Monday, April 19, 2010

Gender and Fruit Communication, Part 1

So, back in the fall my cell died. Yep, my cell. Back when we got our first one -- yes, we had one for our whole family -- it was known as a "cellular telephone." But that was when we all had a lot more time. Before long, though, we didn't have time to say "cellular telephone" all the time, so, like most folks, the name got shortened. To "cellular phone." I think we still only had one phone, but it had a new name, and we were way cooler.
Then we had to replace our cellular phone. The new one wasn't big, it didn't have two pieces connected by a cord, and it didn't have to be plugged into the cigarette lighter in the car. It was small and it flipped open. It was for Miles to carry when he went to school (the tragedy at Columbine High had happened and everyone was scared and needed more immediate communication). And it was a cellular phone.
Then it became a "cell phone." Apparently because, as our phones got smaller, we also found ourselves (all of us, not just us us) with even less time that before, so there just wasn't enough time to say "cellular phone" anymore. We had to go to "cell phone."
They were cell phones for a long time. Cell phones got bigger, a little bigger, for a while, because that whole flip phone thing didn't have a long enough use life -- the wires got crimped or broken or something and they quit working and had to be replaced. Then they started getting smaller again. And then, I guess, somebody figured out what to do with the flip-open thing, because we got phones that opened again. Oh, and I say "we" because each family member ended up with one. Still cell phones.
I went through a couple of them. Not as many as Miles, mind you, but a couple. Ginger went through one; I think she's still on her second one. She takes care of her things. It's a high bar to meet. I won't even begin to discuss Meg's phone cemetery -- and anyway she went off and got married and her phones were someone else's problem.
Along the way, we all lost some more time. Maybe you weren't watching, but we did. How do I know? Because our cell phones became "cells." I no longer have a cell phone. I have a cell. Everyone I know has a cell. Okay, not everyone. My friend Jim doesn't have a cell. He's never  had one, in any of their incarnations. Doesn't want one. He and Jane also don't have a TV. And they have dial-up. Can you imagine? They're positively pre-post-modern.
Anyway, those of us who have one, have cells. Not cell phones, not cellular phones, certainly not cellular telephones. Cells. We don't have time for those old-school communication devices anymore. No sir. Time's a-wastin'. We're burnin' daylight. There are things to see, people to do. These are the days of twerping and sexting and other "I-don't-have-time-to-think-I-have-to-say-stuff-even-if-it's-completely-stupid" means of communication. I predict that soon we will be talking on our "Cs" because we won't have time to say "cells."
"Here's my C number, call me." Then it will be, "Here's my number, C me."

Next time, I'll fill you in on gender and fruit and replacing my C.


  1. I think I still call mine a cell phone half the time, but then again I also keep a journal - in a paper book - and relish the work of writing a real pen and paper letter.

  2. The perfectly painful truth to me is that more people do not get the ironic sarcasm in your writting.. I'm afraid that if they did, this blog experiment of yours, a chance for you to bitch and moan but through an oh so slightly jaded but certainly somewhat politically correct filter, would quickly become an article in the New York Times, or perhaps much more credible for your audience, The New Yorker. Either way, dangerous as it may be, when I read your rants I am inspired to laugh at the chance that you take to quite simply complain about the whims of a society so bent on change, and all the while so incredibly predictable. We have our first black president, never mind that he's ripping our country limb from limb, his skin tone enough was enough of a mile marker for us to call his inauguration progress and so we all clapped, even if we frowned that our man had not won. And then we watched the slow breakdown of the king of pop, and laughed as he made a mockery of his career then cried at the tragedy of what our microscope on his life no matter how cloudy the glass may have been caused. We complain at raising gas prices and then beg for BP one of the largest domestic oil companies to feed our arrogant "green"(ish) lifestyles to be all but shut down as they finally blow a leak. Never mind the leaks in our logic, their leaks are going to damage wetlands! Ours are simply ruining the ozone layer. But who knows maybe Al Gore will fix that too, soon after he speeds up the internet, and deports Bill Gates for his conspiracy against the purity of the Mac Apple. We distort distort distort. The irony is that we shorten our terms and speed up our lives taking our celular telephones to cells to "c"s in order to give us much less time that might lead simply to the realization that we are becoming so incredibly efficient that intelligence itself isn't even all that necessary. Better than smarts is convenience, and as we witness the death of the king of pop, our economy, and our american rights, we quickly raise the flags of efficient living, no matter the eventual cost.

    Hey I think about these things, rants are after all just a chance for a wounded brain to bleed right?