Sunday, May 01, 2005

Cell phones make mice explode

I have never had an impulse to suddenly stop short of ongoing ontology and dial someone up on a cell phone, one of which I do not now, nor ever will own. Recently in Trader Joe's grocery, here in L.A. (for some inexplicable reason, a hotbed of cell phone use), I stopped to eavesdrop on a call a customer was making.

I wondered what could possibly be so overweeningly urgent as to necessitate such an action? A reminder to a sick child to take his medicine? Dialing up a neighbor to tell them you'd forgot to turn off the oven and would they please check into it for you? Phoning the hospital to find out how your maid Consuela's brain surgery turned out? (So like her to get sick just when she's needed most---to stop your house, fresh out of escrow, from burning to the ground!)

As I edged closer to the Trader Joe's shopper, I caught the tail end of the opening cell phone conversational salvo---in the whiniest of tones imaginable---to the party on the other end: ". . .should I get one bottle or two?" Not since the absurdity of Camus' man in the phone booth!

DID YOU KNOW that most of those livingdead stumbling around on cell phones in the malls and highways and byways of America will die prematurely of brain cancer ? Sad on the one hand, on the other. . .mmm mmm mmm, that's more Trader Joe's chocolate chip cookies for you 'n me. Unless, just like cigarette smoke, there's also such a thing as second-hand cell phone death rays???

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