Eventually I suppose I'll have to get a smartphone, but so far I have managed to avoid it. This is as baffling to my nephew as, when I was his age, it was baffling to me that the Kramdens don't have a telephone or a television. A smartphone is simply an appurtenance of adult life; choosing not to have one is like choosing to remain four feet tall or keep your baby teeth. Of course I don't have a car, a house, a microwave, a life partner, or children either, and I think that he has come to accept me as an odd variant species of adult, like a flightless bird or a hairless cat. A smartphoneless adult.
(Privately it tickles me that he sometimes tries to persuade me to get one of these things in order to become more normal. "Why don't you have a microwave?" "Because I don't care what temperature the food is. I just put it in my mouth." "You could put a microwave right here on the counter." "Yeah, but why would I do that when I don't want one?" Et cetera. This tickles me because this is the kind of conversation I've been having with his mother for as long as I can remember. It's as if she has outsourced the job of being my older sibling.)
Anyway, my new dumbphone is not only dumb, it's a flip phone. This is like the twenty-first-century version of how my parents had a rotary phone until about five years ago. Though I guess that was also the twenty-first century, difficult as it is to believe.
Incidentally, I've scoured several Smurf comics and concluded that what some Wikipedia editor thinks is "clearly" a mezuzah on Gargamel's door is actually the door's top hinge. Which is kind of what I suspected I'd find; if Gargamel really had a mezuzah, the relevant comic panels would be available on the Internet. Anyway, he's clearly not a very observant Jew if he's eating the Smurfs, because Smurfs can't possibly be kosher. Even if they were, I'm pretty sure that melting food animals in serpent venom is not a ritually acceptable means of slaughter.
Incidentally incidentally, I'm happy to say that Gargamel and the Smurfs appear in an episode of a different Belgian comic called Sophie; I am happy to say that because in this twentieth-century incarnation, the sorcerer's name is "Edgar Gamel." I don't think this can be considered canonical, but I like the idea that Gargamel has been doing his thing for several hundred years, still attempting to destroy those despicable Smurfs with no regard for modern technology or the transformation of his alchemical methods into the genuine science of chemistry. I admire that kind of dedication.
He does dress better these days, though. He looks a little like seventies-era Mad magazine illustration got up like that.