A Cell Phone Holiday

Bag Phone

Cell phones bug me.  I know, everybody has one and we seemingly can’t live without them, but what exactly did we do before cell phones? 

I can’t help but think about this conundrum while traveling.  I used to fly a lot and have come to realize what many travel warriors know all too well – that airports and airplanes are environments ripe with general frustration.  Add cell phones to this volatile ecosystem and the mixture can range from moderately distressing to downright agonizing.

In an effort to prove my point, I’m considering writing a research proposal to be submitted to some .gov office in hopes of receiving an obscene amount of free money to study which is shorter – 1) the elapsed time between the click of my airline seat belt and the sheepish grin of the passenger standing in the aisle whose seat is now blocked by my recently secured legs, or 2) the elapsed time between the physical contact of the jet plane’s tires on the destination runway, and that annoying multi-layered chime indicating that an electronic umbilical cord has been re-enabled .  I think I already know the answer. By the way, did you know it’s possible to call the entire personnel directory of one’s company before the seat belt sign is turned off and the plane is parked at the gate?  I didn’t believe it either until the guy in 28F did it the other day.  I was in 10A and heard it for myself.  Please FCC and airlines – just go ahead and lift the ban on in-flight calls and let these amazing feats abound.  Scenery at 33,000 feet is so boring.  But deafening “can you hear me now?” conversations?  Now, that’s traveling in style.    

If local governments can declare “tax holidays,” why not declare a “cell phone holiday?”

In fact, I think I will:

  1. Whereas (notice the use of official legal verbiage, thus adding weight to my proclamation) tomorrow is as good a day as any, the day after today shall be officially declared “Leave-your-cell-phone-at-home-under-a-mattress Day.”
  2. All owners of cell phones shall participate in this holiday, with the exception of those who can produce evidence that they at any time actually owned a bag phone.  Be it resolved that all bag phone users are hereby awarded immunity due to their groundbreaking desire of yesteryear for technological advancement, a desire which when pondered, continues to provide fellow citizens a comedic respite, something undoubtedly needed during the upcoming holiday when withdrawal anxiety will be high.
  3. To insure proper understanding of when this cell phone holiday is to occur, this proclamation shall be read each morning.

Can you imagine a whole day without cell phones?  Think about it, the decibel level in malls will decrease significantly.  Cars will suddenly drive straighter.  Green lights will be responded to quicker.  Belts will again simply hold up pants.  Meals out will once again be eaten without interruption by the stock broker of the guy at the table by the window.  Parent/child relations will improve as memories are shared about having to use archaic communication devices years ago that actually had things called cords attached to them.  Scores of individuals will no longer carry with them a look of utter bewilderment as they incessantly babble about only having “two bars.”    The self-esteem of birds will skyrocket as they enjoy a whole day as the sole producers of chirping sounds.

In the midst of such Utopian thought, it is important to note however one potential difficulty that may arise as together we participate in this monumental day.  Please be aware that unexpected receptions of “I love you” and “I miss you” from total strangers seemingly directed to you will disappear.

To help us all better cope with tomorrow’s proclamation it should be noted that regular non-cell phone conversation will not be affected at all.  In fact frequent dialogue with family and friends is strongly encouraged.  Go ahead.  Talk face-to-face all you want.  Tomorrow’s “anytime” minutes are unlimited.

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