A friend told me at lunch the other day the Standard-Examiner should pay me more. He was looking directly at my phone when he said it. He wouldn't even let me pay for my salad. "Go buy yourself a new phone, Brooke," he said signing the bill. It did look rather pathetic all scratched up and jimmy-rigged together. The poor thing has been dropped countless times -- asphalt, concrete, carpet, tile, sinks, under the car pedals, bags, pockets, and drawers.
One day it all came apart.
So I used a hair tie to put it back together. It's worked well, except when I press 'accept' for an incoming call and it hangs up on people instead or when I'm halfway through a text message and the band slides ever-so-slightly downward and it turns off. I decided if the hair tie didn't work I could always try piecing it together with cartoon character band-aids -- that would certainly be professional.
My co-worker's been offering for several days to find me a rubberband to replace the hair tie.
"Maybe it wouldn't be so thick," she offered helpfully.
I wholeheartedly agreed with both friends. The Standard should pay me more and sometime between lunch and yesterday afternoon I replaced the hair tie with a slim but snug rubberband. I began dreaming of a life where my paycheck could fund several gourmet salads per week and I smiled everytime I looked at my phone and found it neatly wrapped in tacky rubber instead of a hair accessory. My tune changed this evening when the rubberband started to lose elasticity and my tax refund landed in my checking account. Thanks to the incredibly low tax bracket I qualify for with my current salary, Uncle Sam gave me most of the money back I paid him this year. It was almost like he felt sorry for me. I wondered if the look of pity he gave my W-2 was similar to the looks of pity my phone's been getting. Now I'm grateful to you Standard-Examiner. Your commitment to the traditional low starting pay of journalists means two things: 1) thanks to my tax refund I am finally, and hopefully forever, 100 percent free of credit card debt and 2) I might just have enough left over to buy a new phone; or at least less expensive rubber bands.