Saturday, February 28, 2009

That kid with the cell phone

I don't feel much older than I did last week, but I suppose I am. I'm 27 now, just three years from the dreaded 3-0.

This isn't time for some predictable life crisis, but I did have a revelation while working on my smooth jump shot at the basketball court last week. In movies or books, the main character usually makes a big discovery, about himself or life in general, while observing something mundane. The fictional detective or lawyer always finds the key to the big case while sitting in the park alone watching a dog catch a Frisbee. Or the main character stares out one sunny afternoon to find children frolicking in a golden field and the camera closes in on the face and a little tear drops from the corner of the eye. And so on.

While draining my shots with Ray Allen-ish flair, two boys no older than 12 appeared. They goofed around the whole time, especially one, who talked on a cell phone. Then I thought about my cousin, who is about 12 or 13, who already has a cell phone, a laptop and an iPod. My family did not own a computer until I was a junior in high school, around the year 2000. But perhaps these goodies are equivalent of that Simon Says toy and Nintendo when I was that age?

During the heady days of my youth, my friends and I played manhunt, four squares, touch football and kickball. Now they text each other and flirt on MySpace. Once you get to the "these damn kids are so different" stage, then you know you're getting up there.

Another sign? I do not own a Nintendo Wii, a PlayStation 3, an iPhone, satellite radio, GPS, high-def television, Tivo or DVR. I still play PlayStation 2, listen to FM radio and tape shows with a VCR. Even my parents use DVR. Part of the reason is I'm cheap/don't make a lot of money. I have a deeply ingrained aversion to spending, and when I do, it's on international trips. (Stupid, weak American dollar!)

How about some more? I have no clue or any interest whatsoever in Twitter. I think it's dumb and useless. I can't name the Jonas Brothers. I take ten minutes to text "hey" on my obsolete cell phone. I still listen to CDs and purchase them in person. I remember the Abraham Lincoln administration. I think back to the LA race riots and think, "Those were the days." I remember being in a social studies class when the O.J. verdict came down and the whole class cheered, except little Stevie. He was pissed. I remember being baffled by the concept of "DVD."

I try my best to keep up with the times. Facebook, MySpace, iTunes, even this here blog help out in that department. (Though I was late with each of these.) I was also liberal before it became cool. OK. Maybe it's not cool, but it's not the dirty word it used to be. I watched 24 from Day 1 and now it's the biggest show in the history of the world. So the cutting edge isn't only for everybody else.

But ... seeing that kid talk so freely shot a cannonball into my subconscious. His friend was climbing up the basket, and this is the truth, I wanted to tell him to stop because he might hurt himself.

Oh well. I still have some years left, hopefully. Now it's time to eat some graham crackers, read a .... what do you call those paper-y things ... oh yeah, a book and watch some CBS programming.

The kids like Everybody Loves Raymond, right?

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