

This confounded phone has reduced me to a school boy. It has a logic system called Android. Somewhere in the mists of my mind I remember Android — he was an anthropomorphic robot — a robot that looks like a human with no built-in logic at all. Now he’s in my phone! I cannot answer phone calls, nor can I make calls. I cannot find old numbers, nor can I add new. I cannot text messages and I only see incoming messages 3 days after they have arrived.

The good news is that my Android can take pictures and I can find them afterwards in the Gallery to show my few remaining friends. But I cannot send these pictures anywhere except back to the shop where I ordered the phone. And that may be the problem. Could it be that they sent me a camera instead of a phone? It looks like a phone…

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