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How are you? You good? You’ve been a good parent. I’m 29 now, and I know breakfast for dinner is a copout and bicyclists are horrible, road-hogging, self-entitled people, so you did something right. With the help of Mom, you’ve raised my brother and me to be tax paying, law abiding citizens. (Weed’s legal, right?) You taught us about the birds and the bees by taking your finger and putting it through a donut. Then you showed us the right way to eat said donut (on your finger like a ring, with small bites around the outside until it’s gone, just like good cunnilingus). You signed us up for Pop Warner football so we could learn about discipline, hard work, homophobia, and–sorry, I couldn’t remember what I was going to write. Also, I have a headache. Where was I? Oh, yeah. As a parent, I couldn’t really ask for better, and I want to make sure you know that. But recently, you’ve made a change that’s ripped the very fabric of our family. What I once knew as indestructible has been torn asunder. As days pass, so does my understanding of real happiness; our family’s best days feel like a distant dream, a song half-remembered, words written on the shore that fade more with every receding wave. We talk less now. We barely email one another, and your Words With Friends activity is nonexistent. This switch to T-Mobile is quite literally ruining all of our lives.
I know you’re thinking, “Jared, a phone? A service provider is ruining your life?” Yes. You haven’t been living these last 11 days, 22 hours, and two minutes. You weren’t in Times Square with no service.That’s right. TIMES SQUARE, the place that represents the very zenith of American consumerism. Before a few weeks ago, I would have assumed that every satellite in space had at least one antenna devoted to New York’s most famous intersection. Yet, I was there yesterday with full bars next to something called “E.” Why have full bars next to anything that leads to a twirling, loading circle that won’t let Twitter open? A twirling, loading circle that took so long that I FORGOT WHAT I WAS GOING TO TWEET. That tweet could have been my best–it could have represented the height of the art form, maybe even have gotten me favorites or, God willing, even a retweet. But now that’s all lost.
And it’s not just the service. No, the cruel joke of not having T-Mobile service in the middle of America’s shining, billboard-filled dick wasn’t enough. I tried to take a photo of a fat guy picking his nose so I could share it on Instagram. I would have captioned it, “Ladiessss???” and the world would have laughed together, the levity of the moment breaking down the barriers of human sadness. Only instead, I received a warning that my memory was full, and I couldn’t take any more pictures. So I rushed, sweat streaming down my forehead, racing to delete photos. Which food photo? Which poop picture? What selfie? A “Sophie’s Choice,” but far worse even, as the moment passed and the fat man turned his ponytail to me and walked out of my life forever, taking with him the dream of countless “likes” and the admiration of dozens. You explained to me later how you got a “great deal” on phones for the family, but you never considered that the T-Mobile sales guy was handing you 16GB iPhones. He may as well have been handing you four bricks with antennas taped on. Oh, and Dad, thanks for being the one guy in America who had no idea there was a new iPhone coming out, like, a week later. That “great deal” you got was T-Mobile trying to unload inventory on suckers before they ship all of their iPhone 5Ss to Rwanda like the Utah Jazz world champion t-shirts. I picture that sales guy now, re-carving with a hot knife the scarred pentagram on his chest, swearing allegiance to Satan, laughing maniacally as he pulls the wings off butterflies, proud of the evil he’s put into the world.
Remember what it was like before this all happened? Those Verizon days, when on the phone, I could say a full sentence without having to repeat it? I tweeted, then texted, then podcasted, then went back to my tweet to see how it did, then went onto Facebook to make sure my ex-girlfriend is still doing okay, all in one fell swipe of my finger. I look back, and things on my phone seemed to glide by with such ease. Now, I’m comparing all of my interpersonal relationships to the one I had with Verizon. It’s unhealthy, Dad. Who could possibly measure up? I’m withdrawn and sullen now. I bought a guitar. I started journaling. Satisfaction and happiness seem at arm’s length. I move forward, and it moves away. T-Mobile: the cellular equivalent of getting half-blown…forever.
I know, I know. You’re getting four lines for, like, $100 a month. Verizon was, like, $400 a month. What a cost difference! But do you remember when we were at that carnival and you let me spend all my allowance on that basketball game? That giant, stuffed ape was only three free-throws away. It seemed so easy, yet I didn’t hit a single shot. The rims were bent and you knew it. But you let me fail. You took me aside afterward, when I was defeated and dejected, and you said, “J-Train, if it seems too good to be true, then it is.” It was an important life lesson, one I never forgot. Well, now it’s time for me to repay the favor, Pops: T-Mobile has bent the fucking rims. You’re getting fucked in the ass. That giant, stuffed ape will hang in the central office of T-Mobile for all of eternity. You are a mule plodding toward a carrot on a stick, Sisyphus pushing a T-Mobile-branded boulder. It’s time to take what’s left of your dignity and move on, for the sake of our family, Dad. You can’t win a game that was fixed from the start.
P.S.: Please disregard if this letter in any way affects your payment of our family plan..