9 February 2006


In America, I believe that they are known as cellphones. Over here in the UK we know them as mobile phones - or more latterly, "mobiles". Whatever they are called, I hate them.

I have never owned one myself and I hope to end my days having never felt the need to purchase one of these moneysuckers. And yet I seem to inhabit a world where just about everybody else is glued to the damned things. In the morning, as I drive to work, I see people walking down the streets, standing at bus-stops, sitting in cars or buses, all gabbing into these technological comforters. Who the hell are they talking to anyway? At eight o' clock in the morning, I don't want to talk to anybody.
At night-time, there are ads for mobiles on the television, programmes sponsored by mobile suppliers - while at the pub, twenty-somethings arrange flashy mobiles next to beermats - waiting for Wall Street or lost cousins to call. Surely, this defeats the idea of going out - to get away from it all - instead these people are sending out a visible message - what I'm doing now is not enough, I need a call from outside to spice up the moment.
Then there's texting. Millions of messages in moronic English, dancing through the atmosphere -"cn i c u?", "lol", how r u?" reducing our wonderful language with its endless possibilities to ugly, functional soundbites.
It used to be that when a telephone rang, there was an insistent and unaltered ringing call that endured through the years. Now all these annually updated mobiles have their own "ringtones". I have lost count of the number of meetings I have attended where mobile interruptions have occurred. Pretending embarrassment, phone owners scuttle for their bags to the sound of "God Save The Queen", "Crazy Frog" or "Greensleeves". They grin their sorries while the rest of the meeting grins back as if to say - "Oh it's happened to me before now - aren't they devilish little things?" - all except me - glowering back as if to say, "You f***ing moron! Next time make sure that goddam thing is switched off and change your f***ing ringtone to a tune that fits your personality - you know something like Three Blind Mice or The Death March!"
In my house, I am afraid I have to concede that there are currently three mobile phones. Shirley, Ian and Frances each have them. With Ian especially, having a mobile has been like agreeing to tax himself further each month. He pays out around £2 a day. The bloody thing is always going off. He has texted so often I am surprised that he hasn't got repetitive strain syndrome - you know those delicate little muscles and tendons at the base of the thumb - they surely weren't designed for all this activity. It's a health timebomb.
I'm thinking of forming a terrorist group to rid the world of cellphones. Dressed like masked superheroes, my followers will snatch the offending articles wherever we go. We will scramble all text messaging so that readers only see Martian like symbols and nobody will be able to register any ringtone other than The Birdie Song and the powers that be that are tracking our every move through mobile phone location, won't be able to find us any more.


  1. Well I do have one. I worked for 4 years 75 miles from home. And at night. So I needed one. My children both live far away and I for one am glad they have one so I can contact them.. They are very hard to pin down.
    My husband and I talk more with ours too.

    However. I do understand how rude people can be with them.
    All that other stuff you said.

  2. D'you remember as a kid, dreaming of a World where we would all dress in spandex, travel to Mars for our hols and........have a personal communications device in our pockets?

  3. I love cell-phones! I go through one a week, at least, because when I'm out and about, I get a call from some unruly, disreputable client, and I end up bellowing into the mouth-piece, then stomping on it in rage. Once I stomp on it, I have to throw it into the dustbin. Going through one cell-phone a week is quite a spendy operation. My Landlady owns the same refurbished clunker she's had for over 5 years. Most of the time, she uses it only to call out, and says she's thankful for all the times it's served her well in situations that used to be dire (i.e. stranded without a ride). For some reason, she hides her cell-phone from me. But I love them, I say, I just love them. I am planning a whole line of gorilla-themed cell-phone tunes. I'm not quite sure what that will entail, but I see great new innovations for Bradley Enterprises.

  4. It's true, I do have a cell phone, but I prefer tthese kinds of mobiles.

  5. Can be a source of amusement though.

    Recently a lorry went into my car. With my mobile I was able to let home know what had happened and that I was OK, and to receive this back from middle son =

    “Ru ok after da lorry accident, n if ur can u pleaz get me some more hair gel?"

  6. I don't own one. It's bad enough trying to ignore people calling on the landline without them being able to get when I'm out and about.

  7. I, too, have a cellphone (mobile) that I use mostly for emergencies or to be reachable by my kids and husband if it's really important. Of course, with kids, how long to cook the rice seems to be important enough...

    I also live way out in nowheresville and feel a bit more comfortable knowing I do have a way to call for emergency services in case of an accident or break-down. Other than that, no, I don't care to talk on the phone while out and about.

    My husband has a mobile that he carries at all times at work. That is only because he was getting a ton of "personal" calls at work. I'll admit that I do call, often, to ask him to bring something home (the nearest grocery is SEVERAL miles away and the closest thing to fast food out here is those microwave burrito-looking things found in Tyvec-strong plastic at the closest mini-mart) or to let him know where I'll be if he needs to get in touch. He also does a lot of side-work and some of his clients just can't stand to wait until 7pm to call him at home to ask if he can listen to the rattle in their SUV sometime in the next two or three weeks...

    The car accident we were in last year was caused because the gal that rear-ended us was leaned over trying to find her ringing cellphone in her handbag. Wonder how many auto accidents are at least partially due to mobiles?

  8. ferretlegs3:23 am

    Our mobile phone is only mobile because I carry the damn thing everywhere in my handbag - I wouldn't mind but it belongs to my husband and I don't even know how to use it! OK so it's useful in an emergency but I'd still prefer to do without yet another piece of gadgetry, we got rid of the television set years ago and feel much better for it, I'd miss my computer though....

  9. I agree with you about cell phones pretty much 100%. I'm holding out as long as I can without getting one. Is a person in their mid-twenties who doesn't own a cell/mobile kind of rare? In junior highs where I sometimes substitute teach the kids are always texting each other when they think the teachers don't notice. I am amazed so many parents will pay the bill for it.

    And I think the thing I agree with you the most is that kind of underlying rudeness in having it everywhere with them, and always answering it. It implies that they would rather be with someone else, or they are always looking for something better.

    And the most heinous thing associated with mobiles is people who drive while using them. Just start watching people driving around you and you will see that it is true. Whenever you see someone driving stupid, dangerous, too fast, too slow, or otherwise making mistakes, if you get a look at the driver I will submit at least 75-85% of the time they have a phone to their face.


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