Fear and loathing in the loss of a cell phone


Last week I suffered a grievous personal loss of a very dear friend.
It was sudden and unexpected and although valiant lifesaving efforts were undertaken, all attempts to revive were ultimately unsuccessful. The victim was pronounced DOA within hours of the first symptom.
Needless to say, I am shaken to the core and wrapped in grief so severe that I am unsure if I can go on.
It was a darned good cell phone and I’m really going to miss it.
Lost. The real tragedy is the phone took a turn for the worse after retail hours and for an entire 24-hour period I was forced to exist completely cut off from cellular civilization.
I was adrift in the hazy other world of people who can’t call other people and frankly I found it frightening. I was struck by the primal force of my craving for a cell phone.
There are now an estimated billion people worldwide running around and talking into the air, with only a small object nestling against one ear to distinguish them from the deinstitutionalized psychotics talking to the voices in their own heads.
I wanted in on that action! It had become impossible to go anywhere – out on the street, to a shopping mall, a restaurant, movie, doctor’s office or funeral – without noticing that every other person in earshot was engaged in an ongoing conversation that excluded me.
How, you are probably asking yourself, did she consult with friends and family before making important decisions at the grocery store, like whole or skim milk or white or wheat bread?
How can she possibly operate a motor vehicle without something to take her mind off the monotony of flying down the interstate at 70 mph? Make that 65 mph if any members of the highway patrol are reading this.
Trust me, it was touch and go. I am not an animal! I cannot live this way!
Nonetheless, there is an upside to the death of my faithful four-year flip phone friend.
Namely, I got to engage in a little shopping therapy in my quest for a new one.
Annoy. Most awe inspiring is how the cell phone is evolving.
No longer is a cellular telephone simply a way to ensure safety and security while chatting with loved ones coupled with the irresistible appeal of moving around and annoying a few people.
No, 21st century cell phones offer several impressive features that allow you, through the power of science and technology, to annoy virtually everyone.
Or, as one cell phone eschewing freak friend of mine says, “Yeah, I CAN hear you now and I wish you would just HUSH UP!”
With a new age cell phone in your hand, you can watch music videos, listen to ballgames, play video games, take digital photos of your thumb (which will inevitably block the tiny little lens), and vote on American Idol.
Change. Oh, how times have changed. Two decades ago I received my first cellular phone. At the time it was the size of a small sedan and offered an unprecedented 20 whole minutes of talk time PER MONTH for a seemingly reasonable $120 dollars per month.
We thought we were living!
Now, looking back on that first phone that had no voice mail, no caller identification, no solitaire, and couldn’t do anything more than make and receive telephone calls, I realize that it also wasn’t at all portable and had to stay in the car at all times.
This was nice, as it made it much harder to take calls during movies, dinner dates and weddings.
Today, due to some insidious marketing plan hatched up by the devil himself, the world is under tremendous, inexplicable pressure to shrink phones each year.
Buying a new phone that is above the currently acceptable size of a saltine cracker borders on treason.
Balance. My new phone is approximately the size and shape of a Chicklet


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.