This Donna ain't Mobile
Everyday I am faced with the same disbelief when forced to explain my aberrant position in contemporary society. ‘You must be the only one’, a journalist once guffawed. ‘You’re kidding me’, new acquaintances marvel. But Doctors’ receptionists, who I have come to believe, are a very particular kind of women, they just pause their poised fingers over the keyboard, and reluctantly tab over to the next contact details window looking perplexed by the unaccustomed blank in my Personal Information.
I do not have a mobile – do I need to even specify phone? Perhaps it’s more important to clarify, I am not an animal.
A friend described me to a German about to meet me and included this apparently extraordinary fact in her characterization. ‘I have to meet this person’, he enthused, as I if she had gained special permission from the Powerhouse Museum to exhibit me privately.
People frequently want to know how I ‘survive without one’. I don’t mean to be contrary but I generally respond by asking how everyone else survives with one.
I mean I do see their utility. It isn’t enough to arrive on time anymore. Once must confirm that one is on one’s way somewhere else, and then coming in 10 minutes with the cat because they got the only appointment for the abyss under it’s eye, and they’ve had him for 17 years and can’t think what life would be life without him and it should only cost $75, and if you get there first just order me a skinny-late … puff pant … too.
I have come to understand there is a new etiquette with appointments. First you agree on Dench’s at 9.30, then you confirm Mixed Business at 10am, then you check on whether it was 10 or 10.30 and then, while waiting for the Green Man, you let your rendevous, who hasn’t arrived yet either, know that you’re running 3 minutes late. I just turn up where we first agreed, and luckily Dench’s do very yummy ricotta hotcakes, because my rendevous has no alternative but to be there since they can’t tell me otherwise. I call that efficient communication.
I hate the phone. Ask anyone who calls me up for a chat, ‘Yes!’ I prompt in a decidedly State-Your- Business manner. That old adage, ‘If you haven’t got anything nice to say, say nothing’, applies with all the spades at the Crown Casino to me. When I signed up to the Do Not Call Register I looked everywhere for the ‘That goes for everyone’ button. I hardly needed to register. I must’ve been black banned by telephonists with scorched ears all over the sub-continent long ago.
This also means I don’t tweet, text or remote email. My kiddies have to explain what Soz, ppl and fotcl mean. I did get one once. I made the same friend cross over a late pizzeria date, I think because I didn’t get her message to be somewhere else, and then made my Mum, with her 4 baby bladder, wait cross-kneed out on in the park because I forgot she was coming and went to the Zoo. Too many car-pooling Mummies had pleaded with me to get one. I gave in.
I went to Crazy Larry’s or whatever and walked out with a free phone feeling like a thief and uncomfortably anticipating the billing regime. Once I got a Sim Card, thankfully not from a relative leaving for Glasgow airport, I was happily paddling in the Big Pond.
From then on not only did the fecking thing ring while I was wiping small children’s bums, but also while I was mediating their backseat disputes and unjamming their fingers after snibbing the ever-lasting whirring windows while fending off flying grapes and trying to remember whether red means go, all to hear that they’re on their way too with much the same cacophony emanating from their backseat.
I’m afraid it went the way of all 697 pairs of sunglasses once in my possession. I sometimes think modern hell is being consigned to the pile of waste you have generated over your lifetime. My phone is somewhere in there with the chewed Barrett’s Sherbet Fountain packets and Uncle Scrooge Comics. So long everyone I just about to meet in 4 minutes instead of 3 because I had to brake especially for the cop car with a speed camera pointing out the front window and Dench’s aren’t doing ricotta hotcakes today so let’s meet at that place that used to be called the Tinpot even though their hot chocolates are decidedly tepid and blather, blather until you inadvertently run up a pole in a paroxysm of Blankety-Blank dejavu.
How gratifying then, the latest findings about the safety of mobile phone use, notably funded by a mobile phone industry body. It seems that this worldwide experiment is inconclusive about the increased incidence of brain tumours. ‘Phew’ 6 billion minus-one people must’ve said down their phones to whoever was listening.
I’m afraid I couldn’t take part in the study. I was disqualified for never having wiped either my cheek or my fingerprints off an iphone down my trouser leg. But my relief was still tangible. I didn’t much fancy having to beget the entire human race from my rather fallible gene pool having traversed the remoter regions of the globe looking for a mate who also survived the Great Mobile Tumour Extinction.
Labels: Mobile Phone