I’m free!

And I’ve gotta say, I haven’t been able to say that in nearly two years … at least as far as my cell phone service has been concerned. I still remember the day like it was yesterday – a simple need for more text messages on my plan with Sprint meant renewing my contract for another two years. Not a big deal if you’ve got decent coverage that allows you to both make and receive phone calls on that silver, handheld tether to society you got for free with your first two year service contract, mind you. You know, the one that was sold to you as the ultimate communications device – able to talk almost anywhere within the continental United States, send text messages to all of your friends who aren’t allowed to receive actual phone calls at work, and even surf the Internet straight from the comfort of your cell phone?!

Well, not the real Internet, but something that did look a little like the Internet when it was displayed on that tiny, little screen of theirs. Hey, it had links for News and Search – what more did we need???

I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I actually used to even get that kind of service from our beloved Sprint, years ago when my phone was a little shinier and a little newer, and didn’t absolutely hate me like the Anti-Christ of cell phone customers. But I think something triggered when I renewed that contract back in early April of 2006 – the Sprint Gods put a cell phone hex on my phone or something, and rapidly I began to watch the phone service that I used to know and love disappear into the land of dropped calls and no bars.

Whether you’re trying to make a phone call or just get yourself a refreshing drink after a long, hard day, no bars is a very, very bad thing…

Of course, these days you can’t simply switch to another cell phone company when you’re receiving service that you would expect to receive from monkeys stringing coconuts from vine to vine, hence the dreaded early termination fee a.k.a. $200 ransom if you want to actually be able to make calls on your phone. But really, who would want to do a crazy thing like that?!

It took some serious soul searching, but I finally came to terms with it and decided that yes, in fact, I would like to be able to use my phone to communicate with other people every now and then, but since $200 doesn’t exactly grow on trees, I ended up taking the more sensible route of just waiting the dastardly thing out. Man, those two months of paying $60 / month to occasionally send and receive text messages were sure something!

So now I’m with Verizon and while this may still be just the honeymoon period, our relationship seems to be going rather well thus far. I can make calls, I can receive calls, I can even make Julian fries! I wish – now that would be a feature worth bragging about in those commercials of theirs … finally something to get me over my undying lust for the iPhone, but let’s not get started down that road right now…

Life is good and really the only thing left to decide is what to do with my old brick phone from Sprint. They’ve got those programs where you can donate old cell phones to be given to needy families for 911 and other emergency services, but with my own previous record using that thing, I think they’ve already got themselves enough problems without factoring in my piece of crap phone into their equation:

Operator: 911 Emergency, what seems to be the problem?

Poor Sap Who Got Stuck with My Phone: Help, help, you need to send an ambulance – Jimmy broke his leg!

Operator: I’m sorry, what’s that? He’s dating a girl named Meg?

PSWGSMP: Leg! Jimmy broke his LEG!!!

Operator: He’s found himself a keg? Ma’am, this line is for emergency uses only…

PSWGSMP: Send an ambul…

Operator: Hello? Hello? If you’re still there, call back later and ask for Greg. He can help you get a better cell phone provider – sticking with Sprint another minute longer would be a real emergency!

And now that we’ve officially guaranteed that Sprint will never have any desire to advertise here on comedic-genius.com in the near future, I bid you good day, my friends! If I need anything later, I’ll call you…

God, it’s nice being able to say that again!