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Humor - Cell Phone, The Ultimate Killing Machine

George P. Kurien

Cell Phone, the Ultimate Killing Machine                                    
George P. Kurien

Once again, my wife and I have become a “two cell phone” family! We assimilated, so to speak. As long as we are in the melting pot, we might as well melt, we said. Not that we really wanted to, mind you, but it looks like we were dragged into it..., you know, through peer pressure (beer pressure?) and stuff!


Don’t get me wrong, we started out in this world of instant communications --- and if you’ll pardon my southern, text-a-messaging, chats-a-rooming, rooms-a-chatting, calls-a-waiting, voice-a-mailing, pagers-a-beeping, maids-a-milking, and a bunch of partridges on a pair of trees-a-chirping --- as a two cell phone family several years before the idea of two cell phones in one family was even fathomable. Those were the days prior to the digital phones. We were analog then. I remember, in those days, the phone handsets used to weigh two to three pounds apiece or thereabouts. There was no way that I could keep my half of our two cell phone system in my jacket or blue jeans pocket due to its bulk and weight which used to literally pull me down…, gravitationally that is. Consequently, both the cell phones ended up in my wife’s pocket book (although I have absolutely no clue as to why it’s called a pocket book; it’s neither a pocket nor a book!), which meant that on many a day (my southern is still showing, huh?), she went to work with two cell phones in tow, and I with none, in effect making us a one cell phone family for all intents and purposes. Finally I said, this practice must stop, and fired the phone company. I took my cell phone business to the competition. I said I wanted a single cell phone for the entire family, and that I wanted it right then. It was either the determined look on my face which probably made them think that I had a concealed weapon on my person, or my flawless credit rating, but whatever the reason, the phone company obliged. They were nice folks. I performed an act of regress, and was proud of it. In the process, I also saved about 25 dollars every month. It was a fair solution to an unfair problem. I gladly gave up my cell phone, which I could never use anyway. We went back to the primitive state of being a one cell phone family again.


As far as I was concerned, it was bad enough to have a land line phone at home and another one at work, not to mention the fax line which quietly sat in waiting to bring me work from the world-at-large. As if to aggravate the situation, my employer had long ago unilaterally determined that I am one of their essential employees --- although when it came to raises, they didn’t quite feel that way and considered me, I hate to admit, “expendable” ---, and set me up with one of their company paid pagers! I bet it had to do with nuclear meltdown or something really silly like that. But to this day, I have no clue as to what in the world I would be able to do in case one of them really happened. Am I supposed to go into the reactor building and watch the core melt down through the bottom of the 12 inch thick, stainless steel reactor pressure vessel, and through the several-feet-thick concrete foundation located below the reactor into the dirt, so it can melt through the earth and appear diametrically across in Central China, making the proverbial China Syndrome a real possibility? Or is it simply one of those ways the big brother wants to mess up my sleep in the middle of the night? Oh, did I forget to mention the email? Yeah, work has a weird way of tracking and finding me through telephone, telepathy, fax and email, and in a lot of cases, even in this day and age of “paperlessness”, via hard copy that people bring to my office in person or send through messenger. Situation such as it is, what do I need another telephone for, which will only enable more people who are eager to bring me more work?!


Well, as it turned out, all that was wishful thinking. I finally succumbed to the two-cell-phone temptation after all. Fifty dollars a month was too tempting to pass up, especially when it was for two phones with unlimited weekend and evening long distance minutes, together with 500 or so any-time-of-day minutes. True, by the time all the local, state, county, city and federal taxes along with the federal excise, state excise, county excise, city excise, the line charges, and the connecting and disconnecting charges are added, it is more like eighty or ninety dollars a month, but did anyone hear me complain one word? Not a chance! Because it’s against my nature to complain, that’s why. I know I sacrificed my own philosophy. I had said that I needed time for myself -- to read, to write, to reflect, to do yard work, to vacuum clean the house, to help out at the Church…, but it looks like the lure of the two-cell-phone idea caused me to compromise my own beliefs.


But I can also see the bright side if I struggle a little and look hard enough. And that is the proverbial silver lining to the not so proverbial dark cloud, if you will. The two cell phones empower me. They enable me to sit in the driver’s seat of my car while I cruise down the highway at 80 miles per hour and talk on the cell phone to my wife who is sitting right next to me in the passenger’s seat holding her half of our two-cell-phone system, all for free! Because they told me that calls made from one T-Mobile phone to another T-Mobile phone is simply that! Absolutely free, no matter what time of the day you talk! It’s like getting something for nothing. It’s like getting a free lunch for nothing despite the German expression, TANSTAAFL, which says “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”. See, I always knew that the Germans were not totally candid when they made that statement. Now the folks riding in the car ahead of me on the highway can take a break from putting on their makeup and look into their rear view mirror to see both me and my wife freely communicating over the air waves, while at the same time causing a hazardous road condition which can practically put everybody in a twenty-car vicinity in dire danger which includes death and property damage. Well, what can I say? Eat your heart out, people (although I’m not sure how you can physically achieve that). Be jealous all you want; I don’t care! I know that the Law is on my side. I have freedom of speech, and I’m exercising it right in the middle of the road. Lately, like some of the folks I know, I even started believing that I have to dial the cell phone and start talking into it before I can get the car started. It’s as if the cell phone is somehow hard-wired into the ignition circuit.


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