"Which 'phone do you think I should get, then?" said my dad, completely out of the blue. I paused, reflected, and then walked across the kitchen to him, leaving my egg to boil. I wasn't going to pretend I hadn't been listening to him - my dad does this thing every year of going through our family's expenditure to save us money. And hey, good for him. We don't have a lot of money - he's an actor, she's a teacher, she minor is a student, and I'm a slacker - and following the savings on water, gas, electricity, internet and TV, he's now tackling 'phones. It was only a matter of time.
Looking at the list of 'phone upgrades he was choosing from was amusing. My dad only uses his 'phone to make calls (which, I suppose, is what it's designed for). He doesn't text (and when he does it's very brief and without spaces or lower-case letters) and he'd have no need for any apps, since he doesn't use Facebook, doesn't know what Twitter is and has an iPod, so he doesn't even need Spotify or any mp3s on his phone. He also seems to know what every song ever is called, so he doesn't need Shazam! either. All these 'phones had those capacities. Hence his confusion.
"You don't need to use any of those," I pointed out. "One with a QWERTY keyboard would be good for your texting, as it would be easier to use - " This passed without comment. " - and, what's more, you get a trackpad to browse around with, which might also be fun."
"What do I do about e-mail?"
"What about it?"
"Don't you get e-mail with one of these?"
"Well, yes, you do. But you don't need to use it."
"I was prompted to create one, so I did, but I never use it. I mean, I already have about six other addresses, but none of them route to my BlackBerry. I wouldn't want it clogged up with spam. I send e-mails from my computer, and the e-mail service is there if I need it, but I don't e-mail from it. You could do the same."
"Okay," my dad nodded. "I wouldn't use it anyway. But what's the point of even setting up an e-mail service if you won't use it?"
"You kind of have to," I said.
I'm not sure if that's true. But I couldn't really say any more about 'phone e-mail without telling him that the last time I sent an e-mail from my 'phone (to myself), it contained some JPEGs, including (but not limited to) the young raver streaking at camp, a picture of my thighs, and one of my penis almost immediately post-orgasm.
But then again, he didn't really need to know that, either.