I have been doing a lot of thinking about cell phones.
Are they absolutely crucial to own?
Since Washington passed a law July 1 banning using a cell phone while driving your car unless it is hands free, I have played a game of "Who's Talking on Their Cell Phone?" And it is just about every car that passes me. Are they hands free? The answer is a loud NO. They are NOT hands free. They are still holding the phone to the left ear with their left hand while they are turning left and NOT looking left. It drives me crazy!
And why is it that there is never a cop around when you see these little infractions one car after another? Drives me totally freaking nuts. Can I make a citizen's arrest? If I catch their eye (unlikely since they aren't looking this way anyway), I do the "I see you" motion with two fingers pointed at my eyes and then turned to theirs. Or I mouth "CELL PHONE!" and pick mine up and mouth "POLICE" except it would be my stupid luck to have a cop right behind me and arrest ME for being on a cell phone while driving, which means he'll pick out something else to go along with it because it is only a secondary offense. I'll have to hawk my cell phone to get out of jail.
Worse – jaywalkers doing the same thing: holding the cell phone over their left ear, with their left hand, crossing a one-way street where all traffic is barreling down onto the jaywalker's left side, while the jaywalker is going merrily along as if "what I don't see isn't there."
I really want to grab that phone and superglue it to their ear. Now, THAT's what I call hands free.
I have never understood the importance of having to talk right now, no matter what. In restaurants. On the bus. Walking along the street.
And then there are the good souls who have gone totally hands free, using a Blue Tooth in their ear. They always look like they are talking to themselves. When I first came across this phenomenon, I truly thought the person talking in normal conversation at "something" in front of him, while walking down the street was certifiably insane. Get the straight jacket! Get the funny bus! Save me from all these insane people – gaggles of gabbers talking to nobody. Then I learned about Blue Tooth.
When I got my own cell phone, I did it as a last resort. I don't talk on the phone other than to tell someone else that I will meet them at this place at that time, see ya. My sons have as their sole phone their cell phone. So I can never tell if they are nice and safe in their house when they call me, or illegally talking to me while they are driving their car.
I have used my cell phone during a couple emergencies – flat tire here. Flat tire a week later (same tire). Flat tire a month later (different tire). All late at night, all on a dark stretch of road. So there are benefits of having a cell phone.
So this weekend I was thinking about the pros and cons of using a cell phone, using one hands free, investing in a blue tooth headset. . . . and just before I was planning to sit down to write this, I had stopped at a little store near my house, bought a thing of ice cream, got home and saw that I had stupidly left my cell phone at my other house (I live with my significant other six days out of the week and come to my house Sundays to do the laundry). I drove back to the little store and used the pay phone (THAT is a whole other article about germs, gooey sticky stuff on phones, and other creepy crawly things that attach themselves to public phones that we are privileged to use at 50 cents a whack) to tell my SO that I had done it again – placed my phone down somewhere, the bathroom? The kitchen counter? The dressing table? He would look for it later, he said.
I went back and started another load of laundry when my SO shows up. He couldn't find my phone anywhere he said. So he called my cell thinking he'd be able to track it in the house. Guido answered! Then he passed it to Igor who passed it to Bubba. They are all joking around, being obscene, and my SO is giving the same right back until he finally hung up.
My phone had been lifted from my purse at that little store where I spent only two minutes.
Here's the timeline: I "lost" my phone around 7:50 p.m. Sunday night. SO called my cell at 8:15 and got Igor & Friends. SO speed bumped across the Valley to my home, kind of in a 'beam me down, Scotty, NOW' mode, and arrived at 8:45 (with a gun). I called T-Mobile at 9:00 (on hold for half an hour!!!) and the phone was suspended at 9:45. The mysterious new owner of my cell phone made one call to a house in my neighborhood at 9:00. He must have done something to occupy his time for 45 minutes and then made several calls up to midnight that were all aborted by T-Mobile. Heh.
Now – my first reaction was, well that's a bummer. Then the more I stewed about it, the ickier I felt. I have spent all morning trying to get a new phone. I'll pay. Boy will I pay. The operator asked if I had insurance on my cell phone and I kind of giggled and said "Heck no. What do I need that for?" And instantly I knew – that old adage, "it's not IF, it's WHEN" popped into my head. I'll have insurance on the new phone.
Anyway for someone who has so little to do with cell phones, this was a big huge deal. Hey - I also got a Bluetooth. Now, when I talk to myself, I will really be talking to someone else. :)