Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Up until very recently, my wife, son and I did not own cell phones. And we were proud of it. We didn’t NEED no stinkin’ cell phones! Not only did we not own cell phones, we thought that we were so superior to everyone else that did, because we could manage our lives without having cell phones glued to our ears. And we were horrified at the people who were rude enough to talk on their cell phones in public. But, since my son drives 100 miles every other weekend to see his dad and his grandmother, and my wife drives 30 miles several times per week to groom and ride her horse (he doesn’t live with us-he lives on a farm in the country), I worried about them when they were on the road. So the more I thought about it, the more I thought that we needed cell phones. Just for emergencies. That’s right. Oh, we don’t need any fancy phones, we all said. Just a simple phone, just in case of an emergency. We all agreed on that… just your basic phone would be just fine. We did our research, we talked to friends and coworkers who, of course, all had cell phones. We looked at brochures and the propaganda that they call commercials. We selected our plan and network. The night before we went to get the phones, I made a confession. “I’ve been thinking, and if we don’t have to pay too much, I might like a camera phone-you know, just in case I see some freaky people at WalMart, I might want to take a picture.” (This happens quite often, remember-we live in Louisiana. If you want to be entertained, go to a WalMart on a Friday or Saturday night around midnight and marvel at the way people actually go out in public. Sometimes I wonder if they have mirrors at their houses.) Anyway, I said, that’s it…no other luxuries…I don’t need text messaging or picture messaging or anything like that. Just the camera… just for emergencies. My son confessed that he had also been thinking that a camera phone might come in handy. OK, so we will look for camera phones. But plain phones except for the camera. Nothing else fancy. These are just for emergencies anyway. The next day we went to a local electronics store to purchase our phones. We surveyed the “free” phones. Well, there you go, there’s a camera phone, and its free…. it just happens to have text messaging and picture messaging and all those other fancy things that we will never use, but since we want camera phones, this one is as good as any other. So we got the phones. The ones that had the text and picture messaging, but only because they had the camera, and that’s really all that we wanted. We probably wouldn’t even use the phones. Just in case of an emergency, that’s all. Oh, and in case I saw someone freaky at WalMart. The most amazing thing to us was that we got three camera phones (with all of the totally unnecessary and obviously never-going-to-be-used extra amenities) and walked out of the store without paying a cent. Nothing. That was in itself amazing to us! Who ever heard of getting three phones with all that extra stuff for free? So we took them home and got them out of the boxes so that we could figure them out. The first thing I did was take a picture of my beautiful wife. And then I sent it to her…well, I had to at least try the picture messaging, since I had taken the picture. She sent one back. Oh…this was fun! The three of us spent the next few hours playing with our phones. We text messaged, picture messaged, downloaded ring tones, you name it, we did it. But just to try these features out to see if they worked, because remember, these phones were just for emergencies. Two days later, we left for vacation in Pensacola, Florida. Our son stayed home, by himself, to take care of the Cast of Thousands. We had numerous “emergencies” that merited photo or text messaging during our trip. We sent pictures of us on the beach, at the zoo, at the Oceanarium. We even sent a picture of a Wendy’s chicken nugget that looked like Mickey Mouse (see photo above). He sent us pictures of the dogs and the cats. We spoke several times per day (I think that he missed us). After that initiation, all bets were off. We were like “dykes gone wild” on the cell phones. When she was in meetings and couldn’t talk, we text messaged back and forth. Unfortunately, I did not see any freaky people, but I did send her pictures of my garden at my school and I even sent her a picture of the supper I had waiting for her, to encourage her to hurry home. One morning around 3 am (I am a night owl, especially when I am not working), I changed her ring tone to me saying “Honey, answer the phone…pick up the phone…answer the phone honey.”. At 3 am, doing something like that is absolutely hilarious. I am very thankful that at 10 am the next day she thought it was just as hilarious (although it confused her at first…she thought that she must have had the speaker phone on). By the way, this is one of the reasons that I love her so much. She enjoys my crazy jokes as much as I do. And surprisingly, she has not changed the ring tone back to “London Calling” yet, because she says that she likes hearing my voice imploring her to answer her phone.

We have had the cell phones about six weeks now. Our first bill came about two weeks ago. WHAT??? When you text message or picture message, the person who receives the message gets charged too? That’s just not right! No one told us that! But it’s worth it, for the enjoyment it gives us. (How’s that for rationalization?)

We are now officially “cell phone users”. We keep our phones on from the moment we wake up until the time we go to bed. Our “just for emergencies” phones are now used more than our land line (which we have actually been thinking of getting rid of). And, my wife, who was the most stalwart of the “no cell phone holdouts” is experiencing ‘cell phone envy”. One of her co-workers has a RAZR, which she says is a positively beautiful thing to behold. But, you know, it seems a shame to pay that much for a phone that would be just for emergencies.


At 7:40 PM, Blogger Marie said...

Hi! I too used to be one of the Just For Emergencies cell phone users - until I discovered the joy that is pix messaging. Now I'm a total addict and have never regretted getting rid of my land line.

On a separate note, I found your blog after reading your comment on Behind the Counter. I wholeheartedly agree that bbcamerican needs to get a job somewhere that ISN'T Walmart. I also enjoy his posts, but am glad that someone else thinks he's in a bad place in his career.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Hey hey!

Enjoyed this post...I think most of us at some point originally bought cell phones for "emergencies" only. I honestly think they were for emergencies back in the day, remember the bag phone??? haha memories.

When they started getting smaller and fancier - then we started going bananas over them. I honestly believe, between work and personal, that I have owned over 50 cell phones. What can I say? I'm a sucker for gadgets.

Anyway, have a good one and stay out of trouble!

At 9:23 PM, Blogger furyouhin said...

Been slowly going through your back posts and enjoying them.

I had a friend who jumped on the cell phone bandwagon just about as soon as they were available. I used to call him Radar O'Reilly because he was always running around with one of those phones attached to a shoulder bag. Then he upgraded to this cinderblock with a big rubber antenna ( but sans bag!) that made him look like Gordon Gekko on the beach (only less jowly). He'll be first in line to have one implanted in his cortex, I'm sure.

At 7:13 PM, Blogger getalife said...

As someone who owns a Fred Flintstone model that "just makes phone calls", I'm more than a bit envious! Except when I get my low, low, monthly bill. Ha! Some day soon the technology will change to the point where I will be forced to upgrade. Then I will pay through the nose and send you silly little photos. Oh, and those "Don't own a mirror" folks? I call them the "I could leave the house looking better in the event of fire" people. We have plenty here, too.

At 9:18 PM, Blogger The dykes next door said...

Well, believe it or not, I FINALLY got to take a picture of someone freaky at WalMart. My son and I were leaving WalMart yesterday, and there, in the garden area that they have out in the parking lot, was a strange looking man, with no shirt, lounging in one of the plastic chairs with his feet propped up on another plastic chair. Of course, I had to take a picture. After all, that's why we got those phones!


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