Brian Arsenault Takes On: A Fable for Our Times

Glump the Clumsy bought a new i not my Phone. Glump soon clumsily glumped it by putting in the wrong password — or was it passcode or both — so many times that he was locked out of his
How can my own phone lock me out wondered Glump. It didn’t seem reasonable but that was what happened.
So Glump called the Fruit Company that made the i not my Phone and said I’m locked out can you unlock me. Sure can said the Virtually Automated Responder. Just go to i not my tunes. I don’t have that said Glump. Try to download i not my tunes said the Responder. I can’t said Glump. Could I go to the Fruit Company Store. You can said the Responder but not this week. There are no appointments. No appointments all week marveled Glump but what could he do.
What can I do said Glump starting to see blinking spots before his eyes. Was this an early sign of stroke Glump wondered.
But we can get you an appointment at Buggeru Buy. What does this have to do with Buggeru Buy asked Glump. Well sorta nothing said the Responder but they can open your phone. We gave them the magic. OK said Glump. Tomorrow Noon said the Responder. That was sorta gonna ruin lunch thought Glump but better to be hungry than not having a working i not my Phone.
At Buggeru Buy Glump was directed to the department called Feeb Company. But there was no company for Glump. No one was at the counter. So Glump decided to wait and sat down. After a while a kind of tired looking warthog came out and asked if Glump needed help. Glump wondered who would be sitting there if they didn’t need help. A distant roaring of the ocean or too much blood flow was sounding in his ears.
Glump said can you open my phone. Yes said Gus the warthog but it could take two hours or maybe days even weeks to open. Can you do some shopping or go to lunch. Glump wondered how long a lunch could be but instead asked why his own i not my Phone could lock him out. It’s for your own good said the warthog.
Glump was fighting off growing nausea by now but decided to go to lunch anyway. It was a half mile across the mall so getting there and back plus the time it took to have lunch and then throw up might be enough. He trudged off.
The mall was nearly empty so all the help in all the stores and the little stands in the middle of the hallways looked hopefully at Glump as if he might buy something. But he didn’t and then all the help looked longingly for the next sojourner. The emptiness of the mall was nearly hallucinatory or was it all the sale signs. Visions of more and more stuff crowded into Glump’s head but he had no time for that. Actually he did but that was beside the point. He was on a mission to open his i not my Phone. Nothing else mattered till the castle was stormed.
Lunch was two clumps of lead on a nice sesame seed bun and swirly fries that looked like worms. He could have had Japanese lead or Italian or Chinese or Indian Dot lead but he stuck with American. Glump wanted Coke but could only get Pepsi. It was that kind of day.
When he arrived back at BuggerU Buy nearly exhausted as well as bloated and gassy from lunch the warthog emerged from the back and said in a self satisfied way: We’re 50% completed. I don’t usually work out front said the warthog as if that had to do with anything. What must go on out back wondered Glump but he decided he didn’t want to know. Not really.
Glump sat down and waited and the warthog went back and forth a couple times and finally said It happened sooner than I thought and proudly handed over the phone.
Glump was so excited he stopped farting lunch and thought he’d soon be back in touch with why Everybody. Everybody in the world and he and the warthog proudly progressed through all the opening screens of the i not my Phone until they got to the password.
Just put in your password said the warthog. But that’s how the i not my Phone got locked in the first place said Glump. I’m apparently confused about what the password is. Oh I can’t help with that said the warthog. Only the Fruit Company can do that. Now the spots in front of Glump’s eyes were as big as balloons. You can’t mean it said Glump. Fraid so said that warthog.
So Glump blinking to clear his vision headed to the Fruit Company knowing they didn’t have any open appointments but he didn’t have anywhere else to go.
At the Fruit Company, a female Cheetah with metal in her face stepped in front of him as he entered and asked if she could help. Glump wasn’t anxious to hear that question again but said he was confused about his password. Oh you need a reset. I guess so said Glump. The Cheetah told him to get in the line on the right and talk to the toadstool with the pink device to get a reset.
Glump noticed there were a lot of people in the Help Me line and wasn’t surprised in a world where your own i not my Phone could lock you out. What if your home security system did that thought Glump and then panicked because he couldn’t remember the home security code. He’d have written it down somewhere but the security company said not to.
The line moved like at the airport but eventually Glump was greeted by a toadstool with a moustache and goatee that looked like a growth. Maybe on a toadstool it was a growth. How can I help asked the toadstool and Glump didn’t answer for a moment because he truly feared that question and the moustache was so repellant he couldn’t stop looking at it. Shaking himself back to unreality Glump told the toadstool the Cheetah said I need a password reset.
Do you remember where you bought the phone. Of course I do said Glump. I bought it last week at AB&D. The toadstool smiled as much as a toadstool can and said well go to the AB&D store down the hall and get a proof of purchase and we’ll get you a new password. He said password reverently and all the other toadstools bowed their heads for a moment.
Glump was now so dizzy he nearly fell to his knees but the toadstool was already talking to the next victim in line and so he headed out. When he got to AB&D, a hippo sitting on a three legged stool eating a box of jelly doughnuts seemed to be in charge so Glump told her he needed a proof of purchase. What store asked the hippo between bites. Glump named the store. Oh that’s an agency store. We don’t have access to their records. That’s why we tell people not to go to agency stores. It has big letters AB&D on the front said Glump as dragons shot fire into his head. Yes said the hippo but it says Agency Store underneath. The hippo grinned spitting some crumbs and a sarcastic have a nice day. Glump would have strangled the hippo but her neck was so thick he would have needed hands as big as clown gloves and he didn’t want to get close to her.
Back to The Fruit Company went Glump deciding to throw himself on the mercy of the toadstools who were involved in a group hug or chant or something but the Cheetah just sneered as he headed to the Helpless Line. Please please this is my phone said Glump to the toadstool. Just a password reset. Please. Oh we can do that. We just have to confirm your identity. Answer the following nine questions. When Glump got done answering the screen said one or more of your answers is wrong. Which one said Glump. Oh the screen won’t say said the toadstool. That’s for your protection. Aren’t eight out of nine enough growled Glump. Fraid not said the toadstool. But we can send an email to your computer at home that lets you change your password. There’s about a kazillion computers right here, said Glump can’t you send it to me at one of them. Oh no chuckled the toadstool and all the other toadstools chuckled knowingly and bending slightly.
Glump drove three other cars off the interstate on the way home, screaming it’s my i not my Phone til he burst a small blood vessel in his neck. When he got home sure enough the toadstool’s email had arrived and he was able to change his password in just a couple minutes and open his i not my Phone.
He would have wondered why the Responder he first called didn’t simply do that except for the chest pains.


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