To iPhone or not to iPhone? That is the question | HumorOutcasts

To iPhone or not to iPhone? That is the question

April 26, 2011

My daughter is considering getting an iPhone. She has a Blackberry but alas, the Blackberry does not have the apps for the games she likes to play. To satisfy her game hunger, she has been stealing my husband’s iTouch which drives him crazy because he likes to keep that gadget with him during the day. Before I go any further, it’s important for me to explain that my husband did not purchase the iTouch.  He won it as a door prize at some engineering conference in California. The need to explain this will become clear shortly.

In order to gain technology peace in my home, I suggested that my daughter take one of the upgrades that we have with AT&T and get the iPhone that they have on special for $49.  While it’s not the newest model, I heard it offered apps for all her games.  I considered this a win-win situation for everyone. My husband disagreed.

“She just got her Blackberry a few months ago. Now, she needs a new phone?”

“Yes, but if she gets the iPhone, I can take her Blackberry; or better yet, you can take her Blackberry and then get rid of your ancient flip phone.”

I knew this was a stupid comment from the moment it left my lips.  Engineers do not need new phones and they certainly do not want smart phones. No, they can design them, love them from afar but they do not purchase them.  They only want phones for calls and texting. That’s it. They see no logic in having redundant technology equipment. They have computers. That is good enough. They do not need to be in constant contact with people 24 hours a day. That is not what engineers are about. 

I am not making this up. Ask any computer, software or electrical engineer or whatever the hell they are called nowadays and they will tell you that the smart phones are not on their wish list. My husband polled the other engineers where he works – engineers from all backgrounds and cultures—and they all agreed that what they will not buy is a smart phone.  I have personally asked other engineers throughout the country their opinion of these phones that the rest of us drool over, and it is the same as that of my husband and his colleagues.

They do not see the value in them and if there is anything that is important to engineers, it is value.  Engineers like to make the best with the least amount of resources. Blah, blah, blah. Having been married to an engineer for more than 20 years, I can give you the value speech word for word. It is the same speech I hear when he tries to explain why he cannot buy me jewelry.

However, knowing the speech and believing it are two different things. An engineer may live in our house, but that house also includes two women and two female dogs.  His testosterone is toast here.  Logic and practicality do not live at our address. I guess that is why he enjoys work so much. He can be with his own kind.

So, I have convinced him on the upgrade. Well, technically I wore him down, and I will take the Blackberry. In truth, he is happy about that because my phone has no back cover anymore and the battery is kept secure by duct tape.  My daughter’s role in this new phone exchange thing is that she has to pay for her data plan which I think is fair because her salary is now more than mine.

Am I happy about this upward move in technology?  Absolutely. For years, I would pretend to go along with my husband on this no smart phone thing, but I have fantasized about having a phone that lets me check in on Twitter and Facebook.  I know engineers everywhere are wincing at the thought of social media being that important to me, but guess what, Einsteins, it is!  I like to talk to people about absolutely nothing.  I’m sorry if I have offended engineers everywhere, but come on, isn’t there just a little teeny part of you who wants a smart phone?  Oh screw it.  I don’t care if you buy smart phones or not. The important thing is that you keep making them.

photo by rachyk-3 via

Donna Cavanagh

Donna Cavanagh is founder of (HO) and the partner publishing company, HumorOutcasts Press which now includes the labels Shorehouse Books and Corner Office Books ( As "den mother" to the more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, producers, comics and authors, Cavanagh's goal is to allow creativity to flow. She is a former journalist who made an unscheduled stop into humor more than 20 years ago. Her syndicated columns helped her gain a national audience when her work landed in the pages of First Magazine and USA Today. She teaches the how-to lessons of humor and publishing at conferences and workshops throughout the country including The Philadelphia Writers' Conference and Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. The author of four humor books, Cavanagh hopes her latest book, How to Write and Share Humor: Techniques to Tickle Funny Bones and Win Fans, will encourage writers not only to embrace their humor talents but show them off as well.

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8 Responses to To iPhone or not to iPhone? That is the question

  1. April 27, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Your husband is right. Jewelry is a waste. A poor investment. Can’t be traded during the apocalypse. Plus, by buying jewelry, you are helping the DeBeers cartel enslave and abuse poor children in Africa. At least that’s what I tell my wife.

    • April 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      Have you heard of the word romance and somethings are more important than dollar
      value. But I will give you the abused children thing. I don’t think I want
      blood diamonds. You ruin all my fun Eric! 🙂

  2. Fran Brockmyre
    April 27, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I’m okay with my ancient flip phone but the iPad is calling to me. Maybe I’ll win one at some convention that I may attend in the future.

    • April 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      You and Theresa want that iPad. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind it either. It does look cool!

  3. lbwoodgate
    April 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Tech geeks probably don’t buy the latest tech product because they know they will never use all the apps, bells and whistles they charge for it. Somehow the ordinary person thinks they will and that they’re getting a bargain. Your husband is the smart one 😉

    • April 27, 2011 at 6:17 am

      I truly checked with other engineers. Among them Richard Spall and he said the same thing my husband said almost word for word. Engineers crack me up. Definitely a breed in themselves. I do admit that I love the bells and whistles. They are fun. I guess to the “untrained” eye they are everything we want and need in a phone. I still want one. 🙂

  4. April 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I like the iPad. I have seen it and it looks pretty cool. I just want a smart phone now too. Soon!

  5. Theresa Wiza
    April 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I love my iPhone, though I am in desperate need of an upgrade. My son and his wife bought it for me as a gift. I don’t like using it for Facebook or email, though, because the screen is too small. I’m waiting for somebody to buy me a new gift – the iPad (actually the iPad2).

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