Discover more from The Matt Jankowski Club
Mint flavored iced tea was unnecessary but now that it's here I guess if you like it go ahead and have some
We came to enroll in a new list of people
In the classic era of landline phones, a popular move to execute when you got really mad on a phone call was to angrily slam down the phone onto its base station, ending the call. An escalation from there if you have like a really long cord on your handset and were standing across the room from the base station would be to just friggin throw your phone at the wall while you scream about the other person, or whatever.
FCC data shows that on average, from the early ‘60s to late ‘90s, 3.5% of all phones were destroyed annually due to phone slamming or throwing because of anger-related issues that came up on calls. All the phones being destroyed is too bad and all, but a nice side effect is that the upgrade cycle on aging phones was slightly accelerated by needing to replace a phone that had been destroyed after having been thrown into a wall.
Of course, in the smart phone era these numbers are way down. A landline phone could be had for relatively cheap once the technology was perfected. If you wanted a basic wired model without any advanced features, being required to periodically pay $19 for a new phone handset was a fair price to pay for the utter satisfaction of having thrown your phone into the wall. But now with some smart phones going for north of $1000 it’s simply too expensive to end your calls, in anger, with a slammed or thrown phone. Data through 2019 shows that phones being replaced due to anger have dropped down to 0.4% per year, the lowest it has been since the second World War.
Here’s a good product idea — make a plastic device with an accelerometer and a small bluetooth chip in it. This device looks and feels just like an old time phone handset, but it can’t make any calls. Instead, it just sits idly by connected to your actual smartphone via bluetooth, reading its accelerometer data. When it finally gets thrown and smashes into the wall, the sudden deceleration is detected and transmitted to your smartphone, which ends the call in progress.
Raising the standards by which one conducts a bake-off
Years ago in a conversation with a friend, when asked to name a song by The Who, I mistakenly said “The Wanderer”, when what I actually meant was “The Seeker”. This mistake has haunted me ever since. Actually, if I’m being honest, I don’t think anyone ever asked me to “name a song by The Who”. That sounds like kind of a dumb question and frankly beneath the sophistication of the intelligent and classy conversations I’m typically in. So let’s say the exact question and prompting escapes me, but the mistake (saying The Wanderer when what I meant was The Seeker) has stuck with me.
At first pass, the mistake seems sort of forgivable, right? Aren’t a wanderer and a seeker both general description of a person who is out and about looking for something? Sort of.
But when you dig deeper into the lyrics you discover that The Wanderer (apparently from the same catalog as “Runaround Sue”) is about a guy who is going around chasing ladies and who considers himself something of a ladies man, but ultimately there’s a certain sadness to the whole thing. He claims at one point to be in all the places that have pretty ladies, which is incredible! On the other hand, The Seeker is about a guy who has an (unindexed!) 50 million row table of fables in his SQL database, and he’s trying to find the key. He knows that he’s never going to find it (“until the day I die”) … and he’s honestly not even that happy on the journey.
Given hard drive technology of the 1970s, it’s going to take the guy from the seeker basically forever to find the row with the fable he’s looking for; and given the sheer number of pretty ladies out there, the guy from the wanderer is going to have to be everywhere all at once. I’d like to propose that these guys team up and travel around together! I think the approach of wandering as opposed to seeking is the course to take here. They should start in one place and just randomly move to a new place. When they get to each place they should run a few basic checks. Are there pretty ladies here? If so, kiss ‘em, love ‘em, hug ‘em, squeeze ‘em. Is the fable we are looking for here? If so, find it’s key (and index it).
Their ultimate fate will be the same. The one guy won’t settle down; and the other guy is resigned to never getting what he’s after … but at least they’ll have each other, and the stories they make along the way.