Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

And that's why I can't stand cell phones

"Okay Peter Hammond, now I want you to think long and hard about the answer to this next question, because if you get it wrong, your tombstone will read, 'Here lies Peter Hammond, who valiantly and courageously tried to prevent a brilliant bank robbery by hiding his cell phone, and who ended up getting shot in the fucking face.' Now where's your cell phone?"
Dalton Russell, Inside Man

Yesterday, I mentioned the funeral of my friend Chris and the lovely eulogy given by his grandfather.

In this eulogy, he explained to us that, when Chris was a young boy, he'd play this game where he'd steal his grandfather's pen from his shirt pocket and it was up to Grandpa to get it back. This went on for years.

In one of the most touching moments of Chris's memorial services, his grandfather tucked the pen into Chris's lifeless hand to be buried with him forever.

As the grandfather was explaining the pen's significance, the back-and-forth game between him and Chris, somebody's cell phone went off. If you've gone into a funeral without out turning off your phone, shame on you. I hope this makes you feel bad: You are a terrible person. Period.

What was worse was that the damn thing kept ringing. They didn't even have the courtesy to silence the fucker. It rang and rang, echoing in the church, interrupting that painful eulogy. The ringing finally ended, followed by a beep to signify that they'd left a message.

There was a time, even in my own lifetime, when phones weren't even a necessity, a time when I could have a pleasant conversation without an interruption.

I got rid of my own cell over a year ago, and man, what a relief. I feel good about myself for
not feeling so reliant on this shrinking piece of technology.

Yeah, so I'll admit that a phone would be handy every once in a while, and I'll even admit that some folks actually need their cell phones. But if it's so urgent that you get that call, just skip the goddamn funeral.

5 Comments:

At 9:18 PM, Blogger Laura said...

You are so right. There is a time and a place for the use of cell phones, and a funeral is definately not one of them.

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger Dorky Dad said...

I'm anti-death penalty ... EXCEPT when it comes to people who don't turn their stupid cell phones off in some place like a funeral. A FUNERAL! Gosh.

 
At 3:56 AM, Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

That's so rude and inconsiderate. There's a time and a place for everything. Whomever it was did not go to your friend's funeral prepared to pay their respect.

 
At 7:21 AM, Blogger Stewart Sternberg said...

That story about the pen is pretty wonderful.

As for cell phones. I have come to hate them. I hope a time will come when I can take mine and get rid of it. I yearn for the days when I could move through the world without anyone anywhere being able to reach out and touch me.

What is most astonishing about your story is that the person let it ring. I wonder if they couldn't get to it, or if they were just that amazingly callous.

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Great post, Simon. Cellphones at funerals are creepy, and even creepier are the videocams and, in Japan, cellphone photo shoots of the deceased. Wave goodbye and take a last picture. And take a call while you're at it!

A friend of mine died at nineteen -- I remember becoming furious when part of his privare diary was read. Your post suggests that maybe we were both masking grief with anger at something that ticked us off? Just a thought.

 

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