In a fit of misguided youthfulness I rushed out and bought one of those smart phones that all the kids are talking into or fiddling with all the time. Thinking that I had shed old age and become young at last, I too talked to my new toy, but there’s never an answer or someone talking to me. So not only could I not talk to it, I couldn’t talk to anyone else, in fact I couldn’t make out the tiny writing on the screen and these old fingers have trouble with the tiny letters on the keyboard. No matter, I thought, a few days of practicing and I will have this thing singing to me.

A week and then two weeks passed with little improvement. The phone refused to behave as I expected it to do.

“It doesn’t work,” I tell my grandson as I watch his little fingers fly over the keyboard and see him talking and laughing into my defective phone.

“It’s no good,” I say to the young man in the store. More flying fingers and he tosses it back to me. “Perhaps there’s something wrong with the operator, Pop?”

And so there is. The operator is simply too old to understand the illogic of the operating system of the telephone. But – it has its uses. I found the flashlight app a few hours before we had an electrical outage; I found out how to get the stock exchange prices any time of the day or night in any stock exchange in the world, even though I have no stocks; I can find the phone numbers of friends and family and I can take pictures of the grandchildren and my paintings.

Who says smart-phones aren’t smart?