Thursday, October 12, 2006

Crackberry Season

Wednesday is over. That alone is reason to celebrate. I'm still sick, and I look like I dressed myself in the dark with a hook for a hand. But I'm here. And now, the most unpleasant of unpleasant tasks.

Today, I will buy a cell phone.

Oh, jeez, even typing out the words feels wrong. Dirty wrong. I have avoided cell phones like the plague since they starting multiplying like bunnies, chewing up everything in their path. I have seen my loved ones turn into mobile junkies. I have been the victim of countless rude mobile users who feel the need to talk loudly on the bus, in grocery store, the bathroom, the mall, the bus stop, the alley, the backyard and the bloody hotel. I have listened to people say things like, "Put some cream on it and the itching will stop." Or even better / worse, "Was I doing anything weird last night? Because I woke up in Bob's bathroom." How about the classic, "Bitch, don't talk to me that way, I make the decisions around here. I love you too."

Given my seething hatred of cell phone culture, you might be puzzled as to why I would buy into such a scam. There are several reasons.

1. I have gotten paranoid.

I would like to have a phone on me when I am wandering around the downtown at 1am in case someone decides to start something. Occasionally, too often actually, I take long walks late at night through sketchy neighbourhoods. I quite like it, and I'm not about to stop. But my stubborn bravado has withered a bit, and I have started to wonder if perhaps being 5"2, a woman, and generally non-threatening might work against me someday. Granted, if anyone comes near me uninvited I am more likely to render them infertile in one swift kick than telephone for help. But perhaps I can beat them senseless with a cell? Temporarily blind them with my antenna? Take a picture of them limping away?

2. Nobody can reach me, ever.

I am a busy gal. I rarely go right home after work, and sometimes I only see my room when I pass out there and wake up to leave a few hours later. My friends, my partner and my family can never find me. It's getting a bit ridiculous. I do not intend to use the phone as a leash, but I wouldn't mind being accessible every now and then.

3. Nobody can reach me, ever, especially for interviews.

See above, and apply it to journalism. I can't even count the number of times I have tried to set up interviews and failed because I wasn't going to be in one place for another four days. Just imagine how much better my interviews could be if I wasn't running to payphones to get a quote! The very thought excites me.

4. Sometimes my bus doesn't come.

With the weather getting colder and wetter, I have gotten in the habit of catching a bus into work instead of walking in. Although I love my walks, they involve about an hour of walking in whatever weather happens to be the norm that day. The colder autumn gets, the less likely I am to make the trek. Enter the bus. I love the bus, and I have always enjoyed taking public transit. (Before you gasp in horror at that remark, keep in mind that a long bus ride means I can listen to a lot of music. This is all that matters to me, cramped seating and rip-off bus fare aside.) But sometimes the bus doesn't show. Sometimes, even when I arrive early, it just doesn't come. Sometimes it comes a full seven minutes early, in which case I usually miss it. When this happens, I am left at the bus stop, knowing that I will be late for work, with no way to call in. This makes me very tense, and sometimes even my music won't calm me down. It would put me at ease to be able to reach my office the next time this happens. A quick heads up, and I won't spend the following 20 minutes muttering under my breath, twitching nervously and freaking out my fellow riders.

5. Cell phones vibrate.

I like that.

And so, before I crawl into bed and fever myself to sleep, I will purchase some hell-in-a-belt-clip and curse my logical brain. Wish me luck.

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