After months of my shitty Samsung Tocco self-muting every time I put the bastard thing to my ear to answer a call Hello?! Hello?! Can you hear me?! Hello???!!!!! Shit! Shit! Hello?! Now the screens gone blank For fuck sake Hello???!!!!!!! having no vibrate alert and the facia peeling back like a manky sandwich, I have finally taken possession of a smart phone. As some annoying fucker might post on their Youbook: Woop! Woop! Following the obligatory messing about with the different options and personalizationssssss, stroking the touch screen, downloading loads of applications sorry, apps that Ill never use (my need to know the weather in Ho Chi Min City, Brisbane and Anchorage has already waned, and I no longer get much out of the facility for real time translations to Hutu), and burning a full charge of battery in a matter of hours checking myself in on the GPS when I went for a dump (listed variously as checking the roast, consulting the oracle and dropping off the kids; though that app might be handy if a rescue operation ever has to be mounted in response to a silent 999 I make when trying to pass an especially vicious Barrymore), I started cross-referencing all my contact data. Mobile numbers, landlines, email addresses, web sites, Facetube, Twatter etc. And I did a bit of housekeeping and dumped some old numbers that I never use. One of the things I wanted to do while I was tidying up was add my own images to the contacts; and as well as the pictures from peoples Facebook profiles, I had some ideas of my own. So in my list I have Arthur Scargill, Marvel Special Agent Nick Fury, Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, Gandalf and chronic gambler Robbie Box. Unfortunately not the real Arthur Scargill, Marvel Special Agent Nick Fury, Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, Gandalf and chronic gambler Robbie Box, just people I know who for various real/ironic/sarcastic reasons suit Arthur Scargill, Marvel Special Agent Nick Fury, Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, Gandalf and chronic gambler Robbie Box. Attaching the .jpegs (I was adding Oswald Mosley at this point) I suddenly wondered what my friends might have for me. I mean, do you know what ringtone a friend has assigned to you? Or even more dubiously, a work colleague? For instance, would the man who has the picture of Ted Bundy and the Polices Dont stand so close to me as his ringtone in my phone be aware of this? I suspect not. Because the deep seated power of our own ego means that wed all like to think that we were down as Samuel L. Jackson or Errol Flynn with the theme from Miami Vice playing every time we call. But the truth is were probably all Marc Almond and get Tom Robinsons 2-4-6-8 Motorway pumping out when we ring up.
But our private view of other people is perhaps not as unexpected as their private view of themselves. Again, my new smart phone revealed some surprising insights. I was particularly amused, having syncd this shiny new phone with my contacts, when while trying to send an email the auto-complete kicked in and email addresses normally hidden deep in the digital bowels of Facebook revealed themselves. The address email@example.com raised an eyebrow. As did firstname.lastname@example.org. However, the staunchly heterosexual silverback that is email@example.com certainly has some questions he needs to ask himself. And I need to sort a new contact photo for him. Its time to Google for images of Rock Hudson.