Dianne Dean-Epps: No iPhone, iSwear | TheUnion.com

Dianne Dean-Epps: No iPhone, iSwear

Diane Dean-Epps
Other Voices

Carrying through with family tradition, when our clan sets out to enjoy some scheduled spontaneity, it seems the only way “normal” works its way into the experience is if we watch other families on their outings. Witness our recent adventure when we all got together for a bit of revelry marking our birthdays.

There we were, waiting outside an eatery, having a good ole time engaging in the laugh riot that ensues when we torture each other with the usual conversational fodder.

This non-all-inclusive list of topics consists of: our advancing age, “What were we thinking?” presents, and a wealth of stories with embarrassing moments that are sure to mortify the subject.

Just about the time our table was ready a young woman advanced upon us, ostensibly seeking solace as she set forth her tale of woe.

It seems her cousin had set her iPhone on the bench, over yonder, and though she didn’t think it was the case, she was wondering if we had seen it. We assured her we had not seen such an item. Heck, truth be told, we hadn’t even seen the bench. We made the appropriate sympathetic noises one would make when a stranger reports the loss of something. Thinking we were done, we made our way over to the front of the establishment.

Then it got ugly. Real ugly.

Immediately the launch sequence was initiated for one of my least favorite spectator sports — the public scene. I distinctly noted her glowing red eyes, octaval voice drop, and six-inch height increase as she tuned up for an orchestral rant. Cue crazy tirade. Take one.

The kicked-up-a-notch shrew told us it sure was funny we hadn’t seen her iPhone since we were talking about it when she walked up, to which I cleverly interjected, “I what?!”

By the way, that play on words thing may work well in columns, comedy clubs, and even congregations, but not with an angry, unhinged fruitloop.

Oh, sure, that’s right. Just call me Ma Barker. That’s what me and my younguns do for kicks on the weekends. We travel to area restaurants, absconding with folks’ iPhones, making a passel of trouble for ‘em. Run! We’ve been found out.

Timing being everything, it was at this juncture that the bistro maître d (that’s fancy talk for “person holding menus”) called our party’s name. A good thing too, because I was just getting ready to helpfully offer “(Non) Old Yeller” a southernmost locale where she might seek out her missing iPhone.

After such a bizarre interlude we somnambulated our way toward our table, shaking off the road dust and our odd experience. We even managed to laugh about the incident as we sat down to consult our “quick pick” 30-page menu.

I laughingly advised my family from now on I was going to ask everyone, “Want to see my new iPhone?”

By the end of the meal we’d all but forgotten our rendezvous with crazy in the form of “America’s Next Top Possessed Model.”

We were excitedly contemplating the embarrassing birthday festivities in store for us at the end of our meal, having long been the hallmark of restaurant merrymaking; singing, clapping, and lighting a delicious confection on fire.

It was at this moment our server returned, inquiring as to whether we had an iPhone. I was aghast, affronted, and apoplectic, in addition to other words not beginning with an “a.”

Heretofore my ire had remained a stowaway on my skiff of outrage, but it now launched on the behemoth ship known as, the U.S.S. Incensement.

I took a shallow breath and ahoy, matey, full steam ahead!

”Oh, for pete’s sake. We don’t have her flipping iPhone. This is ridiculous. Did that girl actually get you to ask us that? She is one cuckoo short of a clock, let me tell you. How about she reels it in and takes responsibility for whatever happened, and then she can quit harassing us?”

Our nonplussed waitress looked at me in growing bafflement, commenting matter-of-factly, “Oh, yeah, I heard someone lost their phone. No, no, no. I was asking because if you have an iPhone there’s an app you can access to get a restaurant coupon.”

Chagrined, my response was vintage Gilda Radner, via that inimitable Queen of the Misunderstandings character, Emily Litella, from Saturday Night Live.

“Oh.” (Insert long pause.) “Never mind.”

Diane Dean-Epps lives in Grass Valley.

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