July 24, 2008
There seem to be a lot of commercials lately promoting the ease with which people can now access everything from their bank account to their home security system to the latest sports news to their medical information from anywhere with just a few clicks of their cell phone, and an extra $300 charge a month. What a great time it is to be alive! I remember just a few short years ago when I first saw someone using a completely hands-free cell phone. For about twenty minutes I thought she was completely crazy because she seemed to be carrying on a conversation with no one and spending a lot of time jabbing at the air with her fingers. Now that I think about it she probably was completely crazy. The person on the other end of the line probably thought so too because, whoever they were, they couldn’t have gotten a word in. She wouldn’t shut up. But I digress. It’s just wonderful to me to think that I could be at an amusement park riding a rollercoaster eating a big wad of cotton candy with one hand and tapping buttons on my cell phone to make sure I have enough money in my checking account with the other. There was a time when I would have thought it would be a good idea to make sure I had enough money in my checking account before I went on vacation to an amusement park, but now I no longer need to worry about little trivialities like being prepared. I’m glad to know I could take a long island vacation and sit on the beach with a Mai Tai in my hand and, instead of doing something stupid like watch the sunset or go for a swim, keep up with how major league lacrosse teams are going. And is there anything cooler than being able to hike up Mt. McKinley and, in the middle of a blizzard, still be able to get that reminder call from my dentist that I have an appointment next month? Wait a minute. Don’t we go on vacation to get away from crap like that? I don’t want to be like the girl in the commercial who complains about how she doesn’t have time to shop because her incredible cell phone coverage means she has to take her work with everywhere. You know who else is watching that commercial? Your boss. And he’s taking notes and thinking you’re a slacker because you take time off for little things like having your own life. The next step is being like the guy in the bathroom stall next to m who insists on answering his cell phone before he’s flushed, which really disturbs me. Now I think I’ve figured out why those commercials for the cell phone company that doesn’t just give you a cell phone but delivers three-thousand complete strangers to follow you around all the time give me the creeps. I don’t want a bunch of people following me wherever I go. It was bad enough when I was a child and my grandmother told me my dead relatives were watching me whenever I did anything bad. I couldn’t help wondering if they were watching me constantly, and had a really hard time getting undressed after that. And then I started wondering if my Uncle Sid was one of the dead relatives watching me, because he was the type who’d be pushing me to do something bad. "Go on," I could just hear him saying. "Take a newspaper. No one’s gonna notice. And could you grab me a Chunky while you’re at it?"