Can I smear you now?

I’ve been feeling a little more tired than usual over the past few days. Fatigued. Exhausted. Weary. Drained. I’ve been trying to understand what could be causing this malaise. This unease. This sense of melancholy.

The good news: I’m clearly still alert enough to use a Thesaurus. The bad news: I figured out what’s wrong with me, and it’s something that only time can heal.What’s ailing me is that my body, soul, and mind are all still in recovery from not one, but two, excruciating, soul-sucking visits to the cell phone store within a six-day period. For purposes of avoiding attracting some kind of a law suit—even though this is a very tiny blog with just 55 official followers and no real influence in the world—I’ll refer to that cell phone store as “Shmerizon” from here on out.

Like every normal American, I hate going to the Shmerizon Store with the white-hot intensity of a thousand burning suns. I actually had to get a mammogram last week as well, and compared to my trip(s) to Shmerizon, that was like a trip to Disney World… Seriously— a root canal; a pap smear; a tonsillectomy… These are all things I would rather do than go to Shmerizon.

You get the point. Since 3 out of 4 of my family members have phone plans that ended around the same time, and since the same 3 out of 4 of us were having major issues with our phones, I tried — oh my god, did I try— to be proactive and consolidate all of our Shmerizon visits into one in order to minimize the pain. Unfortunately, due to circumstances that I won’t bore you with here, that was not to happen.

I did end up at Shmerizon on a Friday afternoon with my youngest son, with the intention of both of us upgrading to the new iPhone 8 plus. We were prepared. We knew exactly what we wanted, right down to the number of gigabytes, the color, even the cases we wanted. We were going to breeze in and out of that store in 10 minutes. I was determined. It was 4:00 on a Friday afternoon, after all, just about time for happy hour, and I sure didn’t want to waste it hanging out inside of Shmerizon.

Alas, our very friendly but somewhat overzealous sales rep had different ideas. He wanted to Save Us Money! He wanted to find us a Promotion! He wanted to convince me that I needed 256 gigabytes even though I was used to having only 32!

When the details were finally ironed out, he disappeared into the back room to bring us our new treasures, and I’m thinking, “YES. We are going to be out of here in 5 more minutes!”

He came back to us with a couple boxes of phones, but also — A Great Deal! A One-Time Promotion!! We could save $13 per month if we just took home two “HUM” devices for our cars! Yes, that’s right folks, if we took home two extra devices we did not come into the store to buy, we could actually SAVE money!

At this point, I’m all like: “What’s the catch?”

And he’s all like: “There is no catch! It’s a promotion!”

And I’m all like: “So you’re saying I can bring home these two devices and even if I just keep them in the box for two years, I’m going to save $13 per month?”

And he’s all like: “Yes, but you won’t want to do that! These HUM devices are awesome! They constantly monitor the inner workings of your car, and if you’re ever in an accident, they’ll find you and help you, blah blah blah…”

And then—file this sentence in the back of your mind— he’s all like: “In fact, I never thought I would need it, but a few weeks after I got it, my car mysteriously broke down a mile from my house and the HUM people sent help right away…”

At this point, I believe we were an hour into the ordeal. At this point, I just wanted the hell out of the store. At this point, I desperately had to pee, for one thing, and there is no public restroom inside Shmerizon. And happy hour was still calling. So I acquiesced. I agreed. I signed on the dotted line for the HUM devices.

From there, it took another eternity for the sales rep to do all the paperwork that was required for us to finally consummate our sale. Looking back, I can’t even figure out what exactly was going on that took so long. The best I can figure is, walking into a Shmerizon store is like walking into some kind of funky time warp that makes everything take 5 times longer than anything that happens outside in the real world.

At last, the sales rep walked us out of the store and plugged my new, handy-dandy, unwanted HUM device into the same portal in my car where mechanics plug in their diagnostic tools whenever you take your car in for servicing. It was literally 2 hours after we first walked into the store. But we had our new phones — although they were not yet activated. (Apparently, Shmerizon won’t even do that for you these days, meaning after spending half of a day inside the store, you still have to go home and figure out how to transfer your own data, etc.) I still had to pee. My son and I were both ravenously hungry. And happy hour was over. We ended up in the Chick-fil-A drive-thru–which I only hate with the white-hot intensity of a HUNDRED burning suns–conveniently located next door to Shmerizon, and then headed home to begin another hour’s worth of work to get our new phones up and running.

So… because my son and I are both pretty smart but humble people, that part was pretty easy. However, my new HUM was already yelling at me to charge up the receiver. I plugged that receiver in for over an hour and noticed the battery power was not getting any stronger — so I Googled: “HUM, charging battery.”

What came up was extremely alarming. Apparently, the HUM devices are known to drain the batteries in people’s cars, and to cause all kinds of problems with transmissions and more. I found this on Shmerizon’s own “help” pages. If you think about it, it kind of makes sense. Cars are not designed for those diagnostic tools to be plugged in 24-7, constantly sending data to a receiver and to your phone — and yet, that’s precisely what a HUM does. It has to get the energy to do that from somewhere, right? Hmm…

Remember— our sales rep told us about the irony of his own car breaking down out of the blue a few weeks after he got his HUM. Was that really a coincidence?

I’m not blaming him. He probably doesn’t even realize it. But this really kind of pissed me off. I unplugged my HUM from my car right away, and put both of the new HUMs back into their boxes and put them into storage. There they will stay for the next two years, working hard to save me $13 per month off my cell phone bill.

Anyway… after that very pleasant adventure, that entire Friday afternoon & evening ruined, you can probably guess how well the following conversation went over with me.

Eldest son calling from unrecognizable number: “Remember how you’ve been asking me to go to Shmerizon with you like every day for the past 100 days, and how I never could, and how I thought my phone was going to be okay anyway?”

Me: “Don’t EVEN…”

Eldest son: “Well, my phone is completely dead. Can we go today?”

Me: “&*@⁄!~ #!@* ÷≤!@^ &$@¿”

I’m not even going to recount that next trip to Shmerizon, except to say it was SLIGHTLY less painful, probably because I was already numb and desensitized and we had already fallen for the main “promotion” a few days earlier so there wasn’t a whole lot extra for them to push on us. Somehow I did walk out of there with a Wireless Charger I had no idea I was signing on for. But that’s okay. As long as I don’t have to walk back into that place for another 24 months, it’s all good. I should be recovered from my Post-Shmerizon Stress Disorder by then.

2 thoughts on “Can I smear you now?

  1. P.S. The title was meant to be a poke at the old Shmerizon commericals: “Can you hear me now?” It’s been lovingly(?) pointed out to me that this is a lame title for a blog post and nobody gets it. Oh well — you win some, you lose some!


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