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A Modernized Christmas Story

A Modernized Christmas Story

In recognition of the holiday this year, we’ve decided to adapt a famous tale to a more contemporary setting, and create a parody of the holiday classic, A Christmas Story. We hope you enjoy this retelling, as much as we enjoyed writing it!

It was a good year - maybe even a great one. Like peeling the protective plastic off a brand-new device, the excitement mounted until the whole town made plans for the big day. Already my own scheme was well underway, a scheme of Machiavellian brilliance and Olympian perseverance that would make this Christmas stand out among Christmases past.

I remember clearly, itchingly, maddeningly, the first time I laid eyes on it, pictured along with a complete specifications breakdown in a featured piece in an online technology magazine.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max

“Yes, fellows, this mobile device, encased in a surgical steel and glass case, containing up to 512 GB of onboard storage and an A13 Bionic chip can be your very own! It has a triple camera system including wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto cameras for taking any kind of picture you can think of, and IP68 water resistance up to four meters for as long as 30 minutes. You just charge up its 20-hour battery with the included Fast Charge adapter, 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display showing you your apps, and you just can’t do better. Tell Mom and Dad it’s great for productivity and social media, and it will make a swell Christmas gift!”

It was not merely a swell Christmas gift, but the Christmas gift, the quintessential Christmas gift, the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts. For the first time in my life, the initial symptoms of genuine lunacy, of mania set in.

Not only should I have such a phone, it was an absolute necessity.

Breakfast was ready, and before long, it was just my mother and I in the kitchen. My mother, tapping her old Android against the kitchen table, suddenly asked out of the blue:

“What would you like for Christmas?”

Horrified, I heard myself blurt it out:

“A 512 GB iPhone 11 Pro Max in space gray!”

I was dead. Even before she opened her mouth, I knew what was coming.

“Oh, no. You’ll only break it.”

It was the classic mother smartphone block. That deadly phrase--many times before by hundreds of mothers--was not surmountable by any means known to Kid-dom.

The Essay

At school that day, Miss McAfee assigned us a particular task - write an essay entitled ‘What I Want for Christmas.’ I raced home to ensure I could write while the inspiration was fresh, mind filled with thoughts of Miss McAfee coming to my aid and insisting that I be given the iPhone 11 Pro Max as part of her duties as a teacher, convinced through my magnificent and eloquent essay that it was absolutely necessary that I be given the iPhone 11 Pro Max. I swiftly composed my argument.

The next day at school, the entire class filed past Miss McAfee’s desk to hand in our essays. I had done it. There was no doubt that this essay would absolutely overwhelm her. Not only was the iPhone 11 Pro Max in space gray irrevocably mine, I began to envisage that Miss McAfee would excuse me from essay writing for the rest of my school days, or at least until high school.

I saw Miss McAfee grading papers grumpily, throwing essay after essay down and giving each one an ‘F.’ Upon reaching my essay, however, her face brightens and she writes my name on the board, followed by an ‘A’ and an immense line of plusses.

I’m snapped back to reality by a question from Miss McAfee:

“Did you want something?”

“What? Oh, no, not now… just turning in my essay.”

Proud of myself, I deposit my essay on Miss McAfee’ desk and exit the room.

A few long days later, Miss McAfee finally handed back our essays. I hold my breath as I wait for mine to come back to me.

It reaches me, and I unfold it in anticipation.

“C-”

What? No, this had to be a mistake… until I saw the post-script, written in teacher’s unmistakable red pen:

“P.S. You’ll break an iPhone.”

My mother had gotten to Miss McAfee - there was no other explanation. Was there no end to this conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Apple’s latest flagship phone? I gloomily watched other, happier kids who were all Snapchatting and TikToking and iMessaging while I was left with nothing.

Meeting My Last Hope

The next morning, I awakened with the realization that all was not yet lost - there was one last hope, one browser tab left open, one glorious, maddening system update that had as yet not installed: the Big Man himself, Number One, the Head Honcho, the Connection… Tim Cook… Wait no, Santa Claus!

The line waiting to see Santa Claus stretched all the way back to the LCD screens, and I was at the end of it and the ten o’clock closing time was racing nearer.

As we drew nearer to St. Nick, I started to rehearse my pitch in my head. If I was going to have the technological miracle of the iPhone 11 Pro Max in my pocket, Santa Claus was going to have to get the real specs.

I finally reach him.

“And, what’s your name, little boy?” Santa said.

I sit on his knee, panicking as I look upon the famous figure.

“Ah, umm, uhhhhhhhhhh….” I replied.

“That’s a fine name, little boy! Ho ho ho! And what do you want for Christmas, little boy?”

“Ummm...”

My mind had gone completely blank! Frantically, I tried to remember what it was I wanted. I was blowing it!

“Uhhhh….”

“Wouldn’t you like a nice Baby Yoda doll?”

Without conscious will, my voice squeaked out:

“Yeah!”

“Ho, ho, ho!”

My God, baby Yoda? I was deposited into the slide to take me back down to the ground floor. After a frantic struggle, I clawed my way back to the top.

“No, no! I want a 512 GB iPhone 11 Pro Max in space gray!”

“Ho, ho, ho! You’ll just break an iPhone, kid. Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!”

“Nooooooo….” I cried as I slide down.

Christmas Morning

Finally, on Christmas morning, the family assembled around our tree. I was proud of the gifts I had given, and my brother had gifted me an Amazon Echo Dot. However, when there were no gifts left under the tree, I had opened up no iPhone.

My father rose from his chair, examining the tree.

“Say,” he said. “I think here’s a surprise gift over there!”

Almost afraid to hope, I moved to the drapes to find another package. It had my name on it, and was signed with Santa’s name. I tore off the paper, to find a 512 GB iPhone 11 Pro Max in space gray.

Ecstatic, I ran upstairs and, changing out of the hideous Iron Man pajamas gifted to me by my aunt, dashed outside to meet my friends and show them my glorious gift.

Three steps out the door, I slipped on a patch of ice and dropped my phone. Trembling, I picked it up.

The screen was cracked. I had broken my iPhone.

We hope all your gifts outlive their return policy, and that you have a very happy holiday this year!

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