Friday, December 11, 2009

Stop the evil! Smash your cell phone today!


Believe it or not, I’m annoyed over something.

What’s got me worked up today? Cell phones. Hate the things. The world would be better off without them. I figure that Satan developed them to torment us poor humans, anyway. That’s just the kind of thing that devil would do. Damned pest.

Actually, I wouldn’t be too worried about lobbying against all cell phones if I could just be rid of mine. Since my wife and employer won’t let me get away with refusing to carry one, I figure I’m stuck until I complete a successful campaign to get rid of all of the nasty things.

In other words, I’m irritated and intent on making everyone suffer. So there.

Anyway, I started thinking along these lines around 1997 when I was driving back from a friend’s funeral. I was practicing law at the time and my cell phone rang – it was an angry client who figured I ought to be in my office working on his something-or-other instead of wasting my time at a funeral.

I responded by pitching my cell phone out of my car window when I was driving about 75 MPH. I immediately got angry for two reasons. First of all, that phone cost around $400 and I reduced it to a pile of garbage that was scattered down the Interstate. Second, I wanted to call my secretary and yell at her for giving some lunatic my cell number.

I couldn’t call her, of course. I had just pitched my phone out the window of a speeding car.

So I didn’t carry a cell phone for years. Oh, I was a happy, happy The Hawg! People could reach me at work only when I was actually at work. I could be alone from time to time and not have to worry about a nasty ringtone shattering my solitude.

Ah, but then I got married and my wife made me carry a cell phone. Sure, that one got destroyed after it went through the washing machine and my wife got me a new one. I gave that one to her after I started my current job and my office bought me yet another phone.

I got rid of the phone my office bought me when I threw it up against a wall a few times, kicked it for good measure and stomped on it for the sheer hell of it. My employer rewarded me with yet another cell phone.

I can’t get rid of the things, seemingly -- I'll destroy one and wind up with a new phone. Furthermore, I’ve got to leave it on in case there’s an “emergency” and someone needs to get in touch with me. Emergency? There are some other things I could carry in case of an emergency – a shotgun, a life preserver, road flares, rope, a canteen, SCUBA gear, etc. I don’t carry any of that junk around with me constantly, but I am required to carry my cell phone in case some phantom emergency pops up and I have to deal with it.

Do I get any emergency calls? Hell no. What I get are work-related calls when I’m at home or on vacation from people who always ask me if “it’s a bad time to talk.”

Well, yeah it’s a bad time to talk. A good time to talk is when I’m in my office during working hours – not when I’m at my mother-in-law’s house on a Thanksgiving vacation.

I also get calls from my wife while I’m weaving through rush-hour traffic because she wants to know if I've left the office yet. You know, one of those calls could cause an emergency...

You’d think mankind hadn’t managed for centuries before the advent of the cell phone. How could people get in touch with each other if an emergency popped up? What on earth did they do?

Oh, yeah. They managed just fine.

I’m convinced there are few of those “cell phone” emergencies to which people like to refer. That fellow surfing the Internet on his iPhone in the middle of a movie theater I was at a few weeks ago didn’t have an emergency. That freaky chick I saw texting away while driving down the road a few weeks ago wasn’t dealing with an emergency. Those cell phone gabbing maniacs who lollygag around while getting in my way on the freeway during my morning commute aren’t in the middle of emergencies.

No, we’d all be better off by simply taking up our cell phones and running them over with our cars a few times, thus freeing ourselves of that demonic evil. Just imagine a world where lunches with friends aren’t ruined by cell phone calls, people actually pay attention to the road while driving, obnoxious ringtones are unheard of and crumbs don’t wander around in a haze while checking their Facebook accounts on their phones.

I do believe my dad has the right idea about how to carry a cell phone. He resisted one until my mother finally convinced him he needed one with him. What’s my dad’s cell number? I have no idea.

Why? He doesn’t want to be bothered and he’d rather talk to me in person, anyway.


Kathy said...

Agree with you 100%. It's a sad thing to be available 24/7 by phone. I hate that people have that expectation. A colleague of mine asked me yesterday how I can live with a pay-as-you go phone, where I spent only $15 a month on average. I don't have kids, for one. And I have a husband who doesn't need to talk to me during the 15 min. it takes me to get to or from work. Yes, I wanted it for when I took a road trip alone last spring. Other than that, it's almost useless to me.

Did you really throw the phone out your car window? Awesome.

Crabby Blogging Lady said...

I hate to burst your bubble, seeing how you just love cell phones... but did you realize that we are surreptitiously monitored with them? Sprint recently admitted that they allowing an open port for law enforcement to ping phones, as well as provide customer location data.

Yep-- pay $60+ a month to be spied on, all the for "convenience" of being on call day and night for every telemarketer and wrong number!! LOL.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Kathy -- You always struck me as the sensible sort. I absolutely hate having that nasty phone around and tend to forget it at the office form time to time, leave it at home or just not charge the thing. Somehow, I've managed to survive even when I don't have that ringing pest with me.

Oh, yes. I threw it right out of my car window. I immediately regretted it, but that action heralded in years of cell phone-free peace. It was worth it.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Crabby -- Why am I not surprised? There's just another reason for me to hate those cell phone things, huh?

Karen said...

You got it right! I had them and my family gets mad when I don't answer mine. I can't even go to the grocery anymore without having to have a conversation with someone. Ugh.

T. T. Douglas said...

I laughed out loud a couple of times at this rant. Couldn't have put it any better myself, nor would I want to. I'm always getting into trouble because I didn't answer mine. Never got used to carrying one I guess.

I also think the advent and proliferation of cell phones has gradually eroded our planning skills. It used to be if you were going to meet somewhere you planned the place, time and details out in advance with whomever you were meeting, along with what to do if something went awry. Today, people just say, call me when you get there and you watch 2 people 10 feet away from each other talking on their cells to meet up.

Stunatra said...

I can't stand phones, period. The cell phones are ridiculously expensive and the locked in contract bullshit is a pain in the ass.

The Natural State Hawg said...

T.T. Douglas -- Glad you got a kick out of that. I do get worked up from time to time...

Here's a story that may be worse. My nephew and niece, not long ago, were texting each other while in the same room. "It's easier than talking," they said.

What the hell?

Stunatra -- Yeah, my office locked me into "Drop-A-Call" AT&T so I'm annoyed by rotten service on top of everything else.


Dave said...


The Natural State Hawg said...

Dave -- Don't believe the propaganda, Dave! Fight it!

Jaya said...

I'm one of the holdouts... I've never had a cell phone and have no intention of getting one.

I don't even answer my land line phone most of the time when I'm at home. Heck, if I wanted to talk to someone, I would have called them. Otherwise, I mostly want to be left alone.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Jaya -- Good for you! I'd be the same way if external forces hadn't chained a blasted phone to me.

Robin said...

I rarely use my cell phone. I have one friend in particular who is on her phone constantly and I've even told her when having lunch that there's nothing more inconsiderate than talking on the phone when you're with someone. The idea that we have to be available 24/7 is ridiculous! Ontario recently passed a law banning the use of phones while driving but they didn't go far enough because it only covers "hand held" phones. As far as I'm concerned ANY use of a cell phone while driving is a distraction!