Upgrade my old phone? Lads, there’s only 24 hours in a day!

A 12 year old phone and the going's on with Rooney/Vardy across the pond have inspired John Arnold's column this week
Upgrade my old phone? Lads, there’s only 24 hours in a day!

Although John Arnold’s trusty phone isn’t quite as old as these 1999 versions in Brazil - it isn’t far away!

IT must be about 12 years ago that I first got a mobile phone - sorry, let me rephrase that, I was actually given the phone, it’s a small black yoke, a Mokia 231 I think.

At the time, everyone of my age had such a device and I was told to ‘get real’ and ‘go with the flow’, and so I did.

In fairness, despite my reservations in regards such technology, I’ll freely admit the mobile phone is very handy. I still have my original device and I can make and take phone calls and do the same with texts.

Last year, I was urged to upgrade to a phone they called smart and again I was the beneficiary of family kindness and got another present. 

Maybe my fingers are too clumsy, but I couldn’t make head, arse, nor tale of it.

Now, I have an inquisitive mind and I love getting new information, but sometimes I think enough is enough. No doubt the smartphone is great for the news and reading books and papers and the likes, but lads, there’s only 24 hours in the day.

Aren’t people getting cracked all the same, telling the world and his wife where they are now, what they had for the breakfast, where they are going in five minutes, and what telly they’ll watch tonight - Lord save us all, but who needs to know all that?

When I heard only last week that Irish people with such clever phones spend, on average, two hours each day swiping, I shook my head.

I kept the smartphone I got. It’s on the shelf near the kitchen window. I turn it on about once a month just to see if anyone wanted me urgently or anything like that.

Anyway, the old phone I have is still going strong, several batteries and Sim cards later.

Presently, there’s a biggish court case across the water about who said what and when about who else. I have personal experience of a ‘sting operation’ myself and I can tell ye, ‘tis no fun at all.

It must be 25 years ago when it happened to me. I wasn’t courting publicity or anything like that, but I do recall my case did make the headlines - well, I think ‘twas on a local paper and Alf McCarthy mentioned it on Corkabout, which was a popular RTÉ station in the last century.

When I hear all this talk about covert and secret and underhand sting operations, I chuckle to myself, as there was nothing secret about my operation.

One day, out in the fields, I was short-taken and had to improvise with the help of naturally occurring vegetation which was in close proximity. Well, wasn’t there a solitary bee hovering around and, you guessed it, I got stung - and it wasn’t on my face!

I needed a small and delicate operation to get the sting removed. This was performed in a Cork hospital which shall remain nameless for fear of legal liabilities in this litigious age. In a small country like Ireland, good and not so good news spreads fast, and sometimes less than complimentary things are said.

Saying things is bad enough but, as the poor English footballers’ wives now know, texting the news is not to be recommended.

Anyway, some Smart Alec (I have my as yet unfounded suspicions) sent a text to an erstwhile friend of mine, ‘Arnold has a pick in the bum’. Someone sent it to someone else and long before WhatsApp was invented, half the country were soon informed.

I was the butt of everyone’s’ joking - I wouldn’t mind but ‘twas just in the back of my knee I had got the sting and ensuing surgery to remove the pain-giving foreign body.

It was classic case of posting fake stories and eventually someone pressed a wrong phone button and me, myself, got the offending and hilarious (in some people’s mind) text.

I’ll admit that once, on a foreign holiday many, many years ago, I sent a naughty postcard to a certain male person. It had the images of four bronzed and, God help us, badly clad, females reclining on a beach ball in blazing sunshine, and I signed it ‘We all miss you’.

Other than that, I am a reliable person when it comes to writing and leaving messages. While I am reliable, I am also liable to taking offence when I am accused of being lieable, so therefore I am contemplating taking a libel action against the characters who defamed, libelled, slandered and generally made fun of my rear end when I got stung.

In the past, I have championed many worthy causes for which I have suffered the slings and arrows of public ignominy and ridicule. I tried to keep rural post offices open and Croke Park closed - to ‘foreign games’. For these actions, I was laughed at and described as a curmudgeon, a backwoodsman, a dinosaur, a relic of auld decency, living in the past, and a museum piece.

People who are not worthy to untie the straps of my sandals have written about me in books and newspapers. Even my latest campaign has been smeared and sneered at. Apparently, in about ten years’ time, we will be a cashless society and I suppose if that’s what the experts tell us, they are always correct, aren’t they?

So, in an effort to quicken and expedite this societal change to plastic, online and phone-dealing ‘money’, the GAA, that I have served for over half a century, are now going cashless.

So, in future, if you haven’t the wherewithal or means to purchase tickets for games through modern technology, you can stay at home.

Long ago, in foreign countries, it used to be ‘No Irish wanted here’, but now, at Pairc Ui Chaoimh and Pairc Ui Rinn, it’s ‘No cash wanted here’! What would Paddy O Keeffe and Christy Ring think of it now?

Anyway, once more I am being mocked, scolded, put back in my box and basically told to ‘get real’.

So, after much procrastination, mastication, fulmination and thinking out loud, I have come to a crossroads of a decision. Using all the texts stored, over many years on my phone as evidence, I am going to take a ‘Class Action’ against all my detractors and those that suffer from an over-abundance of jealousy and small-mindedness!

If the girls across the pond got their seven days in court washing their dirty linen, and making accusations and counter accusations, why can’t I do the same? 

Sure, what’s good for the Rooney/Vardy goose is even better for the Arnold gander!

So there you have it now. It might have started with a text about my behind, a behind closed doors sting operation, but it’s now gone viral and I have to take a stand. Well, feck it anyway for a mix up!

I just remembered that yesterday morning, I decided, after a hard morning’s farm work, to have a scrambled egg for the breakfast. You can’t bate a good scrambled egg - I always add a knob of butter and just a tiny shake of pepper.

Things were going grand, but wasn’t the timer yoke on the microwave broken and it wouldn’t know when to stop - just keep turning and turning... you’d have concrete eggs.

So, smart and all as I am, I set the alarm on my mobile phone to go off in three minutes and put the phone into the microwave with the egg in the saucepan.

Well, when the three minutes was up the egg was cooked but the phone was scrambled and all my text messages gone with the yoke, or should I say gone with the yolk.

Before I go to my solicitor next week to initiate my libel case, I must try and get the phone unscrambled! At least I still have the phone and didn’t drop it down the toilet by accident or into the North Sea!

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