DON’T ASK WHY- Cell-phone purchase a troubling trend

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DAVID VOGEL
My parents, whom I had looked up to as role models until now, have just committed one of the most horrendous acts possible without actually being featured as the “We Reported it First” story on KAKE news.

You won’t believe this: they got new cell phones.

It’s not like they needed new cell phones. The other phone they had was just fine. It did exactly what every cell phone should do. Namely dial, call, hang up and run out of batteries in the middle of a conversation.

Even though it was the size of a full-grown Sequoia tree, it was still usable and had many good years of use left in it.

But for some reason, they got the bee in their bonnet that they each needed a new cell phone.

This brings up a few alarming questions. First, does anyone actually wear a bonnet on a regular basis any more? Second, why would a regular basis wear a bonnet, anyway? And finally, how come on “Little House on the Prairie”-where they DID where bonnets-they never had a comical scene where a bee actually got in one? I think that could have really boosted ratings.

Excuse me while I try to recall what my original topic was. OK, now I remember.

So now my parents each have a new cell phone that is almost the size of a credit card, only thinner. And worse yet, I’m not even sure where the “Call” feature is on them. (The phones, not my parents. I learned not to push my parents’ buttons a long time ago.)

From my observations, the modern cell phone is becoming a lot like Wal-Mart. If you haven’t been to a Wal-Mart recently, you need to stop trying to invent fire and come out of your cave.

Wal-Mart stores have pretty much become communities in themselves. For example, you could walk into any given Wal-Mart with the pure intention of buying a $3 pack of AA batteries. You fool.

By the time you leave the store, you will realize that-besides being in debt up to your nostrils-you just did your grocery shopping, bought 20 clothing items, purchased a new television, have another 15 guppies to add to your aquarium, own completely new camping and athletic materials, have fresh tires on your car and don’t need to do garden-supply-shopping for well into 2009.

You also will find that you had a haircut, got a manicure, were fitted for glasses, signed up for a new banking account, had a family portrait taken and ate a hardy lunch at McDonald’s, or in some cases Subway. Chances are you could probably have given birth there, supposing the circumstances were right.

Did I mention you can buy cell phones there, too?

But my point-I’m going to get there eventually-is that cell phones are now crammed with so many new features that, had you explained them all to someone 200 years ago, they would have thrown you into a river to make sure you weren’t possessed by the devil.

For example, on the new cell phone my parents have, not only can you make and answer phone calls, but you can-and this is just a list of the things I have figured out so far-text message, take pictures, record videos, download music, listen to the radio, record your voice, make a contacts book, access the Internet and your e-mail, set an alarm clock, stopwatch and timer, list events on a calendar, write yourself notes and to-do lists, complete mathematical calculations, change your settings and background image and select outrageously annoying ring tones.

Which brings me to my other point: people who own new cell phones will be the reason the apocalypse happens soon.

This is because God will finally become so annoyed with people always flipping their phones open that He’ll just send the fires down to Earth to mess up our reception.

To emphasize this point, two weeks ago I went to see a movie. The show was fine, but the person in front of me flipped her phone open-which glowed really well-at least every 15 minutes, to make sure she hadn’t missed a call.

What I want to know is, supposing she had missed a call, what was she going to do about it? Was she going to wriggle out of her row and leave the theater? Or worse yet, call the person back in the middle of the movie?

(Answer: She would stand up, ask for the theater employees to stop the movie and bring up the lights for a few minutes.)

But that’s just the beginning of the annoying features that cell phones come with.

While a normal telephone ring (Example: “Brrrring! Brrrring!”) isn’t that bad, most people set their ring tones to some sort of cheesy music that makes everyone around them feel like either dancing or retching.

And then, once they answer it, you get to hear their extremely important conversations which go like this: “Hello? He said what? He did? No he didn’t! He did? No he didn’t! He did not! He said what? No he didn’t!”

And now my parents have become those hated people on the road who look at their phone screens more than the highway. I’m very disappointed in them.

But the number one thing that annoys me about cell phones is this: I don’t have one.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to Wal-Mart to get one. And a guppy.

* * *

UFO: The notebooks used by Marie and Pierre Curie are still too radioactive to handle safely.

Don’t ask why.

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