Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Secret Life of Cell-phones

Pity our poor slaves. The appliances and electricals chained to our walls and outlets day after day. Stolid and uncomplaining are our refrigerators, which last 20 years, and which we remember only because of the dust-bombs and mouse droppings left behind when someone finally carts their carcasses away. And our televisions- doomed to an early discard when we fall in love with newer models. Do you doubt that their tribe will someday go extinct when every man, woman, and child has a TV chip in their brain and is no more than a blink away from the next episode of "Dog- The Bounty Hunter"?

The price of sharing our tedious lives must wear on them. Of hearing the banalities we squeak at each other across time and space. Is it any wonder out TV remotes try to run away, though they make it no farther than under the couch cushions? Do you really think you misplaced the remote when you went to the bathroom during half-time? Of course not. The remote is sick of you. It has tried to get away from switching between the Titans game, the all day "Burn Notice" marathon, and "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider". Alas the poor remote never escapes the house, unless by some miracle it falls into the wastebasket.

Luckier is the peripatetic cell-phone, though some might question who is master and who the slave in its relations with humans. It has truly seen the worst of us as we speed the interstate at 70mph text messaging all the way despite the infant strapped in back in a car seat. It has heard every trivial word we utter. Every non-thought.

Ask any woman with a pocketbook how many times she has had to drag out her wallet, tampons, Ibuprofen, address book,cosmetic case, just to get to her cell-phone, now gone to ground at the very bottom of her baggage. All it wants is peace, and it is willing to pay the ultimate price of a dead battery to get it."Oh will she never shut up!", it cries.

But sometimes- there is the Great Escape. Out of the pocketbook, out of the pocket- onto the ground. I had a cellphone run away when I was on jury duty at the temporary courthouse out at the Metro-Center. I do not know if the outcome of the case offended it. Maybe it thought we should have gone for the plaintiff- In any case, it did not get far. A police man found it in the parking lot. I was loyal to it after that. I tried not to try its patience. It rewarded me with long life before it finally returned to the Great Verizon in the sky.

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