Use of old phone no reason for my sons to flip out

The Sunday Column

It’s amazing when you realize the power you have over your children sometimes, and that it comes in the strangest of ways.

For instance, let me introduce you to my flip phone.

That’s right, folks: It is less than two months to 2018, and yet yours truly still owns — and uses quite often — an apparatus that my kids believe comes right out of an episode of “The Flintstones.”

Why? Because I don’t need a phone that is an extension of my TV at home or my computer at work.

To defend myself a little bit, I do own one of those things that I call a little computer. My kids call it an 8 Quad-Core Android Tablet, or Nextbook Ares 8A, but like I said, it’s a little computer that I can listen to during baseball and basketball season for my favorite teams, the Texas Rangers and Washington Wizards.

But back to this flip phone thing that works like kryptonite on my boys, who are sometimes a little too full of themselves in public.

We were at the Logan Valley Mall recently when I wanted to get a picture of myself with my good friends, Buck Frank and Phil Cmor, who just happen to have a giant cardboard cutout on the first floor. So what did I do? I took out my flip phone and tried to take a selfie (big modern word there, folks) with them.

My sons begged me to put the flip phone back in my pocket, and back away from the cutout — slowly. They wanted me to wait for their mom to get out of the shoe store, and she would gladly take a picture with her modern-day phone that was made in the 21st century.

My phone takes pictures. It takes a little longer to take them, but it takes them. And sure, it crashes many times when I try to send a photo to my email address, but I don’t mind the wait.

The new flip phone I have now works much better than my old one did.

A few years ago, the old one literally stopped working one day, and I couldn’t figure out why. I called the company, and they told me that my flip phone was taken out of service because they did not make them anymore.

You see, it was purchased in 2003. But it worked, so why get rid of it?

Then when we went to the second floor of the mall, where my own Altoona Mirror cutout hovers over the food court in outstanding technicolor, I tried to take a selfie — with myself.

I even wanted them in it because they’re in the cutout from 2010. They are in eighth grade now. Let me tell you something: 14-year-old boys don’t see the nostalgia factor their dad sees. They only see the fear factor — of a friend possibly seeing them with a guy who has a flip phone.

There’s a rule in our family that the kids do not get a cellphone until they’re in ninth grade.

It worked for our daughters, and it will work for our sons. One time, Vincent needed a phone because he needed to reach us to pick him up at an event.

I offered him my phone for the night. You should have seen the look on his face. I think he offered to see if the Pony Express was still in service, and that he’d rather just use that instead of my flip phone to send me a message.

So what do I do now? If we are at a public event, or a family affair, and they are misbehaving, I pull out my flip phone and threaten to use it on them, or even worse, on them with their friends.

One day, they will get a cellphone, and they will get one because their dad has a flip phone. And then maybe, just maybe, it will make sense to them.

Get the picture?

Mirror Sports Copy Editor Scott Franco writes a monthly column for the Mirror.