Literary LEO 2014
Something Different — 1st Place
The Fine Print
by Rob Donald
Paragraphs 34-49 of your recent two-year contract with Mobilephone
34. Mobilephone agrees to replace any phones damaged in shipping, and by “replace,” we mean “assault,” and by “assault,” we mean “your loved ones.”
35. Mobilephone is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of New York, licensed as a wireless provider, although we do some moonlighting as a caterer. Mobilephone does weddings, bar mitzvahs and private parties, and hopes to make the jump to fulltime. Truth be told, Mobilephone does not know the first thing about wireless signals, or how, really, a person in the United States can talk to someone in France in real time on these little portable devices. Something about satellites, right? Beats the shit out of Mobilephone. (Note: Mobilephone does not offer service to or from France or anywhere in the contiguous United States.)
36. Mobilephone hereby extends your contract to four years.
37. Mobilephone noticed your busty, red-haired girlfriend waiting in the car while you signed your contract. Mobilephone aims to call her up for drinks this Friday at the new tapas bar that opened by the mall. Mobilephone does have her number, after all.
38. Mobilephone does not offer free weekends or nights, this in part to our not offering weekends and nights to begin with.
39. A recent “60 Minutes” exposé uncovered an alarming number of cancerous tumor growths in most all customers who purchased the Mobilephone 3000 touch-screen model. Mobilephone is not surprised by this link. Mobilephone is surprised, however, that Morley Safer is still with the program. Seriously, how old is that guy? What longevity! Definitely not a Mobilephone 3000 owner.
40. Mobilephone has been experiencing widespread problems with its cell phone towers as of late. We have this one guy who does our towers, Randy, and, well, he is going through a pretty nasty divorce and, unfortunately, it shows in his work. His crippling fear of heights and bouts with alcoholism do not help much either.
41. Mobilephone hereby reserves the right to name your firstborn son. We were thinking “Jonathan” or “Mobilephone 3000” or “Mobilephone.” They’re old family names.
42. Mobilephone hereby asserts that all claims and causes of actions against the company must be brought in the Southern District of New York Civil Claims Court located in lower Manhattan. (We have an in with the judge there.)
43. In efforts to combat domestic terrorism, Mobilephone has authorized the NSA to access records of your text messages without the need of a duly issued warrant. They will be reviewing your messages, scanning through your pathetic attempts to win back your busty, red-haired girlfriend, for any links to various terrorist organizations. As for your girlfriend, let it go, man. She’s with Mobilephone now.
44. Your Mobilephone bill is due on the 1st of each month. If the balance is not met in a timely manner, certain actions will be taken by our wholly owned subsidiary, Musclephone, a former arm of the Gambino Crime Family. You do not want to find out about these actions. Do not force our hand, asshole.
45. Calls made to and from other Mobilephone customers in your mobile-to-mobile calling area will not count against your allotted anytime minutes. What is your mobile-to-mobile calling area? Mobilephone has not gotten around to drawing up the maps for this yet. No doubt it will be some arbitrary and capricious scheme based solely on the day’s whims. Mobilephone would not worry about it too much, anyway. Counting you, there are only a handful of Mobilephone customers out there. It is highly unlikely you know one.
46. If you have any questions or concerns about usage details or problems with your phone, feel free to call our toll-free number. If you do not get through, well, that is to be expected. We use Mobilephones ourselves. They’re total shit.
47. Due to a recent Chapter 11 restructuring, Mobilephone will be unable to honor the $75 mail-in rebate promised with your purchase of the Mobilephone 3000. The restructuring acted to dissolve any semblance Mobilephone once had to an actual, real “company.” All that remains is this bowling team we used to sponsor that plays up at the Ten Pin Alley on Thursday nights during league play. You could take it up with them, Mobilephone guesses.
48. Mobilephone’s favorite Beatles LP is the White Album. People always say Revolver, but besides “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yellow Submarine,” what does it really have on it? Mobilephone’s just saying, is all.
49. When signing your contract, Mobilephone heard you use the word “irregardless” twice when you could have just as easily used “regardless” instead. In practice they mean the same thing, only that insecure pricks use “irregardless” for the extra syllable effect, compensating for what Mobilephone can only assume is a small penis size. Mobilephone cannot imagine the redhead went for this. Mobilephone hereby requests you cease and desist with said word. Any further usage will be reflected in your monthly bill with stiff penalties per infraction.
I HAVE READ AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THIS AGREEMENT WITH ITS SEPARATE TERMS OF SERVICE, RATE PLAN AND FEATURE BROCHURES. I FURTHER AGREE THAT, AS BETWEEN MOBILEPHONE AND MYSELF, THE THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION HAS NO LEGAL EFFECT AND I AM NOW MOBILEPHONE’S INDENTURED SERVANT FOR THE DURATION OF THIS CONTRACT. I WILL REPORT TO MY INDENTURED SERVITUDE THIS MONDAY AND START HELPING RANDY WITH THE TOWERS.
—Thanks for your business! And remember: “Say it with a friend or say it alone, say it with a smile with Mobilephone!”