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Prioleau Alexander: Get Your App Off My Lawn

“Please listen carefully to the following, as our menu options have changed …”

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

If one more person asks me, “Do you have our app?” … I’m gonna lose it.

My printer recently screwed up and wouldn’t print … I go to try and fix it, and the first thing HP demands is I go through their app. Are you freaking kidding me? An app? For my printer? On my phone? I deal with HP once every three years, when I say, “screw it,” throw the printer in trash, and buy a new one … yet now they have their dumbass app hitchhiking on my phone for life. 

The most delightful aspect of apps is the opportunity to type on a keyboard the size of a business card. Next, my stupid password has to be something like,


… which makes typing a pain in the ass. And that’s not including the fact you have to take a day’s vacation to fill out all the crap to register yourself on the app. The closing on my house required fewer typed words, signatures, and initials.

I also love the section entitled, “do you accept our terms?” Really? Wading through 20,000 words of legalese, when all I want is my POS printer to work? And if I DON’T accept your terms, then my POS printer never works again?

If Congress was worth a camel’s booger, they’d pass a law requiring these companies to replace OUR TERMS with HOW WE PLAN TO SCREW YOU, followed by a layman’s explanation of all the Constitutional rights I’m forfeiting.


Demonstration of effective printer troubleshooting.

But, as we all know, Congress isn’t worth any sort of booger; Lawmakers are far too busy finding $30 million for “gender studies” in Afghanistan (I kid you not … United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.) Of course it makes sense: We should absolutely promote gender studies in a place where we have no say in the government, where men can legally beat their wives, marry children, and openly practice pedophilia (I kid you not … Man love Thursdays).

Rein in Big Tech? Nope.

Stop the criminals in Big Pharma? Nope.

Close the border? Nope.

Balance the budget? Nope.

But … we got $30 million to help a woman feel more empowered when her caveman husband lights her on fire.

Gotta love the streaming services apps, too.

“Hey, there’s a movie I want to see.” 


Order through the phone app? For the love of Pete, why? I gotta put down the damn remote, find my phone, launch the app, and of course type in my thousand-character password …


But wait! Next I have to go back and type the idiotic thing again because I forgot to capitalize the ‘M’ in Myself, then type in the movie, then hit … accept.

Then … then … and only then the signal goes up to a satellite or some crap, and comes back to my TV located eleven feet away from me. Why couldn’t I just hit “accept” on the TV??? It’s not like you don’t have my credit card info and half my Constitutional rights in your database.

Tech support has gotten great, too. My most recent need for assistance was with Xfinity, and after an hour on the web, I’m convinced even the CIA couldn’t find the Xfinity phone number if they waterboarded the CEO. Using diesel. Finally, I clicked on “assistance” on the homepage. 




Hi, I’m your Xfinity virtual chat assistant. Please type any question.”

“Can I speak to a human?”

Hi, I’m your Xfinity virtual chat assistant. Please type any question.”

“SPEAK to customer service.”

“Speaking apps are available for the visually impaired, which will enable you to speak your questions. Just download our Pinball Wizard app.”

But wait … if I’m blind, how would I read these words about the app for blind people, Miss Chat? How could I look up your app? It’s not like my piece of phone has braille. 

More typing: I need to change my plan. I want to reduce the speed, and expand the selection of TV channels.

“I see you want to expand your download speed to our 50-terrabytes-per-second plan with unlimited channels, available for only $335 a month. Your plan change has been recorded, and will begin with your next bill.”

I literally got in my car and drove 15-minutes to Xfinity, waited 30 minutes, and made an appointment for a tech guy to come to my house.

“You realize, Mr Alexander, that a tech visit could include a $100 charge?”

“Actually, it won’t.”



“I’m afraid it will, if the tech determines you could’ve fixed the problem yourself.”

“Listen, Toots. When I tip the guy $20, what are the odds he’s gonna find it my fault? Yeah, right up there with my odds of me avoiding a X-freaking-finity app.”

Gotta love, as well, the personalized client service provided by businesses that need clients to specifically choose them over their competitors in order to survive. Let’s say, a law firm that does real estate closings — they’re all the same, so you pick a friend or a firm someone recommended. 


“Hi, thanks for calling the Super Personalized Service real estate lawyers. Please listen carefully to the following, as our menu options have changed.”

Changed??? You’re a real estate law firm. No one has ever called you more than once. And if even they DO call a second time, do you lunatics think they memorized that menu the first time?

“If you know your party’s extension …”

“How would I know their extension??? I don’t know ANY of you … at all!”

“If none of the previous 89 options fulfilled your needs, press zero for an operator.”

Don’t get me going on event tickets …

Let’s say I want to see U2 at the sphere in Vegas (which I did). I go to Ticketmaster’s website, I grind through all that, give them the okay to extract six months’ salary from my checking account … and then I’m told, “Please log into the Ticketmaster app.”

Why??? Just pull the tickets up on my computer screen, and I’ll print them. Print … like an adult, and be all responsible, and remember to bring them with me.

Nope … off I go to download the little bastard and spend thirty minutes on its proctological sign-up process.


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“Here are your tickets. Download them to your phone.”

What the holy hell? My phone? Where on my phone? What if they disappear into some digital wormhole, which has happened before? If I come back here because I can’t find them on my phone, you bastards will tell me you’ve already given them to me.

I finally figured out a way to — I think — beat their vanishing ticket scam: When the tickets are up on my computer screen, I take a screenshot and print them. Miraculously, the digital tickets for U2 worked, but I’d still be in the Vegas jail if they hadn’t, and they’d subsequently refused my printed version.

There’s got to be an end in sight for all this. Maybe someone will invent an app called “Remove all the dumbass apps I never use from my phone.” 

Maybe congress will deem us Gen Xers and Boomers victims of “thumb typing discrimination,” and force these corporate sadists to allow us to use a computer instead of a phone. 

Perhaps Big Paper and the Printer Ink Barons will get involved, and buy a law that makes everyone offer a “print this out option,” so we can avoid the digital wormholes that eat our event tickets.

Somebody’s got to do something … because it’s time for these Big Tech widow lickers to get off my lawn. 



Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of four books: ‘You Want Fries With That?,’ ‘Dispatches Along the Way,’ ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?‘ and ‘They Don’t Call It The Submission Process For Nothing.’ 



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1 comment

CongareeCatfish Top fan May 13, 2024 at 10:07 am

I like to joke that we will all willingly accept the mark of the beast on our hand and forehead if it will keep us from having to maintain 50+ apps with passwords just to live the same style of life we had before cell phones.


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