Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


The person at extension blah blah is not available

Filed under : Gadgets,Rants,Tennis
On May 23, 2006
At 2:27 pm
Comments : 20

Well, my cell phone is dead. Moment of silence for my cell phone. Not too long, though. Make it like the moment of silence that Bob Sheppard calls for “our servicemen and women stationed around the globe” in the seventh inning stretch at Yankee Stadium. That is, like 4 seconds.

See, I’m not wedded to this thing as many of you are. Oh, I love pocket-sized electronic devices, that’s for sure. Sometimes I pile my cell phone on top of my iPod on top of my PDA and admire the layer cake of gadgets that I carry around. But I don’t talk much on my cell phone. First off, I am either at work or at home for 95% of my day and my landline service is far clearer. Second, half of that other 5% is made up of subway riding where there is no service. (Thank God. Can you imagine? “Yeah, I’m on the uptown B, where you at?” for miles and miles.) Here, I included a handy graph. It’s a little blurry, but you get the idea.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Here’s the key in case you don’t have 20/5 vision.

Work 65%
Home 30%
Subway 2.5%
Walking someplace V. important 1%
In the bowels of the Time Warner Center 1%
Misc. stupidity .5%

Of course, there’s much overlap between “Work” and “Misc. stupidity” but my graphing capability is limited.

But mostly, I have an old fashioned sense of propriety about phone conversations that irritates most people I know to no end. You know that behavior you have that you feel certain that your friends joke about when you’re not around? I’m sure I have several but I know this is one. I just don’t chat on cell phones. For one thing, I’m quite private and I don’t like to be yelling, “What do you mean he’s cheating on you?” at Starbucks. Once, the woman in front of me on line at the Food Emporium was having an entire, matter-of-fact, conversation on her cell phone about how her doctor had told her she couldn’t have children. Holy crap, how am I supposed to just watch my groceries slide across the belt and then go on with my day after that?

Even if I’m at home, I get annoyed if you call me from your cell phone. If you have no landline, that’s OK. But if you do, and you still chose to call me from waiting on line to get into “The Da Vinci Code,” well, how important am I supposed to feel? I guess the time you have at home is just too valuable to waste on little old me. And if I want to tell you something meaningful, “Hey, I’m really depressed,” or whatever, do I want you saying, “What? Can you repeat that?” every three seconds while I know you are simultaneously surrounded by a horde of strangers?

So, I rarely use mine. But that’s OK, it calculates tips and has a flashlight. I have Virgin Mobile which is pay-as-you-go and I pay essentially $5 a month. I almost never use it up. The Olympic moment for my cell phone is at the US Open in August/September when my family and I use our phones all day to say things like, “What match are you at? Should I come over? Is it a blowout? No, come here, it’s going into the fifth set and all the Chilean fans are going crazy!” We should really learn to text because, if you’ve ever been to the US Open, you know that people will give you the Stare of Death if you take a phone call while points are being played. That leads to a hastily whispered, “Court 12, on serve…call you right back. Bring ice cream.”

And so, I do need one. Sadly, at Virgin Mobile, part of the a la carte experience is not getting a free phone. So I will now have to shell out for either a “clamshell” or straight up model. I just need to make sure it has a good flashlight.

Yeah, I could have gone with either Hanging on the Telephone or Call Me (which my mother used to add several extra any’s to when she sang it: “Call me any any any any any time…..”) by Blondie. But that would have been too easy. I really wanted “Telephone Operator” by Pete Shelley but it’s not available on Napster. So let’s go with this gem from the early ‘90’s.

Primitive Radio Gods – Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand


20 Comments for this post

  1. Jane says:

    I would have gone with “No Phone” by Cake. But that’s my theme today, not yours.

    I wish my phone had a flashlight. Stupid Nextel.

  2. Becca says:

    Mmmm, cake.

    I need it so that when the terrorists attack next or there’s another blackout I can see three inches in front of me.

  3. Jane says:

    Whereas I would mostly use the flashlight to annoy people.

  4. Celia says:

    I hope your phone didn’t die of embarrassment because I pointed out its deficiencies as a camera.

    Virgin Mobile does have some camera phones…I checked. Of course, they cost more.

  5. Becca says:

    Yes, and my camera has the oddest grin on its face. It didn’t even notice that I left it out of my Parade of Gadgets!

    Yes, I actually did look at that, but I think I’m going for the cheapo clamshell one. I don’t want to hurt my camera’s feelings or anything.

  6. Becca says:

    Oh, and Jane, you can use it annoy terrorists. Everybody wins!

  7. Anonymous says:

    So I guess I won’t ask you for your cell phone number for when I go to the Tom Petty concert.
    I was hoping to miss the train back to CT and stay on your couch.

    Your home number will do. Please post it immediately.



  8. Becca says:

    Of course you can stay on my couch! Look out for stray Dale & Thomas popcorn kernals, though.

    My number? Why, 917-867-5309, of course.

  9. Kay says:

    Lou Reed is sad that you didn’t pick him.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oddly enough, I knew that was your number, I just wasn’t sure about the area code.

    Please tell me why I like being posted as Anonymous Said. Is it the aura of mystery I have for the 10 seconds until you get to my initials at the bottom of the post?


    P.S. You ladies continue to make me yearn to write my own blog. Only problem is a have eleventyseven things to write for school already.

  11. Becca says:

    Kay, and I am sad that he ever recorded.

    [ed. note: Becca hasn’t had her coffee yet – what she meant to say was “Gosh, I’m sure Lou Reed is incredibly talented – may he share his talent with some other person.”]

    Who is that masked anonymous commenter? Oh, the mystery. If only she would start her own blog so she could link to me and I wouldn’t be #769,334 on Technorati.

  12. Jan says:

    On the train back to Boston from the armpit of the Eastern seaboard (i.e., Wilmington, DE) I had two people in my car vying for the title of “Biggest Asshole Who Should Never, Ever Have Been Allowed to Purchase a Cellphone.”

    One girl had spent her afternoon in a bar in NYC and decided to drunk dial everyone in her cell and TALK TO THEM ABOUT NOTHING IN A VERY, VERY LOUD VOICE. One guy hung up on her several times.

    Her contender for the title was a wanna-be thug who called people seemingly for the express purpose of telling them that he “had a lot of love for them. No, seriously man, I got lots of love for you.” The n-word was bandied about frequently, as well.

    Ahhh, modern technology.

  13. Becca says:

    Hey, Jan? Did I ever tell you? I got a lot of love for you. No, seriously, man.

    Yeah, I hate those people.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Scarier is the person you think is arguing with someone via those headpiece/earpiece thingies about deodorant in the store, then you realize she has no phone and is just, well, insane.

    Or could the deodorant have been arguing with her? Hmmmmm.


  15. Becca says:

    That happened to me in a cab once. The driver spent the whole time yakking away on his cellphone headpiece in Urdu. Then when I was nearly home I realized he didn’t have a cellphone headpiece. Yikes.

  16. steph says:

    I’m just going to hang out here today, if that’ ok. My cell phone battery is dead, if that helps.

  17. Becca says:

    Man, I knew I should have bought beer.

    If only I had a cell phone, I could order some.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think I’ll stay here too.

    I don’t need beer though. I am already drunk.


    er, KP I mean

  19. Kay says:

    Becca, sometimes I worry about you. ::sigh::

  20. Becca says:

    Yeah, now that I’ve had my coffee, I still hate Lou Reed.

    Wait, I’ll try beer and get back to you.

Comments are closed.