My modem died last week, and for reasons trivial (they wanted me to pay $100 to replace the modem; I wanted to pay $0), it remains dead — which has caused my apartment to travel backward in time 20 years.
The DVD player only plays DVDs. The can opener only opens cans. The computer plays music and crunches numbers and lets me process my words, but it can't access Netflix or publish any of my keen observations on the new season of "Downton Abbey," so what good is it really?
How this pertains to you is that I have decided to write my column this week entirely on my smartphone.
I hope this reaches you well. The cell phone interface is certainly informing my writing style, which has a natural tendency to get frisky with the punctuation. As it currently stands, I have to best three levels of "Angry Birds" before my phone will even let me type a semicolon, so expect Hemingway-esque brevity this week.
Writing this column on a 4-inch phone screen is a definite reminder that my typing skills have long ago surpassed my texting skills. Composing sentences longer than 10 words is somewhat of an undertaking on my cell phone, as each word takes an average of two or three seconds to type. (I have big, fat sausage hands, and this cellular keyboard seems designed for 9-year-olds with french fry fingers.)
In this way, typing on my phone feels a lot like I've had a stroke: I know all the words I want to say, but saying them at the speed I'm thinking them is out of the question, and having to type them 10 times slower than that is frustrating enough to make me want to give up and drink all the beer in my fridge.
Whatever entertainment you, the reader, are able to glean from this column, I can assure you that in the end, it wasn't worth it for me. My brain just sustained four aneurysms while writing that sentence.
I tried dictating a portion of this column using my phone's speech-to-text software, but the resulting monotone I was forced to assume was causing the family dog mental distress. However, my robot-like sweet-talking did inspire a romantic proposition from the waffle iron. You know what they say about striking while the iron is hot? Well, that is completely irrelevant here, because the iron is a 6 at best.
I don't know how ancient people had the patience to write in stone. What do you ever need to say that badly? If only food and fashion bloggers of today had the same barrier for entrance to their field, they would probably still do it anyway, but at least we'd have the pleasure of knowing they suffered.
Oh, look, it's the season premiere of "The Bachelor." Thoughts:
It took the producers less than two minutes of airtime to produce footage of the bachelor shirtless, glistening in sweat. (A new record?) This shot was followed by an epic zoom-out from his bare, oily pecs to a panoramic mountain range at sunset.
Then, cut to the dude shirtless on a rock squinting into the bright midday sun. Time passes differently here on Pectoral Mountain. Wonder when host Chris Harrison is going to get in on the topless action? Next year, I'd like to see him and the bachelor casually do their initial interview bare-chested in a Jacuzzi.
As my wife and I sat side by side in bed eating our Special K with red berries and painting our toenails matching fuchsia, I couldn't help but wonder why a guy who looked like a cover model for Ginger Men's Fitness would ever have any trouble meeting women or "finding love" as he claims, unless the part where he tries to have sex with as many women simultaneously as possible keeps somehow getting in his way.
For those of you unfamiliar with how "The Bachelor" works, congratulations on being better at life than me. The first episode of the season is usually one of the best as it packs in the largest amount of crazy chicks per square inch. Twenty-five women show up to the bachelor mansion, mainline Chardonnay off camera and compete to make an impression on a guy who, 10 times out of 10, will not end up marrying a single one of them.
Then there's this awkward thing called the rose ceremony, where all the drunk, catty broads line up next to each other, and the bachelor hands out roses to the ones he wants to try to "find love with." The rest get sent packing.
This season, the producers — who often stunt cast the first episode with a cougar, a certifiable insane person or some combination of the two — ask the age-old question: What's the minimum number of rose ceremonies you need to wait before eliminating the one-armed girl without looking like a heartless dirtball on national television? My guess is four.
And now, a haiku about Bachelor Sean, as composed by the women of his season:
he's pretty to look at
he's a maaaan"
Most memorable quote: "I wish I were more sober right now." — drunk chick who wore a wedding gown to meet the bachelor.
Moral of the story: The best place to pick up women is outside of the bachelor mansion just after the first rose ceremony.
Ryan Jackson wrote this column from the following locations: bedroom, bathroom, living room, Target checkout line, McDonald's drive thru and the Zone. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.