Here's how it went down. Yesterday I was helping Alison buy art supplies. I normally keep my phone in my shirt pocket. Now, one of these art supplies was a box. Pretty fancy box, at that. I assume that's why it was uppity. Shifting things around to get to my keys, I shifted the box in such a way that it gave a forceful tap to the bottom of my phone. Pursuant to paragraph 3 of Newton's Laws of Motion, my phone went sailing out of my pocket in a beautiful parabolic arc, flying gracefully through the air, with a slight tumble to its motion. It stopped suddenly and with an audible thud roughly a second later when gravity brought it to Earth. Even the landing was beautiful. My phone hit the sidewalk face down, almost perfectly flat. It didn't bounce or skid or skitter. It simply landed and made the sort of noise that plastic makes when it hits concrete. On picking up the phone, I discovered a dazzling array of colors where the previously reliable graphics of the Sprint UI had been. Thus, more attractive, my phone was also useless.
That brings us to this morning. I took an early leave for lunch. On arriving at the Sprint store, I was greeted by an attractive young woman named Maria who very helpfully and pleasantly guided me through the jungles of Sprint customer service. Maria made a face when I showed her the dazzlingly artistic, but static, new UI of my phone. She called up my account information, and rattled off the cost of replacing my screen with something less attractive, but more functional. So far, this seemed like a normal transaction to me, but it was at this point where we diverged from reality as we know it, into the Bizarro World of cell phone economics.
Without getting into too much more detail (I know this post is already long), the upshot was this. For an additional $35 up front, I would get the following:
* Brand-new phone, identical in all its particular to my old phone
* $50 mail-in rebate, making the overall cash transaction cheaper than repair
* After a series of alchemic/financial transformations that mortals cannot grasp, a $10/month reduction in my phone bill
* An additional phone number that I will not use
Maria was also nice enough to have the helpful young man in a cage behind the retail space transfer my contacts into my new phone, and transfer the phone number from my broken phone to my new phone. So there we are. Proof that space aliens have not only come to Earth, but have influence over marketing decisions at Sprint Communications.