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11:05 a.m. - 2004-08-11
Cell Phones are the Instruments of Beelzebub
Cell Phones are the Instruments of Beelzebub

I have a confession to make. I don't have a cell phone. I know I should not be allowed to survive in this new millennium without being available to everyone 24/7, but somehow, I have slipped through the cracks. I tell people I don't have one, and they look at me even more strangely than they do when I tell them I work out.

Let me explain my philosophy. Yes, they are good for emergencies. Sometimes, they are very handy when you need to reach your boss/subordinate in an urgent situation. And they're really handy on bad dates. However, these three uses do not justify the annoyances caused by these devices.


#1. Blockbuster Night. You're at the video store, trying to pick out the Friday night feature, and the woman eyeing the new releases is talking loudly to her boyfriend and trying to convince him that he really will like "13 Going on 30" as much as "Terminator 75". This banal conversation continues through the entire store, and ends with her hanging up in a huff and renting what he wanted. You don't remember why you were even there, leave, and go home and watch whatever's on TV, which is usually an infomercial for an herbal male enhancement product advertised by completely gay men looking totally turned off while they kiss women.

#2. Wal-Mart. You're trying to remember the list of a zillion things like toilet paper, light bulbs, and lube that you needed to buy, and the white trash in the next aisle is talking loudly to his woman in the midst of slapping the shit out of his kids. In your haste to escape the noises, you forget the ice pick, spoiling your plans to recreate "Basic Instinct" with your blind date.

#3. Freeway, Rush Hour. You finally get out from the worst of the traffic jam, and are booking along in the left-hand lane, going 80, and focused on being home. You nearly rear-end an SUV-driving yuppie-wannabe talking on their phone…and driving 40. No lie. You honk, you flip, and said SUV driver gives you the glare like "What the FUCK??? You interrupted my TERRIBLY IMPORTANT conversation!!"

#4. Restaurant. You finally manage to make plans to go eat lunch/dinner with a friend you haven't seen in forever. Between the drink orders and the arrival of food, the friend receives 8 phone calls. You eat while they talk to someone else, and then they expect you to talk the whole time they are eating.

#5. Codependence. A cell phone is the single worst item for a jealous/insecure significant other to have. Text messaging is even worse. It's one thing if the stand-up or problem is a rarity in a long-term relationship. It's something else entirely if it's a daily occurrence to make sure the other person is not having any fun out of your presence or hanging out with anyone but you. Here's a hint…if someone doesn't call you back or return your text messages, they don't want to talk to you. Or they have better things to do. Grow the hell up and get a life.

#6. Booty Calls. The cell phone/text-messaging device eliminates the need for any reflective drive-home time before calling someone drunk to see if they will have sex with you. Tip: Text-messaging "are you up?" at 2 in the morning doesn't mean they want to chat.

I find it very ironic that, in an age where we have more ways to communicate than ever, we don't want to communicate face-to-face. No matter who you're hanging out with, chances are they're going to spend more time talking to a third party on their cell phone than they are listening to you. As a non-cell-phone user, let me point out: THIS IS RUDE. Unless you think someone is dead, don't answer the phone. You've got voice mail….the other person can leave a fucking message.

Basically, my bottom line is this. Until I have a job which requires a cell phone, and my employer provides and pays for said phone, I won't be having one. Why should I pay another $50 a month (minimum) for people to annoy me, or to look at my caller ID and not answer? I have voice mail at home and work. I have e-mail. There's nothing that urgent. I promise.



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