Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

iPhones are amazing instruments.  Last year, my wife insisted I get one for my business, especially since it’s so easy to retrieve e-mails from clients when I’m away from the office.

I love it.  It can do nearly everything, except make a sandwich; and I feel sure they’re working on that.

There are some unexpected issues that arise.  Apple has created pretty amazing apps (applications) and keeps adding to the list almost daily it seems.  There’s one that caught my attention recently, because I thought it sounded fairly obnoxious and a wonderful way to annoy people.  It’s called Grenade.  And most importantly, it’s free.  I was under the impression that once it was downloaded, you push the grenade button, and it sounds like one is about to explode.  The statement that caught my attention was that it’s especially fun in crowds.  I don’t like crowds, and this concept of “crowd control” had possibilities.

Old people should not be given toys designed for younger people.  First of all, we don’t really understand how to operate them, and more importantly, we’re old and experienced enough to do some serious damage.

I could envision walking down a narrow aisle at Walmart hoping for a bit more space and activating the grenade button.  No more crowded conditions!  

I thought it might be especially fun to activate in a library.   I understand after more serious consideration that it might possibly be considered a public nuisance or akin to inciting a riot.  But, we older folk sometimes want excitement, like everyone else.  I don’t think it would be a good idea in a cardiac care unit.

But, alas.  My plans didn’t materialize.  I downloaded grenade and pushed the activate button.  Nothing.  No sound.  Nada.  I even texted the application people and complained.  No response.  I erased this program.

Recently when we visited our Savannah family, I asked Parker’s opinion.  I reinstalled the grenade.  Again, nothing.  For me.  Parker’s eyes got big.  “You don’t hear THAT!!!” he said.  “Hear what,” I asked.  “That annoying shrill noise,” Debbie added, “that makes us want to throw your phone away.”  Neither Brenda nor I heard anything.

So, I once again erased that application from my phone.  A few weeks later, Debbie forwarded an interview focusing on the very issue of older people not being able to hear certain frequencies and sounds.  Sounds crazy, and I don’t think researchers know why, but it happens.  I/we can’t hear some sounds younger people can.

After more thought, I reinstalled the grenade application on my phone.  Now when I activate it in the middle of Kroger’s and people scurry about in panic, I can honestly reply, “What noise?  I don’t hear anything.”

Date of Blog Story: 
May 18, 2009

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