Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Phoney Messages

The first one I noticed was in the yard of my next door neighbor.  It was a strange symbol, a code perhaps.  Definitely some sort of sign, but to whom?  I wondered if it was a message to alien beings.  This alarmed me because my neighbor’s house was up for sale.  Now I don’t have any reservations about living next door to a “person” of color, unless that color happens to be green.  And you can be darn sure that I paid close attention to potential buyers who viewed the house and if they flew a spaceship to get there.

I watched the skies for several weeks and thought all was fine, but then these weird symbols started popping up everywhere.  They were in front of more houses, they were in the stores.  And then I saw one in my newspaper.  That was too much.  But now I had captured one, so I sought to break the code.

I held it up to the mirror. I studied it under a magnifying glass.  I tried to connect the strange lines on it.  I even dug out my secret Dick Tracy decoding ring, but even it failed to break the code.  What was this strange thing and why were they multiplying so quickly?

I went on something called the Internet and using this neat website I found called google.com, I was able to determine that these strange black and white squares are called QR codes.  These codes contain secret messages that can only be read by people with “smart” phones.  Yes, they are called QR codes because if you don’t have a smart phone, q r screwed!

This just grates my innards.  It’s like we are back in junior high when all the cool kids whispered secret messages and wrote each other private notes that the uncool kids couldn’t have.  With all the talk of national unity we have now divided the country into smart phone people and dumb phone people.  Come on America, we’re better than that!

I of course, do not have a smart phone.  I don’t like having a phone that is smarter than I am.  A few years ago I did have what was considered a smart phone at the time.  It was more like a “smart-ass” phone.  The phone had a mind of its own.  It would do things like go into “sleep mode” when I was expecting an important call.  I think it was demon possessed.  I have never, ever, hated an object more in my life.  And now you are telling me I have to get smart phone to be able to read all these neeto QR messages.

However, I am now considering upgrading to a smart phone next year.  This very much concerns my daughter Cassandra since she would be responsible for teaching me how to use it.  I understand that smart phones can do wonderful things by using something called “apps”.  But for me to effectively use a smart phone I’m going to need an app that can know what I need to do before I even know what I want to do.  A super app that allows me to magically master my smart phone.  No, there’s no app for that.  And Steve Jobs is dead.

Until I am able to get a smarter phone and learn how to use it, I will not be able to read the great stuff that QR codes provide.  Although it wouldn’t surprise me at all that when you scan the “secret” code, you get a message that says, “Isn’t it so cool that you can read this special message, but those losers with dumb phones can’t?”

Well I am not going take this without a fight.  As Jackie Chiles from Seinfeld used to say: “This is an outrageous, egregious, preposterous!”  This is phone intelligence discrimination of the worst kind.  People should not be able to read the messages just because they have a smarter phone. Because this is a discrimination case, I am bringing a big gun to the fight.  That’s right, I’ve put in a call to the. Rev. Al Sharpton.  He didn’t answer so I left a message on his phone.  I just hope it wasn’t on his smart phone.  He hasn’t called back.

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