Thursday, April 25, 2013

Of Cell Phones and Toilets

Do you remember a time - long, long ago - when there were no cell phones? When, in order to use a telephone, you actually lifted a receiver that was connected to a base unit with a wire, then dialed a number?

In fact, when was the last time you actually dialed a number, as opposed to poking it into a keypad?

Do you remember a time when you took pictures with a camera, surfed the web from a desktop PC, and detonated bombs the old-fashioned way?

Yes, Dear Readers, people not much younger than I will scarcely remember a time when we didn't have portable, or cellular phones. We have been freed from the wires that limited us to a short radius of distance from the telephone base unit. We can roam wherever we like, having the most personal of conversations no matter where we are and who else may be listening. As long as there are enough bars*, you can talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time, about any subject, no matter how inappropriate or personal**.

Cell phones are everywhere. You can't escape.

In fact, according to this article I read last month in Time Magazine, more people in the world have cell phones than toilets. Consider this quote from the article ...

"Out of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones. Far fewer — only 4.5 billion people — have access to working toilets. Of the 2.5 billion who don’t have proper sanitation, 1.1 billion defecate in the open, according to the study."

Well, those who have cell phones also frequently defecate in the open, just verbally.

I end this discourse with a message from your uncle:

Do it now. The rest of us will thank you.

Have a good day. Quietly. And come back for Cartoon Saturday.


* Speaking of bars, I think I could use one.

** I believe I've shared with you the very loud conversation I once overheard in Washington National Airport (I refuse to call it Reagan National Airport), in which an angry fellow was berating the person on the other end of the line for not getting him the desired appointment ... with his proctologist. Way more information than we all needed.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

I first thought that this would be a post on the etiquette of using a cell phone while simultaneously using a toilet. But you are totally on target! Being forced to hear one-half of conversations is particularly annoying; and often people talk on cell phones LOUD!

Their portability is great; especially for emergencies. I always carry mine. But people should never drive and use cell phones, or talk in restaurants on cell phones.

Big Sky Heidi said...

It's true, some people abuse other's patience with their yammering on cell phones.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

This was funny Bill. Sadly true as well.
I love that you and I both refuse to call DCA the Regan Nat'l Airport. Just won't do it.

allenwoodhaven said...

As I am what a friend calls "a late adapter", I had a rotary dial phone for many years before getting a touch tone. It still worked, so I didn't see a need to replace it. I'm glad to have a cellphone but do miss the days when it was possible to be unreachable. We did survive in such a primitive society and perhaps even flourished. There were many benefits, true independence being among them.

The cell phone ancestors cartoon is wonderful! I'll pass it along to my archeologist sister for her collection.

Mike said...

HEY! Dial phones aren't THAT old! If you have a broken one I can't still fix it for you.