My Nokia

Some one rang me the other day on my Nokia and asked is that ‘Mr Culyer’. Being in a more than usual relaxed mood I said ‘Who shall I say is calling ?’. A slight pause followed and then ‘Is that Mr Culyer speaking ?’. I replied ‘Yes but to whom am I speaking ?’. A slightly longer pause, perhaps thrown off my technically perfect English, and then ‘Are you the owner of telephone number 49503726 ?’.

In fact I was not since actually that number (of our Island house) is in my wife’s name. It also let me know that, while I was getting the call on my Nokia, it was because the Island phone was on divert. Still I was enjoying this exchange so answered “Why are you asking ?’. The idea that an entire conversation could be carried out using only questions was certainly intriguing so the pressure was on to see who would crack first. Their next salvo was ‘Could I speak to Mrs Culyer ?’. I nearly fell into their cunning trap by saying “you could if she was here” but skillfully avoided it with ‘Which Mrs Culyer is that ?’ – a master stroke since it could be my wife, one of my two sisters-in-law or my daughter-in-law none of whom were there. Disappointingly they then hung up without saying goodbye – which would have lost them the game of course – so I said “Did you hang up ?’ and claimed victory.

When my wife returned I related this exchange to her and rather than congratulating me on my victory she said ‘You need to get a life’. Which isn’t even a question.

 As usual I have digressed since my intention was to defend to you my Nokia which stands alone in a world of smart phones and Apps. My family call it my stationary since it rarely moves from the kitchen bench, I do not return calls and to get me you must ring as I am passing the bench. I do not know what my number is since I rarely ring myself so do not ask me what it is. Occasionally I charge it and it only ventures out when we go on a trip – the reason for this is simple, the smart phones all stop working as soon as there are no street lights whereas the Nokia continues to work where there are not even any roads never mind street lights. Of course my wife has twigged to its outstanding performance and rather than being incommunicado commandeers my Nokia.

One recent trip involved me going by sea some 40 kms to rendezvous with my wife who was driving the car. The land trip was a little remote and it was raining so my wife demanded the Nokia, in case something went wrong she said – and handed me her phone which promptly ran out of signal the moment I passed the breakwater. This did pose a minor problem since I had promised my daughter I would ring her to report on my progress (it was pitch dark, a big sea was running and it was now raining hard). But once again I digress; you are more interested in the Nokia than the trip. The next morning I awoke cramped and cold from an enforced night in the boat to find the sea somewhat abated and my wife waiting about a kilometer away on the beach.

Now the problem confronting me was to retrieve my Nokia with the sea still too rough to run in close. The answer – float a line ashore with a life jacket attached and retrieve my Nokia (with wife attached). A good plan which merely involved a water tight bag for the Nokia and an early morning dip for my wife, the only problem was she forgot the water tight bag in the excited anticipation of her early morning swim.

I have no hesitation in saying that a ten minute swim in the ocean would see off any smart phone no matter what apps were loaded and I must admit that I had grave concerns for my Nokia. But a bit of diligence, a long soak in fresh water followed by many metho washes and the Nokia slowly recovered as if regaining conscious after a long coma. Like many TBI (traumatic brain injury) victims the functions slowly returned over time but some functional loss was permanent, the zero key no longer works.

This would present a problem for many people since there is a zero in all mobile numbers, indeed in most phone numbers. But not a problem for my Nokia, I do not need the zero. I never make or return calls and only answer if you ring when I am passing the bench. Could you give me a ring and let me know how your phone is going ?​​