Longtime readers are familiar with my addiction to cell phone Yahtzee Deluxe. For newer visitors, feel free to check out my earlier Yahtzee-centric posts.
* Not for the faint of heart
* Yahtzee Deluxe Update
I’m not proud of what cell phone Yahtzee Deluxe has made me: a mere shell of the dice roller I wished to be. I thought that I could be a recreational player, but I found that it consumed my life, superseding my commitments to work and family. In my dreams, I would perpetually roll four-of-a-kind, one tantalizing die away from the elusive Yahtzee. I lived from roll to roll. I was always in search of my next Yahtzee fix. I would steal away to the restroom during the workday so that I could whip out my cell phone in the privacy of the men’s room stall, struggling to contain my enthusiasm for good rolls below the volume of normal men’s room activities.
I had on multiple occasions committed to deal with my problem. I just kept forgetting (rather, neglecting) to bring it up with my therapist.
Readers, I regret to inform you that the unthinkable happened. The cell phone up and died. Died.
Well, it didn’t really die, but it broke. It would, without rhyme, reason, or warning of any kind, shut down spontaneously. This made it really difficult to answer incoming calls. Then problem began about six months ago, when about five months remained on our warranty. I knew that exchanging our phone for a replacement meant losing Yahtzee Deluxe and all of the hard-earned high scores associated with it. Rather than trade the phone for a non-defective unit, I decided to live with the inconvenience of intermittently not being able to receive calls from my wife or boss.
I knew, though, that my cell phone Yahtzee Deluxe days were numbered. I was wise, I would have prepared for Doomsday. I should have implemented a phased withdrawal of cell phone Yahtzee Deluxe such that the pangs wouldn’t overtake me when the game was ripped from my stubby little fingers.
I did not plan. I denied that the end was near. In fact, I played with greater frequency and intensity than ever before. “Yahztzee, Yahtztee, Yahztee,” I’d catch myself chanting under my breath, walking down the halls, brushing my teeth, riding the bus. My workday gameplaying was no longer limited to the men’s room; I was indulging during lunch, while reading scientific papers, while conducting experiments at the lab bench.
And then the end came. Warranty expiration was merely days away. I knew what had to be done. I could not continue to ignore the unpredictable crashing of my cell phone. I could not afford a new phone when what I knew to be inevitable would ultimately transpire: the final and irreversible sleep of my Sony Ericsson.
I called the warranty center. “Sir, you’re really lucky,” the chipper service specialist informed me. “You’re warranty expires in just three days.” She had wrongly assumed that this problem had just begun, barely before the warranty’s expiration. She hadn’t understood my carefully calculated buzzer beater. We exchanged pleasantries and agreed to exchange phones. A new cell phone arrived at my door the very next day. The old cell phone with Yahtzee Deluxe had to be packaged and sent away. It was if I was losing my best friend.
I dropped the box in the mail and examined my shiny new phone. Ordinarily, I’d be excited about the replacement of an aging electronic with a brand new model. I turned the phone over and over in my hand. “What do you think?” my wife asked.
“It’s just great,” I lied.
It wasn’t great. The next day, I drove to work with no in-ride entertainment besides the radio. My experiments were no longer punctuated by Yahtzee quickies. The worst was in the men’s room. I sat down and, out of habit, whipped out my new phone. My thick thumbs immediately entered the memorized sequence of buttons that used to bring the dice to my two-inch screen. This time, though, there was no Yahztee Deluxe…
I flipped the phone shut, and slipped it back into the front pocket of my shorts now resting on the floor around my ankles.
What to do. What to do. I fumbled around my pockets and found my wallet. I read my driver’s license. I memorized my credit card numbers and expiration dates. I tried to invent a new game to keep me occupied: I would stare at the shoes in the stall next to me and spend the rest of the day trying to find the person who wore them. Nothing cut the mustard. Bored, I stood up and flushed.
I wish I could report a happy ending to this story. There are positive outcomes, sure: more quality time with the wife and dog… clearer focus at work… safer driving… but these all come at the cost of a Yahtzee Deluxe-shaped hole in my heart that can be filled by nothing other than the five digital dice.
For the skeptics of previous posts, I have included a screen shot of my high score list, taken just before I sent the phone away.