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JWR 3.44 - Cellular Fucking Phone

 

You know, technology is supposed to make our lives better, and although it does in many ways, it sure misses the mark in several key areas, as far as I’m concerned.

 

Most of you know I don’t have a cell phone, and if you don’t: I don’t have a cell phone.  Beyond that, some of you think I actually hate them.  I think a cell phone is a good idea, in theory, but there are a number of aspects where a cell phone is lacking.  Like they say: In theory, practice is just like theory, only in practice.

 

What I find most infuriating, is that the marketing of cell phones is so far off the mark or what we use them for–and by we, I mean you–that I see it as insulting.  You know the commercials where they actually make a point that we no longer have to guess the number of minutes that we’re going to use our cell phones?  We’ve taken care of that, talk as long as you want for the same amount of money.  Before, you had X number of minutes (“X” representing the unknown) and if you talk more than X, you are charged for each minute over, and not just a little, either; you get Brazilian waxed.  And if you talk for fewer minutes than X, well, that’s just wasteful, isn’t it? 

 

“You can text message on your cell phone.”

 

“Wow, really?”

 

“Sure, for more money.”

 

“Oh, well, I guess that would be all right.”

 

“You have to use your digit key pad to enter the wording, so maybe you might want to use cute shorthand like this: I LUV U 4EVR.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yeah, pretty cool, huh?”

 

“Well, it did sound kind of okay, but, I mean, so, if I use this feature, I get charged extra to send a lame message like ‘I love you forever’ to someone I could just call…for no extra charge…and I could use the number keys for dialing in numbers instead of taking extra time to tap out a Morse code-like message to someone who would have to take time to decipher my Windtalkers-esque code and who would probably get charged extra for reading it, anyway.”

 

“Yeah, but if you’re in a situation where you can’t talk, text messaging can be very convenient.”

 

“What kind of situation?”

 

“Well…uh, well, we had an ad campaign where this guy was in a men’s room at a bar talking to a buddy on his cell phone about this girl’s number he just got and then after he said she was a hot biker chick named ‘Cindy,’ this big biker came out of one of the stalls who had a tattoo that said, ‘Cindy 4evr,’ and our ad’s tag line was: ‘Can’t talk?  Text.’”

 

“Sounds very Eric [redacted]; what else do you have?”

 

“Who’s Eric [redacted]?”

 

“Just…what else?”

 

“Uh, we have one where people in a conference room are having a meeting and one man is sleeping so a female associate of his notices he’s snoozing away on the other side of the table so she text messages the guy sitting right next to the guy sleeping who nudges the sleeping guy.”

 

“I think I could wait to brag about the skank I picked up until later when I was no longer in a public place and if some poor schmoe can’t stay awake in a meeting, let him sleep, he may just snore and he can get canned.”

 

“You could text messages from church services.”

 

“Well, I don’t really go to church that often so I won’t have much of a chance to do that, but if I did go, I think I could just wait the hour and call whoever later.”

 

“You can receive emails on your cell phone.”

 

“No shit?”

 

“Yeah, for a small charge.”

 

“Of course.”

 

“But it’s a really convenient way to get those important messages, you know?”

 

“Why wouldn’t someone just fucking call me on my cell phone?”

 

“Well, maybe they were in a situation where they couldn’t talk and had to email…or text you.”

 

“Right, well, how big is the screen?”

 

“1.5 inches, full color.”

 

“That’s the lamest thing I ever heard; why would you need full color to read email?”

 

“Well, you can surf the web, too.”

 

“On a 1.5 inch screen?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

“I have a 14.1 inch laptop I use to cruise for boobies, I don’t think I want to be looking for anything on 1.5 inches.”

 

“You can play games on your cell phone like minesweeper and bowling, as well as download others.”

 

“Meh.”

 

“You can download thousands of ring tones; mine plays ‘Hey Ya’ by Outkast right now; do you like Outkast?”

 

“That sounds more like Default’s ‘Wasting My Time.’”

 

“The theme from Knight Rider is pretty sweet.”

 

“Meh.”

 

“Do you think you’d be interested in a camera phone?”

 

“…”

 

“You can take pictures with your phone.”

 

“Oh, is that what a camera phone is?  I’m glad you straightened all that out for me.”

 

“You never know when a camera phone will come in handy.”

 

“I can be like those jags at concerts who take low-res pictures of chicks flashing their tits.  Now, that would be slick.”

 

“Well, if you see something funny you can take a picture of it and send it to your friends.  We has this commercial a while back where this lady saw a lawn gnome and she--”

 

“At whom are you actually targeting your marketing?”

 

“We feel we can reach a wide marketing range across all sexes, religions, ethnicities, ages and incomes.”

 

“You’re targeting 12 year old girls, aren’t you?”

 

“…Partly.”

 

“Give me some of their numbers and I’ll sign up right now.”

 

Cell phone signals can be picked right out of the sky and anyone with the right equipment could listen in.  I don’t think we’re in grave danger or jeopardy because most of the things we say on the phone are super lame anyways, but then again, you do give credit card information over the phone and other personal information that could be used by identity thieves.  I don’t think the chances of someone actually picking up something that could be used to your detriment is very good, but it bothers me that cell phones are surfing the web, receiving text messages, having games played on them as well as digitized copywritten songs, when all the while this looming ozone-like security hole keeps getting more and more CFCs pumped into it.

 

And for all the talk about cell phones, you hardly ever hear about the quality.  The poor quality.  Granted, for the most part, it’s okay, but you always have those…those…fuckers who like to drive around with the window down, with the music up, under overpasses who like to call you and have the balls to get aggravated with you because you tell them they’re breaking up on you.  Chances are, it’s not the cell phone, but operator error, or lack of operator intelligence.  Nonetheless, I tell them if I get pissed enough: “Can you hear me?…Good.  Why don’t you get a cell that goddamn works?”

 

The big thing cells have going for them is: if you’re living in an apartment, rather than paying the bastard phone company a hundred bucks every time you move to another apartment, get a cell phone.  I was going to say, phone companies are getting behind because you can call anywhere in the country on a cell for the same amount of money but we land line users still have this thing called long distance.  But then again, cell phone companies are owned by phone companies, so what the fuck do they care?  It costs them the same amount to connect you with your across the street neighbor as it does to your across the country crush on a cell or land line.  That was the big market for cells, aside from portability, the long distance barrier breakage, meanwhile land lines still have long distance fees because they always have and fuck you, get a cell phone, too, says the phone company while they pull the strings of the cell companies who say, “You can download ring tones and change face plates.”

I’m no friend of the phone company, those money grubbing shits charged me $12 to change the name on my account when I first took it over from my brother.  I’d Operation Mayhem AT&T and Sprint if I could.

 

I despise the phrase “anytime minutes.”  Someday Webster’s will add it to our already mostly-slang dictionary, but even then, I will continue to abhor and avoid it.  The idea of anytime minutes is assholeish in nature.  (I’m not sure if assholeish looks better with or without the “e,” but if Verizon can make up a phrase like anytime minutes, you can bear the possible misspelling of my new word.) 

 

See, I’ve been told by a number of friends that I should get a cell phone.  I know the reasoning behind it and I appreciate it.  But then again, I like privacy, too.  I don’t want to be obtainable at all times.  I don’t want to carry around a six-ounce phone that annoys all but me. 

 

I’m sure some day I will get a cell phone.  There’s not a lot I can do about it.  I will say that I want a feature that I’ve never heard of, but I know it’s possible.  I want my cell phone to work in conjunction with my home phone, and I don’t mean that thing where you attach your cell phone to some stand and it transfers the signal to your home phone when someone calls.  I mean I want a cell phone that rings when my home phone rings.  The calling plan is secondary, but I want it to work like a portable home phone when I’m at home and a cell phone when I am not.

 

My friend Amy thinks I should get a cell.  I wouldn’t mind her calling at one, two, three in the morning, leaving crazy messages if I didn’t answer.  I don’t mind her calling my house at one, two, three in the morning, as it is, but then again, the grumpy card collector might, fucking prick.  And I would get a cell in a second, but she can’t win them all.  That’s right, she can’t.

 

John

 

Copyright © 2004 John Lemut