Funny thing is that he has owned this particular cell phone for the grand total of exactly 8 months. When we bought this one it was the one-that-he-absolutely-had-to-have-cause-that's-the-one-that-all-the-kids-had. He was so excited. Now, not so much.
I have explained to him that buying cell phones is just "one of those things." One of those things where as soon as you buy one, the very next moment they release something cooler and smaller with a bigger camera and the ability to receive messages from aliens or some such nonsense.
I have further explained to him that some kids will get new cell phones all the time - but HE is not going to be one of those kids. I used the following sayings:
- You're lucky you have a cell phone at all. You're 12 for heavens sake. Who is the world is it, besides me, that you really really really need to call/text/take a video of?
- You gotta a lotta "want", Mr. Got No Job, Got No Prospects
- Children in Bhutan do not get new cell phones, they get new herds of cows to herd
- Do you think Dad is made of money? Does he look green and papery to you?
- Your cell phone is perfectly fine. Isn't it what you begged for lo those 8 months ago?
And yet, every time he sees a commercial for a new phone or hears a commercial on the radio, I get a little piece of whine. Sometimes I just get a "meaningful look" that says "you are the meanest, cheapest mom on the planet earth. I am SO abused." Yea, right buddy. Sticks and Stones...
Yesterday, George the Younger announces that, wonder upon wonders, his existing cell phone is broken. Yup, convenient time for the hated phone to go kaput. I told him to go plug it in thinking that perhaps it was just the battery. But, no dice. The display is all cafloogy. You could see the excitement on his little angel face. A balloon popped up over his head. His inner thoughts were visible: Broke cell phone = NEW cool nifty full keyboard cell phone!!! I reached over and popped that little bubble. I said I would take it to the AT&T store to either exchange it or get it repaired. That little balloon went fizzing all around the kitchen with a dejected trajectory.
Today I went to the AT&T store. Why doesn't the phone work, I ask. Turns out the phone doesn't work because the whole thing has gotten very wet somehow. The phone is wet. The battery is wet. It seems that the cell phone manufacturers have a little litmus test inside the phone. Pink = wet.
Advice from the sales person is to try to put the phone in an air-tight container covered in rice. He says that sometimes this solves the problem. Obviously, sometimes it doesn't. So, right now, George the Younger's miserably outdated cell phone is marinating in a Tupperware container of jasmine rice. I wondered briefly if it mattered what kind of rice it was - - long or short grain. But I went with what I had.
Picked up George the Younger with an expectant face waiting to see his NEW cell phone. Alas, his disappointment was palpable when I told him that the phone was being dried out. What? No new phone?? Arghhhh. Which made me wonder (not for the first time) whether the phone got wet accidentally or was a victim of some clever sabotage???? When subtlety questioned, George the Younger maintained his innocence, and I was unable to detect that tell-tale look that only the guilty possess when being caught in an act of underhanded treachery. Either he's telling the truth, or he's getting to be a credible liar (there's an oxymoron for you, eh?).
So, while the phone dries out, George the Younger is going to start looking on ebay for new phones. Turns out that when you drench your cell phone, you are not eligible for any of the great financial deals out there in cell phone land. You gotta bite the bullet and pay retail (i.e. we will pay $100 for a few pieces of plastic and LCD screen that cost a whopping $2). Hate that.
So, George the Younger will continue to hang on the the thinnest thread of hope that he may still be the owner of a new model cell phone. Part of me wants to just go and get him a new one that looks just like the old one - - you know, just for sport. It's good to be the mean mean Mom. Mwahahahaha....