privacy

A Review of the VTech Something or Other

Today I am reviewing a mundane handset telephone. Before you call me a Luddite (which would be perfectly valid, let’s be honest), I own such a phone because I some members of our household are not capable of replacing cordless phones to their bases, and those things are not to be treated as disposable. So here is the phone we bought.

Vtech phone

We spent roughly $30 on this to receive an average of 1 legitimate phone call a week. We’re not terribly popular.

Why did we purchase this phone: Our house flooded and the restoration people packed up every single item in our house, including potatoes and squash, for safe storage. Everything, except for our bloody phone. The phone was subsequently abused, immersed in dust, and scraped across our glass stove top on a daily basis for 4 months by our asshole contractor who I wouldn’t recommend to build a goddamn bird house.

So I purchased a replacement based after carefully reviewing the wide selection at whatever grocery store I was at when I remembered our landline was currently completely useless and dead to us. This particular model met the minimum requirements of 1) being a phone and 2) being a not very expensive phone.

Features: It has all the regular buttons, plus some that are mystifying and some that seem to work according their specified purpose. There are a satisfactory number of cords. You can convey sound messages through the phone and a person can reciprocate if they have a similar device. Your basic goddamn miracle of modern times.

Drawbacks: The cord is kind of short, but this seems like a problem that could be solved at the dollar store if I was really dedicated.

This is as far away from the phone as I can get, which isn’t very handy when Rice Krispies are being treated as confetti.

A bigger problem is that every time you slightly jostle the phone, the handset falls off the base and dials whatever number called you last. This is the landline equivalent of a butt dial and basically the WORST.

This happened just tonight. I noticed at the 43 minute mark (because the phone does have a convenient timer on it from the days when long distance cost eleven gazillion dollars a minute) that it had called a friend of my husband’s.

FORTY THREE MINUTES.

Forty three minutes of everything I was doing maybe being overheard. Can you think of every sound you made in the last 43 minutes? Stop and think about it, pretending you were on candid camera. Are you panicked yet? I FUCKING WAS.

Here’s what I came up with, categorized according to general state of hysteria.

Innocuous:

  • Keyboard clattering
  • Dish rattling
  • Puttering

Unknown, but possible:

  • Eating noises? This is my worst nightmare; 43 minutes of chewing sounds.
  • Any bodily sounds. Did I blow any raspberries on my arm? Did I make that duck sound with my cheeks? Did I do a lot of weird sighing for no reason? Can you hear desperation over the phone? Please dear god, don’t let me have burped a word on someone’s answering machine. For the love of all that is holy.

Shameful things that I know for sure happened:

  • Read news articles out loud and repeating sounds or phrases that appeal to me in funny accents or languages. Like “sweet fancy sandwiches” courtesy of the Fug Girls, but as though Benedict Cumberbatch was saying it. And then if I was from Jersey. I was not successful at either of those things. Then I tried to imitate how Long Islanders say LonGuyland and decided I was stupid and tried to stop.. but didn’t.
  • Random cursing. Not even at things that deserved curse words, just randomly saying things like “fuckballs” or “tits” like a more intelligent person might say “hmm, interesting”.
  • Hum-singing “America, Fuck Yeah”. As in, Amhmmmhmmmhmmm FUCK YEAH! (fist pump) Hummhmmmhmmm every motherfucking day hmmm! (lip smack noise)

Look. I do a lot of stupid things, and I don’t need to spend MORE time emergency apologizing to my friends. Landlines are supposed to be safe like that! Thank you, friends for not being jerks who would post my soundtrack to YouTube timed to funny cat videos.

Conclusion: The VTech phone is a piece of garbage, but I would recommend it for those who don’t seem to have a need for privacy, like that Lohan person or Bigbum Sextape. Or people who are full time mimes and thus don’t have to worry about embarrassing noises. Also, the relatively low cost of phone is deceiving when you have to factor in bribery beer.

Overall rating: F+ for an enthusiastic “fucking technology, I quit you.”

Addendum: While I am at it, I would also like to make apologies for recent butt dialing situations, including (but not limited to):

  • Steph, for alerting me when she heard me crunching through snow (and mercifully avoided mentioning the hissy fit over frozen hot chocolate in my van)
  • My friend C. when I was falling down reasonably drunk at a concert and probably overheard unintelligible mutterings (please god, let it be the unintelligible mutterings and not the shit I managed to be coherent for, like the deep confessions to my neighbor).
  • And my friend I., who my phone seems to have a deep and abiding affection for and calls all the time. My phone has heart hands for you, I. FYF.

Shoot me your digits (do people still say that? did they ever say that?) and maybe one day you’ll overhear some random snippet of the rollergiraffe’s life. Just kidding. You’d have to be here to program it into my phone for me, and have a degree in ancient technology.

SOPA – Stop it

Stop it with the internet censorship, US. Seriously.. it’s a terrible idea. Without the internet working the way it does how would we ever Keep up with the Kardashians? How would geeks and lonely moms everywhere vent all their frustrations and pretend like their lives are normal and FINE? HOW WOULD WE KNOW CATS LIKE CHEESEBURGERS? Our lives would be terrible. Within a week of enacting SOPA I am pretty sure every city in the US would be burned to the ground. And that’s not a threat, I just think that most people would go insane the first day that their favourite website was blocked and start everything on fire. The internet is providing us with some good distraction while the economy spirals out of control, the environment slowly gets replaced with plastic and wars rage all over the place. At least let us have that while you fuck up the world in a thousand other ways, ok politicians?

P.S. I wish I could join you in the blackout. I seriously do, but I am no technical wizard. It is way too much for me to figure out how to install a plug in, so go visit Wikipedia if you want to look at a blacked out page. And be glad there’s people out there leading the charge against these things, because if I was in charge of the internet it would still be a scribbling in a notebook somewhere that I discussed over Friday Night Pints.

P.P.S. I figured it out and now you can’t read my post. I am a wizard.

my wizard offspring

P.P.P.S. I am not actually a wizard. I am literate and I can follow simple instructions on the internet.. like the little check box that WordPress so helpfully provided because they care. You should too. Write your congressperson and let’s hope they’re literate too.