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BY COLUMNISTS

| Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Patricia Price | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


June 18, 2006

"One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingy..."

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

I have had my cell phone for two months now and I think I have gotten the hang of it. Well, barely.

I have always been very annoyed at people who have those insipid tunes emit when they have a call. I guess they want everyone to know that they are so important everyone in the restaurant, bus, car or wherever has to hear their conversation.

I asked the clerk at Radio Shack to set the phone for vibrate. I promptly deposited the phone in my front pocket and forgot about it. My girlfriend, who is the only one who knows my number, called and I felt a very pleasant tingling sensation. A big smile crossed my face as I could not figure out where this sudden pleasure was coming from. Maybe it was male menopause, I thought, and if that's what it was, I certainly wanted more of it. I finally realized it was the phone and then promptly gave my number to anyone who I thought would call.

At first I had a problem answering the calls because I would flip it open and press random buttons. I still haven't read the manual and my daughter told me all I had to do was open and answer.

Of course, I was enjoying the buzzing sensation so much the caller would hang up, and I would then have to figure out who called and if they left a voice message. This also took awhile to learn, but I kept calling back people I already called back.

"Hello, this is Tom, I am returning a call." "You called me back yesterday. And the day before," the unknown voice stated. "Okay, sorry."

As most of you know, I have been involved in redoing my parent's beach house. I decided to take the phone out and set it on the counter while moving some particularly heavy boxes.

I set the thing to music and went on about my business. About an hour later, I heard a melody. I went to the radio and made sure it was off. I wandered the house looking for the possible source. When it stopped, I shrugged my shoulders and continued work. This went on for about the next three calls until it dawned on me that it was the phone.

"Hello!"

"How come you're not answering?" was the cryptic reply. I was too embarrassed to offer the real explanation.

The one use of the phone that I enjoy is when I am driving and I see a billboard for a product that I have an interest. Instead of having to remember the number until I get home, I can whip out the phone and dial it before my very short term memory fades.

I also have a phone book in the font seat and find I can look up a number on a red light and try to dial before it turns green. I have short stubby fingers, not made for the cell, and I often miss-dial. I then have to wait until the next red signal to make my call. The trouble is I often forget who I am calling and why.

The best use of the phone, I have found, are the cheap thrills afforded to me in my middle age life.



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