Fun with Cell Phones

posted January 3, 2005 by Jer


I am in horrible, horrible pain.

It's not the kind of horrible pain I was in on Monday when I caught a 24 hour stomach bug. That was also horrible pain, but the pain I am feeling now is more of a psychological/emotional "why god, oh WHY" sort of pain as opposed to the physical/digestive "the consequences of eating or drinking anything are going to be excruciatingly horrible!" sort of pain. Regardless, my current pain is bad.

I have a new cell phone. When I moved, I needed to get a new phone because my old phone is based on the east coast and if I don't cancel my old plan and get a new west coast plan I am totally unable to pay my bill, despite the fact that otherwise my phone works fine. This seemed good on the surface but then my phone company realized I was using my phone without paying my bill and they sent huge men over to take the money I owed them out of my ass. This involved me giving the large men money, the large men force-feeding me the money, the large men violently pulling the money out of my ass, and then the sodomy. On a related note, I now know I am definitely not gay because I do not enjoy sodomy.

So I got a new phone. As you may have gathered, I don't have many fond memories of my old phone service. I went with a new service. This new service is much cheeper and came with all the neat stuff that you could get with your phone two years ago but actually sucked and would cost you an arm, a leg, and forced sodomy. The trouble was that the closest dealer for this service is very far away, so I went to the nearest comparable cell-phone selling people. Best Buy.

This is what I like to call "Mistake Number One."

I don't like Best Buy. I haven't liked Best Buy since ever. When the store first oozed out of the festering pits of Beelzebub, lord of flies and competitor for rule of all things wicked and evil, they bombarded our television waves with obnoxious, intelligence-insulting commercials. Of course, they blended right in with all other commercials so I made the mistake of assuming they were just another new store. Oh how wrong I was. You see, when you begin working at Best Buy, they begin drilling into your brain with horrible hypnosis techniques that sap your mind of the ability to talk to other human beings as if they are, in fact, human beings. This is similar to how working at Disney World eliminates your ability to make any facial expression other then pure blissful happiness, however Disney opts to instead use negative reinforcement by means of mercilessly beating any employee caught not smiling. Anyway, every time I have ever walked into Best Buy, I have been pandered to and patronized to the point of murderous rampage. (note: Officially, I have never killed a Best Buy employee. Those charges were dropped due to the lack of evidence. If you ever found a finger in your new VCR, thank you for not complaining)

Buying my phone started out fine, though. I was lucky enough to have found an employee who had not been working long enough for the nano-brain-parasites to take full effect, thus her ability to talk to me like a human being was still intact. (to her I say only this: be strong). The Best Buy would not have this, though. No, the system can sense when a customer is going to have a pleasant experience and it works with cold, calculating efficiency to prevent it. The computer - handy as it may have been to a properly brain-fried employee - decided to FUCK with my poor human representative by freezing, rebooting, locking, and generally doing EVERYTHING in it's power to restart my order from scratch over, and over and over again. Complication upon complication arose until - by no fault of the employee - it took me four hours to buy my new god damned phone. Four god-damned hours. Four god-damned-I-should-have-brought-my-fucking-GBA-with-me hours.

But it ended, and the phone is pretty sweet. It's a Samsung phone, and as we all know Samsung means to come. It's got lots of buttons and it does lots of stuff, and I've been pushing the buttons ever since I got home. Like all really GOOD gadgets, you can figure everything out by pushing buttons. Once, I thought I may have to look something up, and I actually LOOKED IN THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL for nearly FIVE MINUTES before - I'm not making this up - I realized I was looking at the Spanish section and it made as much sense as the English section. So I went back to pushing buttons and figured that one thing out on my one and I felt like a male human again. Life was good.

Then it happened. The horror. The horrible horror about which this rant is about. I looked at the games.

I was expecting horror when I looked at the games. My old phone had a game where a number fell from the sky and the object was to push that number before it hit the ground. Cell phone games are not good. I knew this before I began. I didn't think they could horrify me. Never.

The games were so bad they HORRIFIED me.

So... so bad...

I need a moment before I can go on.


Okay. I'm good.

Right. Phone has three games. No surprises so far. There's this stupid Dracula game where you're the grand-daughter of Dracula and you've got to re-assemble his body. Right. I've logged 65 hours, 51 minutes and 35 seconds (not counting deaths) on Castlevania, Circle of the Moon - and I still have a bit more to go to beat it on "Thief" mode (just about there). This "Dracula" game was alone was a kick in the pork and beans. I played it for 12 seconds out of morbid curiosity before deleting it from my phone. On to the next game.

Some bowling game... right. DELETED. Next.

Blackjack. Basic, simple, hard to fuck up - all I can possibly expect from my cell phone's games. I flip it on and start playing. It's got some super-duper old west tavern graphics but whatever. I get to gamble make-believe money while pushing "Hit" or "Stay." It even had complicated stuff like splitting when you're dealt two of the same card. My expectations (recap: all cell phone games will suck) were almost surpassed when the game stops after two minutes to tell me MY TRIAL PERIOD HAS ENDED AND I NOW NEED TO PAY $5.99 TO PURCHASE THE FULL VERSION!

Oh god... it hurts...

Hang on... I can get through this....

Dear Gaiman protect me...


So I SOMEHOW manage to control my rage and not attempt to stab a brick wall with my new phone. I calm myself and focus my rage. I go over to Big Josh's place and kick the crap out of him. This worked great cuz he didn't actually notice.

Now the morbid curiosity is REALLY kicking in. My phone has internet-y-stuff included, so I go online and start looking at the games you can pay $5.99 each for. They have 'em in categories. Categories like Action and Adventure, Sports and Racing, TV and Movie! Oh god... cuz everyone who plays video games KNOWS that TV shows and Movies make THE VERY BEST games! "Okay, here we go" I say, "Here's 'Retro and Arcade.' Maybe there's something here that won't fill me with burning rage."

Mistake Number Two.

What's on the top of the list? Not "Snake" or "Pac Man," either of which could and has worked harmoniously on cell phones... no... it's Samurai Shodown. Samurai Shodown... it's even spelled with the missing "w," just like the real Samurai Shodown. Someone who actually plays games did this. One of my kind. A peer. Someone who knows good shit from bad shit programmed and is trying to sell me a cell phone version of my dear, beloved SNK fighter. What else is there? Castlevania, Gauntlet, GRADIUS! Not GRADIUS! Not my spaceship with the little dots behind it! God NO! I couldn't bring myself to get that for ANY system after the NES for fear it would taint my beautiful memories of shooting three lasers at once! By the time I see "Mrs. Packman" on the list, I'm sobbing to hard to remember thinking that might work just fine on a cell phone. And for each of these, someone, somewhere gets $5.99 every time some poor schmuck thinks "Oh cool, I can play DOOM on my cell phone! I'm a GAMER!" NO YOU'RE NOT! THAT'S WHY NO ONE OWNS A FUCKING N-GAGE YOU TWAT! GAMES ON CELL PHONES SUCK!

My phone plan is supposed to include the ability to send pictures to people, so I tried to cheer myself up by sending a picture of my Dib action figure to Jenn with the caption "You can't hide forever, Zim!" My phone told my I need to pay $5.00 a month more to do that, which is a lie. I hope the folks at Best Buy can still help me now that I've stabbed a brick wall with my phone 47 times. I got the Best Buy coverage plan so it should be OK, right? No?