The Labor Day weekend drive on Highway 80 is tedious to the point of absolute boredom. No not boredom. Frustration. These ladies do not get bored. No matter what. But opportunity strikes in the middle of one of many traffic stalls. The phone rings. I see the number pop up. (983) 147-6055. “Shhhh ladies. We are going to have some fun with this one.” I turn on the speaker phone. (warning – this gets a bit nasty)
The scammer speaks. “Hello ma’am. I’m calling from windows. There is a problem with your computer.”
“Oh no, what can I do? Can you help me?”
My passengers roll their eyes as he responds, “Yes I help you. Are you at your computer ma’am?”
“Oh yes, please what shall I do,” I ask.
“Bring up your internet browser,” he says.
“How do I do that?” I ask.
“Oh my God. Click on the little ball in the lower corner of your screen.”
“Did you say ball? I don’t see any balls.”
“There’s a little ball. It looks like an E.”
“Oh that one. Thank you so much for helping me. I did it.”
My passengers are holding back the snickers now. Our scammer comes back on the line. “See the box on top of the screen. The one where your cursor is located.”
I resisted the urge to ask him what a cursor might be. “Hmmm let me look. I don’t see it. Oh wait. There it is.”
Jeanette can’t hold in the laughter. I look at her with consternation. “Shhh.”
Scammer comes back on. “Oh my god. Just type in the bar. http://www.”
“Where’s the w?” I ask.
“OMG. under the number 2.”
“Oh I see it now. Okay w w w.” More stifled laughter in the back seat. I look in the rear view mirror, a warning look.
“Dot,” he says.
“Dot? What do you mean dot? D-O-T?” I chide back at him.
“OMG. Dot. Period. The key with the dot. One dot.”
“Okay, can we start over?” I ask. Carol and Pat are bent over in laughter.
“We will try this slowly w – w – w – dot – support…..” he begins slowly.
“Wait,” I interrupt. “S U P… how do you spell support?”
“OMG S U P P O R T. Then type slash me dot com.”
Jeanette lets out a yelping laugh. “Shhhhh.” I give her another warning look.
“Okay, I think I have it,” I say holding back the laughter.
“What do you see?” he asks.
“Nothing. The screen is black.”
“Wait a minute. Now what do you see? I need you to click on …”
I can’t understand what he is saying but traffic has now begun to move and I must end this distraction. “My screen. It is black. You killed my computer. It’s dead.”
“Oh. My. God. Wait a minute.” We listen to some foreign whispers as he consults his fellow scammers. “The screen. Is it really black?” He sounds worried. I expect him to say he can fix it.
“Yes, I yell back. You killed it.” We can’t hold it in anymore. We all burst out in laughter.
“You f***ed with me. Go shove it up your P****.” He hangs up.
A few minutes later at lunch we are roaring in laughter. The phone rings again. It’s him. “Hey you already told me to shove my computer. It didn’t fit.” (Okay… I really didn’t say that. Didn’t think of it in time.)
They are everywhere. I see people on street corners twisting around in awkward acrobatics with their cellphones. Kids. Teenagers. Grown men. Grown women. I saw a smart looking woman with a cane aiming her phone at a tree behind the library.
It’s in the newspaper. It’s on the evening news. Accidents. People running into trees – banging their heads, stepping off curbs – twisting ankles, maybe driving and having fender benders. Not me though. I wouldn’t do such a thing.
But, I asked Little J about it and got a tutorial over dinner in a restaurant last night. Yes, we are a family that brings out cell phones at the dinner table. Once in a while. There just happened to be one of those creatures out the window. We nabbed him. We made Grandpa drive home, slowly, so we could nab everyone between the restaurant and our house.
I’m not going to play this game. I refuse to let it eat up my memory, use up my data plan, and drain my battery. I’m just not going to do it. It’s childish. It’s a fad. Everyone is doing it.
Driving home from work this evening, I sense there might be one of them in my car. I turn on the game. Eek… what’s that flapping its wings on my turn signal?
I’m not going to play this game… while driving.