Thursday, May 12, 2016

-- and mary tyler moore

Remember the Dick Van Dyke Show opening credits where Dick tumbles over an ottoman while the announcer lists the cast?

"Starring Dick Van Dyke, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Larry Mathews -- and Mary Tyler Moore. My college chum Bob Wilson always got a kick out of that pause. "I wonder what Mary Tyler Moore thinks of being billed after Larry Mathews?"

That was before we knew about the vagaries of star egos -- where the final billing was often saved for a co-star. And before Tom Stoppard introduced us to this gem of a joke in Shakespeare in Love. A line that itself would ensconce the film amongst anyone's top ten.

It's true, Will -- it was a tavern brawl ... Marlowe attacked, and got his own knife in the eye. A quarrel about the bill.

The bill! Oh, vanity, vanity!

Not the billing -- the bill!
I thought of Mary Tyler Moore this week when I received my new telephone -- delivered directly from Seattle by a friend. It will be a new cast member. And following the Dick Van Dyke Show, it will temporarily be billed as "-- and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge."

Regular readers may recall that just two years ago, I bought a fancy new smartphone -- an HTC One M8, a name that evoked a pistol tucked in the belt rather than a telephone hidden in the pocket. (another one drops)

The HTC was a great telephone. It could do everything my laptop could do -- other than act as an essay-writing platform. It looked sleek. And it was cutting edge technology -- to use one of the more meaningless clichés of our era.

But all good things come to an end. The HTC had steadily been slowing down over the past few months. Applications have a tendency to do that. Pieces start interfering with one another.

Rather than face a slow death, the telephone decided to take the suicide route. Concrete and telephones are not a good mix. For the HTC, it meant a crack the full length of its screen.

I could have replaced the screen by jumping through several hoops here. And, if the telephone had not begun operating slowly, I would have considered it.

But it was a two-year old telephone, and technology had passed it by. When I bought the HTC my niece informed me it was the best available. She was correct. The reviews unanimously agreed with her.

This time I chose without her assistance. And the choice was easy. All of the reviews acclaim the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. For good reason. It looks good. And it operates with speeds that put my laptop to shame. Plus it has an amazing camera.

So, there it is, at the top of this essay. Just like Mary Tyler Moore -- waiting for its chance to have a starring role in Mexpatriate.

"Ms. Samsung, are you ready for your close-up?"

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