It's not about the house.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Omnis Cellula a Cellula

I bought this:

I had to buy it. I didn’t want it, I’ve never had one, but I had to do it. I couldn’t put the damn thing off for any longer.

Seriously, think about it: there’s no way George Bush can win again next year, no matter what the diabolical booby does, and whoever takes his place is going to be needing bucketfuls of Prudential advice. Who else would they call? I’ve got to be reachable.

Now, I know that saying-so will lump me in with the sorts of folks who claim to never watch TV and listen just to public radio, but I hate them. Cell phones, that is (and, okay, those sorts of people too).

I’ve resisted it this long, partly because I’m busy enough when I am available. It’s kind of nice to know that while I’m walking around, or commuting, or actually at my (non-landline) job, no one’s going to accost me. Unless they want a dollar, which I don’t have to give them, anyway.

Which brings up reason #2 I’ve resisted for so long: I can’t afford it. I mean, I acknowledge that it’s become a thing you sort of have to have (when I got a flat tire on the turnpike and thought I didn’t have a jack – which I did, but that’s another story – I sat on the guardrail and waited for the nice man in the yellow truck to come and help me, and when he did, I told him: “I don’t have a jack, and I don’t have a cell phone.” “You don’t have a cell phone?” he replied. As if it was okay to drive without a jack as long as you had your trusty hunk of Verizon wireless in your back pocket. But I digress…)

I acknowledge that it’s become the sort of thing you kind of have to have these days, but I don't acknowledge it enough to justify spending sixty bucks a month on something I’m just gonna lose. Or break. Or accidentally throw away. (Because you know me...)

Yet another reason I resisted it was: I know it’s cliché, but I hear the conversations people have. Sometimes they’re stupid (“I’m nowhere! Where are you? You’re nowhere, too? Then there’s a pair of us…”). But sometimes they’re important. I once overheard a man trying to find a lawyer for his son who’d just been arrested for vandalism at his high school. Is that the sort of thing to which I ought be privy?

What do I say on the telephone? Do I want strangers hearing it? I mean, reading about my underwear on this stupid blog is one thing, but nobody wants to hear that and have to picture me in it while they do. Trust me. There’s a reason I’ve got an avatar up there.

(Dig me, knowing about avatars ’n’ shit…)

But mostly the reason is, well, um…

Okay, so let’s be honest: I know how these things happen. You get it, you get used to it, and then you’re one of them. I used to hate web logs as much as I hate cell phones, and now look at me. Telling my name the livelong day to an admiring blog…

But anyway now I had to get a cell phone. Without getting into the real reasons why, let’s just keep up the pretense that Hillary, or Barack, or (god forbid) Mitt is going to be needing my advice.

I had it on good council that Verizon was the way to go. I knew I was going to be doing this on my way home this afternoon, but I forgot to look in the phone book before I left this morning, so my plan was to drive around until I happened by a Verizon store (I know I see one sometimes, I just can’t remember where) and if I didn’t find it, then I’d go to the mall. (I also hate the mall, but that’s a whole 'nuther blog post nobody cares about...)

But when I happened to mention this plan to my Lady, she said “Here,” and handed me her (ahem) cell phone. “Call Information. Ask them where to find a Verizon store.”

Okay, fine.

And I did. And they told me. And it was right on my way home. Where I (of course) saw it every day. But not (ahem) where I was planning on going driving to look for it.

So I sucked it up, and I went in. And it was like a freakin’ Bennetton ad in there. Three young men behind the counter: one black, one Asian, and one white. Rub-a-dub-dub…

The black guy was with a customer, the Asian guy was sitting at a station looking like he was waiting for someone to help, the white guy was just milling around. So I tried to make eye contact with the Asian guy, but the white guy spoke over his head.

“Can I help you?”

I tried to go back to my original choice, because I don’t know if they’re working on commission and I didn’t want to get stolen out from under anybody, but Asian guy got up and walked away. So okay, fine.

“I need to buy a cell phone,” I said. “I’ve never had a cell phone, I don’t want a cell phone, but I have to get a cell phone now.”

“Okay,” says White Guy. “Why don’t you come on over here.”

Well, to make a long story medium-sized (short’s off the table at this point), White Guy was very nice. He didn’t try to sell me anything I didn’t need, and it didn’t hurt that he looked a bit like this:
Plus, the brochure he handed me had this guy on the back cover:

So okay. I guess I’ll live.

White guy wanted to know what I needed from the phone itself, and I said "Nothing." And he said “Well, this one costs just forty bucks and comes with nothing. This one next to it is the same thing, it costs $100, but comes with insurance against loss. Or breakage. Or accidental throw-aways.”

How did he know?

So I bought it and I signed on it and choked on it and left.

I have a cell phone.

I’m not giving anyone the number (Mommie Dearest and Poppo excepted), and I’m never making any calls (unless maybe, maybe, unless Chuck (TFT) breaks down). This is just in case John Edwards needs to get in touch to talk about what sub-prime borrowers are thinking, or Hil wants to discuss the tribulations of the uninsured.

And now, for doing that, I deserve this:

¡Ipa! ¡Celular!


janice said...

continuous development indeed! and just what is it about us non-tv watching, public radio listening folk is it that you object to? Or is it only the ones that proclaim it virtuously?

Anonymous said...

THANK GOD!!!!!!! (OR WHOEVER IS IN CHARGE) Hell, even Bill Clinton had a cell phone, but only for certain unmentionable calls????
It is a relief for some of us that you have it you know??

charlie said...

Sigh, if your phone does "nothing" and you don't have a bluetooth wireless earpiece, then it's still a sign o' [behind] the times. Nonetheless, welcome to the 20th century.
Next step, convert Chuck TFT to biofuel!

EGE said...

Oh, Nana, just the ones that proclaim it virtuously...

MP said...

Dad and I had decided to get a per minute card phone for you. Whoo you are woman!

The Devil said...

Jeez, it's getting cold down here... Sure hope they get the thermostat fixed...