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My cell phone, my albatross

Submitted by on Sunday, 7 September 2008 No Comment

Three grocery bags were bursting their seams in one hand and a gallon of milk was sliding out of the other as the phone rang frantically on the kitchen counter.

Until a few years ago, I didn’t think phones could ring frantically. All rings were created equal, making it impossible for one to be frantic and another to be placid.

Ay, but not so today. Thanks to modern technology I now have a custom ring for virtually everyone who calls regularly, which lets me know immediately how high the potential is for a call to be a pain in the butt. And, indeed, allowing the phone to ring frantically.

As I predicted when I heard that particular ring, the call that disrupted grocery retrieval was a pain in the butt.

“”Where are you? The light’s on but your car’s not there, and you’re not answering the phone.”"

My autosnark reply to “”where are you”" used to be “”where did you call?”" But, again, thanks to modern technology, the question is valid these days. It still annoys the crap out of me, though.

It’s official: I hate my cell phone. Unfortunately, I no longer have a land line, so I’m stuck the albatross hooked to my hip.

The albatross analogy is fitting. In the poem “”The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,”" the mariner must wear the dead bird around his neck as punishment for killing the albatross. I haven’t murdered anything, but there are times when my electronic leash is as weighty and malodorous as a rotting carcass.

Yet, as much as I gripe, I rarely am able to leave the phone at home. Or turn it off. My cell phone, my Svengali?

How did that happen? Back when ”"dial the phone”" was accurate and all models came with cords, I wouldn’t hesitate to unplug the bugger if I wanted to lapse into a weekend coma. If I were awake and didn’t want to talk, well, that’s why God created answering machines.

Part of the reason is the guys. With asthmatic, allergic Big Guy in particular, if they’re not in my sight I feel obligated to answer the phone.

The other part: It’s more efficient to deal with an inconvenient call when the phone first rings frantically. Because frantic callers simply keep getting more and more worked up, and putting them off puts them in a lather.

“”Didn’t you hear the call?’


“”Didn’t you see the missed call?”"


“”Didn’t you hear the little beep your phone always makes when you miss a call?”"


I throw myself on the mercy of the court. Make me wear the dang phone around my neck. At least it won’t smell as bad as a rotting bird.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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