Humor by Greg Schwem

She sat at the bar, calmly texting while nursing a glass of merlot. I tepidly approached the empty stool next to her.

"Excuse me," I said, my gaze traveling from her eyes downward.

"Not interested pal," she replied curtly.

"May I just touch it for a moment? Better yet, can I hold it?"

"I have mace, pervert. And I'm not afraid to use it."

"That's a Nokia Lumia 920, right?" I quickly continued. "I'm thinking of getting one."

"Ohhhh," she replied. "Why didn't you say so? I just LOVE mine."

I held her smartphone in my palm. "Awesome curves," I said. "But it could stand to lose a little weight. Then again, it's what's inside that counts, don't you think?"

"It's also very sensitive to the touch," she said.

"Well, thank you," I said and pushed my stool back.

I left the bar, feeling a little dirty. Was this the way to find my soul mate? Approaching strangers in loud, foreign settings? Maybe I'd do better online.

I went to Craigslist, scrolled down to the personals section and typed a succinct message:

"Seeking new smartphone and constant companion. Must have reliable battery life, enjoy travel and be willing to change carriers if necessary. Color and manufacturer immaterial."

Within minutes my inbox exploded.

"The Motorola Droid X is HOT!"

"I can't imagine life without my LG Optimus G."

"I was young and inexperienced when I decided on the HTC One X. Looking back, we were doomed from the start."

Later that day, from the backseat of a taxi, I listened while the driver bemoaned his current relationship status.

"I love the iPhone 5, but I just can't deal with HER," he said, referring to Siri, the knowledgeable female assistant who lives inside assorted Apple products.

"Sometimes, I feel like she's not listening," he said. "I'll ask her to do one thing and she'll respond with something completely different. Or worse, she'll say she doesn't understand, even if I put her close to my lips."

"Have you thought about . . ." I hesitated briefly, wondering if it was my place to even broach the subject, "ending it?"

"I can't afford to. I'm stuck with her for three years."

"You made a three-year commitment?" I asked incredulously.

"That's what the contract says."

"It's just a phone, right?" I asked myself after exiting the cab. "Why are you turning this into a potential marriage?"

And yet, upgrading to a new smartphone has taken on all the components of matrimony beginning with:


The user resolves to find a harmonious mate who can arouse feelings of giddiness -- even sensuality - just by performing simple tasks such as texting or using the camera app. This is followed by:


The user experiments with different phones, discarding those that don't feel compatible, often for trivial reasons such as, "couldn't deal with the brushed polycarbonate design" and "has trouble beaming video files.

Finally, with the choice narrowed to one, the user:


Usually proposed to a friend with technical knowledge. My buddy Rick, for instance.

"The Samsung Galaxy S3 just feels right," I said after our weekly tennis game. "What do you think?"

"I just want you to be happy," he replied. "You've been so distant since telling me it was over between you and your Blackberry Bold."

"You noticed?"

"How long have we known each other? Go with the Galaxy. It's got an awesome quad-core processor."

Finally the big day arrived. I strode into the local Sprint store where the manager awaited.

"You ready to do this pal?" he asked.

The last time somebody asked me that question, in that tone, was on my wedding day. Not surprisingly, I responded in identical fashion.

"I've done a lot of soul searching and, well, this just feels right," I said. "

"Congratulations," he said. "And remember you can always bring it back after 30 days if things don't work out."

It's nice to know there's no charge for a phone annulment.

Humorist Greg Schwem is a stand-up comedian and author of Text Me If You're Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad

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