Tuesday, July 12, 2005

technosaurus rex

I have never had a cell phone. I know they are a necessary evil, and I do not blame the phones themselves when I find an oblivious soccer mom blocking my aisle at the grocery store with her cart of sugary cereals and bastard children while saying something brilliant into the phone like, “I’m at the grocery store. What are you doing?”

I can tell you what they are doing. They are on the next aisle blocking my access to the martini olives with their larger and more ugly brood of offspring drooling into an already opened bag of Oreos. Yes, they really are precious.

I am always the last person aboard any technological bandwagon. You will find me at the outermost part of the wagon, sitting quietly by that strange looking foreign guy and trying to look like I know where I’m going. Not because I am a Luddite of any sort, mind you, but because I am lazy. I am also cheap. The back of the technology line is the place for my sort.

True story: I made it all the way through college without once ever writing a paper, essay, short story, or threatening letter on a computer. I graduated in December of 1998 and probably have not touched a typewriter since, but I much preferred to write in my computerless apartment than to brave the crowded computer labs back then. That was my original reason. I eventually wanted to do it just so I could say that I made it all the way through college without really needing a computer. Also, there was something much nicer about the clicking of the tiny metal letters, the little beeps for the margin, the words pounded onto the thin white paper and thick squares of whiteout here and there on the finished product. You don’t get that with your plastic computer keyboards.

There’s no way in hell I would ever go back, but I will cling to my recollections from the dark ages with more pride than embarrassment for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps the cell phone thing is just another of my antisocial traits. I rarely answer my phone at home and have no desire to ignore a cell phone in the privacy of my own car. I know that I will some day capitulate if someone is unwise enough to put me in a position of high responsibility or a Higher Power is unwise enough to present me with my own offspring to see to, but I won’t like it.

When I borrow a friend’s cell phone they hand it over like I will know how to operate the damn thing. I fruitlessly punch at the buttons, become confused and agitated, accidentally speed dial their grandmother and then hang up on her, and then hand the cell phone back like a toddler needing help to get his shoe back on. Sometimes they help me. Sometimes they get their toddlers to help me.

I then wipe the drool from the phone and have a meaningless conversation with someone blocking the aisle at your grocery store or swerving in the lane ahead of you.

8 Comments:

Blogger Ryan said...

I'm glad to have found your little space here. The fucking parallels are killing me. There are few things I loathe as much as cell phones--or I should say those giddy folks who still somehow fancy them a status symbol. I truly thought I was the last person on earth without one. My Boy is nearing four years, and I fear I can't hold out much longer. It will be a sad, sad day for me when I give in.

Nicely done, as I am coming to expect.

R.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

Gracias, Ryan.

I am pulling for you on the celebrity death pool, sort of--as much as anyone can "pull" in that regard. I would think that you certainly have a good group to work with, as it were.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Wally Bangs said...

No cellphone here. In fact I've written on the very same subject before over at my little ol' blog. I hate talking on the phone period. I suppose it can be traced to when I worked in retail where I used to have to answer the dumbest questions from customers. I must be poor too, since I don't see how people pay for cellphones.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous ciaobella said...

I have to admit, I do have a cell phone (don't scream all at once) and it has been there for me in my times of need.

For instance:
I was driving in the Arizona desert in a lightening storm with a friend. Before I knew it the car just stopped working, right in the middle of the freakin' road! I think lightening hit the car. Any who, my point is, nobody was around and amazingly my cell phone worked so I called a tow truck. Extreme, I know, but I'm lucky to have had the damn thing.

Also, as far as expenses go, if you ever do take the plunge and get a cancer earpiece, get rid of your home phone so you're not paying for two bills.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

It will be okay, Ciaobella. There are none who will scream at you here. My own wife has a very ancient cell phone (from 2001) that she carries on road trips for emergencies. We could probably donate it to the Smithsonian by now.

I have, in the interest of full disclosure, even taken it with me once or twice while hiking in the Smokies.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous ciaobella said...

Good, no yellers. I will say one more thing about cell phones though: Sprint is the devil.

10:55 AM  
Blogger melusina said...

I hate cellphones too. I keep one around for one purpose, so I can call 911 when some asshole blindsides me on the interstate.

When I left Nashville, cell phones weren't terribly common yet. Yet in Greece they were everywhere, and I mean everwhere. You can't turn around in this country without getting hit with someone's cell phone. You will see a table of people at a restaurant, all of them on the cell phone. Why the hell do they even bother to go out? So they can be seen on their cell phones?

It seems that by now America has been barraged with the dreaded cell phone culture. Maybe all the cell phones all over the world will come to life and kick our asses and take over.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Reedy said...

I too despise the mobile 'phone. My employer has continually burdened me with the damnable things, which I have always rapidly 'lost'. I think he may have got the message by now; it's been a while since my last issue. I think cameraphones are a particular nuissance. As if there wasn't enough surveillance technology around - there's no place for the camera-shy in today's society.

6:09 AM  

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