September 14, 2009
If my Grandpa was still alive I can just hear him saying something like, “I tell you, these darn cell phones will be the ruination of our country.”
As a fellow curmudgeon I wouldn’t go that far, but I will say that they have really altered our society. I saw a recent poll that said 79 percent of all teenagers have a mobile device and 50 percent of those teenagers said they would die if they didn’t have them. Forty percent of all teenagers said they never envisioned owning a landline, or having any use for one. Which I suppose is why I can never find a phone booth any more.
If I ever do go temporarily insane and buy a cell phone I guarantee you I’d NEVER buy one of those kind that clip on your ear and make you look like something from outer space. Although I can see why people buy them. People are multi-taskers these days and because their phones are now mobile they try to perform all sorts of tasks while talking on their phones. It’s a common sight to see people still driving down the road with their heads at a forty five degree angle. Although modern phones are sleek looking things they were not designed to be held on your shoulder by the side of your head, like the old-fashioned handsets that I still use on a daily basis. Consequently, I’ve seen a lot of people drop their phones. And they land in the darndest places.
The first fella I ever saw drop his cell phone did so in a plate of spaghetti. I told my dimwitted friend that he could get the dreaded malady “noodle ear” if he talked on his iPhone with marinara sauce after that, but he was willing to take that risk.
Even cowboys are using mobile phones these days, which I thought I’d never see. I was talking to a friend as he attempted to swap his horse’s bridle for a halter at the same time he was receiving an incoming call. Sure enough, he dropped his phone in a water trough. I held his horse for him as he peeled off his shirt to go diving for his phone. He got his arm wet up to his shoulder as he went bobbing for AT&T. You have to say this for the cell phone makers, they make a good product. My buddy dried off his phone and it worked as good as new, although he kept whacking the side of his head for a day or two to get rid of the water in his ear because his phone leaked.
One interesting drop I witnessed happened at a cattle sale when I had to use the restroom facilities. Standing next to me was an order buyer who was busy talking on his phone as he tried to make his bladder gladder. Usually in that situation I try not to pry into another man’s business, but when I heard the order buyer utter a most offensive swear word I looked over and there was his smart phone in the urinal. (I bet that never happened when he used the phone booth!) So he’s standing there with an anguished look on his face trying to decide if it’s worth it or not to lose all his personal data and his cell phone, or if he should just flush it all down the drain, so to speak.
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Another time I was at a sale looking at the bulls with a new field man who was trying to get an order for a bull by talking with a breeder back east on his cell. It would’ve been a real feather in his cap if he got the order. So there he is with his head at a 45 degree angle holding his cell as he tried to look into his catalog to get some breeding information for the prospective buyer. That’s when it happened. He dropped his phone into the biggest, the freshest, most recent model cow pie I’ve ever seen. And believe me, I’ve seen a lot of them. When that cell phone hit its target it sounded like a ripe watermelon hitting the bottom of a bathtub and it sent out tsunami waves that were felt as far as five feet away, if you get my drift. So the young field man is standing there looking like someone who’d just watched his pet dog get run over, and there’s his phone with the prospective buyer’s voice emanating from the cow pie. At this point the young man had to make one of the biggest decisions in his young life: Do I or don’t I?
I couldn’t resist… “Just how valuable is that cell phone of yours now,” I asked the perplexed young man.