My friend Lew is a really smart man. However, his cellphone is much smarter.

His phone can check email, give directions, fix the debt-ceiling crisis, translate Virgil into rap and prepare a really delicious vegetarian lasagna.

My cellphone is embarrassed to hang around with Lew’s cellphone. Usually when they’re together, my phone speaks very little and makes believe it’s listening to somebody on the other end talking about vegetarian lasagna recipes.

My cellphone is embarrassed because it just makes phone calls. Sometime it receives them.

My cellphone is very old. It has Roman numerals instead of real numbers. It has a rotary dial. So I am thinking of getting a new cellphone, maybe something like my friend Lew’s, a mini digital miracle that will transform my life, turn my hair darker and let me text and tweet and network all the time.

I do understand that before I actually get the new phone I will have to sign a seven-year contract that will bind me to the company I sign with and require me to attend all their bar mitzvahs and a few of their family reunions, but I think I am willing to do that.

I do understand that before I actually get the new phone that does all the things Lew’s phone does I will have to buy a data pack for the phone which it can wear when we go hiking together, but I think I am willing to do that.

What I don’t understand is how I will figure out how to operate what I will buy.

I watch Lew cleverly manipulate his phone, helping jet airliners land and texting his colleagues while preparing lasagna, and I wonder if I will ever be adept enough to do all that.

Will I ever be clever enough to understand how to do HD video recording and editing on my new phone or “face time video calling” if I have no idea what any of that is? And if my phone is hotspot capable, as I am told it is, how will I go about finding a hot spot with my GPS when I don’t know how to find my GPS?

And how hot does the hotspot have to be to poach eggs? Will they be runny if I’m not in the center of the hotspot? Will they also be humid, thus raising the heat index?

The phones I’ve looked at all have something called “retina display.” This concerns me because I think it means either I’ll be looking at a retina or the phone will be looking at me, which is not a good thing at all if I am eating cheesy vegetarian lasagna.

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