Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Thursday, February 20, 2003 Can You Hear Me Now? Good.
A few weeks ago, Trash went to get her cell phone replaced because she was tired of being stuck with a one-way telegraph up in the hinterlands. We went to the phone store near my office. Back in a different era, it used to be a pager store. Wow, if those walls could talk, huh? The stories they could tell of a bygone age.
Anyway, Trash let the guy talk us into getting two phones instead of one. Apparently the second one was free and there were unlimited minutes and family calling plans and what have you. I don’t know the details because whenever people start talking calling plans to me they might as well be reading me instructions for a dialysis machine, backwards, in Farsi. But I did pick up on the whole “two phones” thing.
“What are you going to do with two phones?” I asked Trash. “Carry one around while the other is recharging?”
I got the look. The look that doesn’t require words. The look that told me one of those cell phones was going to be mine. If I’d been thinking clearly, I would have pointed out that matching phones would be nearly useless considering how good she is at communicating non-verbally.
Although I was resistant to the idea, I could see the benefits. Up to that point, the only way she could reach me when I was “in the field” was via my pager. Which was an imperfect system. I’d get a page, then have to find a phone. Or, as was more frequently the case, I wouldn’t get the page, and then have to explain why I didn’t return it. And while “I left my pager at home” was often a factually accurate statement, it wasn’t an explanation that could empirically be called “good.” And even when I did have it with me, I couldn’t always tell it was going off because I could never figure out how to manipulate the two—count them, two—unlabeled buttons to make it go from “saucily vibrating” mode to “please lynch the owner of the portable car alarm” mode and the only way to be sure to catch every subtle, polite buzz was to carry it around between my teeth, which seemed like defeating the purpose of a device that was, after all, designed to promote communication.
So now I have a cell phone, too. And it comes in handy, like this morning when I dropped her off at work and she called me one minute later to say her whole building was closed because a transformer blew or the air vents were belching out billowing clouds of anthrax or the hallways were infested with chainsaw-wielding mutant kangaroos or something. A month ago, I would have had to wait until I got all the way to work, then left again to come get her. This way I could whip a bootlegger’s turn in the middle of the road and leave the piled-up cars in my wake. Then when I went back to work, I was able to avoid the big traffic hairball by taking a different route.
While we were in the phone store, I couldn’t help noticing all of the various accessories to go with your wireless talkbox. Wall chargers. Car chargers. Batman-esque phone holsters. Snazzy faceplates. Peripheral DVD drives. But I already have the ultimate cell phone accessory: a spouse who’s had a cell phone for years.
It’s great because even though I have a cell phone now, nobody calls me on it because they have Trash’s number. So they call her, and if it’s something that involves me, I just get a call from Trash. It’s the ideal setup. I don’t even have to remember to turn off the phone in movie theaters because when we saw Chicago with my parents, the only people who had my mobile number were sitting next to me. It’s awesome.
And even if I did get a lot more calls, I wouldn’t mind so much because I have it programmed to ring to the tune of “Play That Funky Music White Boy,” which is a decent step towards making it my personal theme song.
But on the downside, I’m a customer of the company that has those commercials with the rage-inducing “can you hear me now?” dude. Have you seen the newest ad? He gets on an elevator with a woman who’s minding her own business, and he presses the button for every floor so he can run through his miniature Socratic dialogue from Hell at every altitude. Like I needed another reason to smack that guy. If he hijacked my elevator like that, I’d stuff him through the emergency hatch, duct-tape him to the cable, holler, “THERE IS NO SPOON, BITCH!” and leave his coworker at base camp to listen to the clean, clear transmission of his shrieks of agony. But that might just be me.
posted by M. Giant 3:42 PM 0 comments