Six months ago, Sprint invited me to become part of the Sprint Ambassador program. I received the Samsung SPH-A920 phone and free service for six months. Sophia, being my blog editor, received one as well. They were interested in feedback and let’s be honest — me blogging about it (although this wasn’t a requirement). I really like the phone — it has great sound quality — but Sophia LOOOVES the phone and the service, especially now that she is in NY, working as a Russian Dialect Coach par excellence on an independent film. Miss Lansky uses it all the time and is totally turned on by the fact that you can download music, watch TV and movies, read the NY Times, play Ms. Pac-Man, get talking walking directions, find restaurants, etc. all on one phone. Of course, if we had to PAY for all of this, we wouldn’t be able to eat.
Sophia, being Sophia, thinks we can wrangle our way into getting another SIX months with the phone. I told her it was a six month deal, and everyone seems to have gotten the same email recently that “time was up.” Sophia does not understand those words.
“Maybe if you had blogged about the phone more, Sprint would let you keep it.”
“How many times can I blog about it? I did blog about it.”
“You blogged about it ONCE — using the camera phone to take a photo of your c**k. That’s not the type of publicity Sprint wants.”
“The official phone of Neil’s…”
“That’s not funny. Write about them one more time. Maybe they’ll extend the term.”
“I’m not going to do that. My readers will see right through that. I’m always complaining about how bloggers are sell-outs. They’ll lose all respect for me.”
“How much “respect” do they really have for you anyway? You don’t think THEY would sell you out for some free phone service?”
“Never. Brooke maybe. But no one else.”
“Just do it for me. Just write about them one more time.”
Now, as most of you know, “pleasing a woman” is my middle name. So, since most of you didn’t read my story about the donut shop from a few days ago, I’m now going to rewrite it, showing you how much more of a better “experience” it could have been if my Sprint Ambassador Phone had played a bigger role in the story.
THE INFOMERICAL IN THE DONUT SHOP
Near my home is a little independent donut shop. I’ve never seen one person inside other than the owner — a petite, middle-aged, Korean woman. After being woken up in the morning by the alarm on my Sprint Ambassador Phone, I went out to get something to eat. As I was driving, I decided I was in the mood for a donut. I used the Garmain GPS I downloaded onto the Sprint Ambassador Phone to lead me straight to my local donut shop. I went in, ordered a jelly donut and cup of coffee, and sat down at the bright orange, plastic, uncomfortable, table/chair thingamajig that’s bolted to the floor. I used my Sprint Ambassador Phone to read the New York Times and my favorite blogs on Bloglines. The donut and coffee were truly the worst coffee and donut I’ve ever tasted. As I sat eating my disgusting donut, the owner watched some infomercial on a 13″ TV sitting on the counter. I thought about downloading some tunes with my Sprint Phone, but I decided on watching the owner instead.
The infomercial was one of those get-rich-quick schemes:
“Use my stock market technique, and within two weeks, your two thousand will be two hundred thousand!”
As one “success story” after another gave his testimony, I could see the eyes of the donut woman widen. She was totally enraptured by what was being said. I made a voice recording on the Sprint Ambassador Phone reminding me to call the TV network and complain about them showing this type of crap on air, and I used the Sprint Ambassador Phone to email my attorney uncle in San Francisco about taking legal action against them.
I began to feel bad for this woman. She clearly had no talent in making either donuts or coffee. I used the Sprint Ambassador Phone to IM my friend at El Camino Community College to see if there was some type of “refresher course” this woman could take. This woman was probably losing all her money in this awful donut shop. I used the calculator on the Sprint Ambassador Phone to do “the numbers.” It looked bad. And this type of infomercial preys on a woman like this — someone who may be uneducated or part of an immigrant community. It is these innocent people who don’t realize that it is all a scam. I took a photo of the woman with Sprint Ambassador Phone so I would always remember the sad moment, and emailed Sophia a copy.
“I put two thousand dollars into the stock market, and soon I was able to quit my job,” said some overly-eager male voice on the television. “Now I don’t spend time behind a desk, but behind the wheel of my new yacht!”
I felt anger at this scam artist on TV, with this modern era three-card Monte swindle. (is it monte or Monte? I used the dictionary on on my Sprint Ambassador Phone to figure it out). I was so furious that I squeezed my donut with my hand, shooting some jelly onto my shirt and the Sprint Ambassador Phone (but the sturdy plastic is easily cleaned).
What was I to do? I had to warn her. I saw her writing some information on a piece of paper. Was she actually going to call these crooks?
I knew this really wasn’t my business, but I felt it was my duty to speak up. As an American citizen. As a Good Jew. I walked over to the counter. She pointed at the pile of donuts.
“Donut?” she asked.
“No, thank you,” I said. “I just wanted to tell you to be careful with these types of TV shows. They might look like real shows, but they are commercials. Don’t believe everything they tell you. You weren’t thinking of calling them up, were you?”
“Donut?” she asked again, being that it was the only English word she knew.
Luckily, I had my Sprint Ambassador Phone. I contacted Sarah, an Asian-languages professor at UCLA, and downloaded a English-Korean dictionary from the internet. I was able to explain everything to the woman in Korean, who revealed to me that she was about to invest her life savings with this crook. She was so grateful for my help that she offered me free donuts for life. I was honest and told her that her food needed improvement. I told her about this “Donut Shop” course they had at El Camino Community College. We quickly enrolled her online with my Sprint Ambassador Phone, grabbing the last spot in the class.
Meg (the donut owner’s name) now runs a chain of donut stores in Redondo Beach and is a great success. We also became lovers while Sophia was in New York. We send cutesy text messages to each other every day. Thank you Sprint Ambassador Phone. Think what else I could do with six more months of free service!