May 20th @ Free Times Café

I think I should let you know that I’ll probably be buying a new cell phone in the next couple months. My guess is that this bit of news will likely engender two types of reactions.

The first reaction, held I suspect by most readers, would go something like this: “Who cares that you’re thinking of buying a new cell phone. Why do you think that everything you do or think about doing has to be shared with the whole world? You’re probably one of those people who takes pictures of all their meals and posts them on every possible site to let everyone know what they’re doing at every moment. Can’t we please get a little rest? If I want to know if you’re getting a new cell phone I’ll ask you – and if I don’t ask you it’s because I don’t care.”

The second reaction, held by not as many people but certainly more enthusiastic would go along these lines: “You’re getting a new cell phone –that’s great! I just got a new phone and I have 463 pages of research that I’d love to share with you. I have product reviews, consumer opinions, and specs coming out the wazoo. If you’d like I’ll come with you and we can examine each possible phone in minute detail. I had so much fun doing that I’d love to be part of this with you.”

To be clear however, I am not telling you that I will probably be getting a new cell phone due to some compulsive over-sharing need on my part or because I want your help – because I don’t. The reason I’m telling you is because the choice I make will likely have a great impact on the cell phone industry as a whole and I thought you would want to know. You see I have a pretty unerring ability to choose a phone that will, with a year or so of my buying it, not only be obsolete, but the company that makes that phone will be on the brink of bankruptcy.

To prove this point you should know that my second last cell phone was a Palm – yes they were cutting edge once, then I bought them and that was it, they are but a vague memory. And then, moving on from the Palm what did I choose – well I picked the phone that dominated the market – a company that would clearly be immune to my malevolent powers – the Blackberry. And then, just a couple years later, they too were basically out of the business.

Given that one of the existing major cell phone makers managed to survive what seemed to be a mortally self-inflicted blow by making a phone that spontaneously combusted (hello Samsung) you might think the latest crop of phone providers – the Chinese government – sorry I mean Huawei – and corporate behemoths such as Apple and Google are immune from my destructive powers. You might think that, but you’d be wrong. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Please understand though, the particular curse that I have only works on cell phone companies. Other things that I am part of just keep on going and going and frankly get better. Would you like an example? How about Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room (bet you didn’t see that one coming). We’ve been playing music the third Sunday of the month at the Free Times Café (College just west of Spadina) since 2004. This month we’ll be playing on May 20. The show will start at 8 and you can stay as late as you’d like because Monday is a holiday. And in honour of our longevity, everyone who has a cell phone or comes with someone who has a cell phone or ever had a cell phone gets in for free – that’s right no cover – although you probably want a cover for your cell phone because I hear the new versions are pretty fragile and I’d hate for my unwished for abilities to terminate your phone.

Hope to see you there.


P.S. I do feel bad about my cell phone company killing power, if only I had a power that could do some good, like being able to mute bagpipes.

May 20th Set List:
Set #1: Set #2:
Meditation / Roselma
Changes In Lattitudes
It’s All Your Fault
Country Squall
Southern Cross
Miss The Mississippi
It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie
Drifting Away
Long May You Run
Ghost Riders in the Sky
Angel From Montgomery
Barrett’s Privateers
Home For A Rest
Darling Be Home Soon
Cold Water
Stronger Beer
Lake Dore
Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya
Come Back To Us
Bonaparte’s Retreat
I Don’t Look Good Naked
Weldon Chan
Wagon Wheel
C’est la vie