My phone is making me paranoid. Or rather, suspicious. My phone’s making me justifiably suspicious. ‘Paranoid’ has a ring of crazy about it that I don’t quite feel comfortable with.
(And that it’s listening in on my calls.)
Chances are it isn’t doing it maliciously; after all, my phone is the caveman of mobiles. However, it’s no brick, and in its day I’m sure the little number was quite the cell phone Marilyn Monroe; with its orange screen and predicative text.
Now, however, it’s laughably primitive. And I hate it with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns. I hate it like dentist appointments, like a stubbed toe, like the comrade ads on the radio, like forgetting your toothbrush at home and most of all, like over-cooked rice. In fact, I abhor the smarmy gadget with its leering miniature screen and impossible-to-push buttons.
My real phone, unlike this evil step-mother replacement, had a silver shine and a smooth sliding action. It had internet access. It actually sent SMSes (instead of blatantly lying about it to my face). It could take photographs. I could set any song in the world as my ring tone. However, it also had a midlife crisis during which it would make noises (indicating attempts at human contact), but refused petulantly to let me read my messages, showing only a black screen no matter what I did. Every phone call was a wonderful journey of excitement and anxiety for me – like with a landline – because there was no way to tell who was on the other end until I picked it up.
I have none of these exorbitant luxuries on my current cheap-ass gadget. My caveman’s ring tone sounds like a drug-crazed mosquito (all ten – yes, ten – of my options) and the message tone sounds like one of those fancy doorbell chimes that seem to go on for a lifetime. It’s like my cellphone’s having a little celebration every time anyone SMSes me. It’s so ridiculous that the last time it started on it’s extravagant praise of my popularity, my co-worker raised one eyebrow and said “Sam?” in a tone that, like a picture, consisted of a thousand words (and none of them too polite, mind you).
Now, about the cancer thing. Look, I can’t prove it but nonetheless feel I must ask (in a very Pelican Beak, erm, Pelican Brief kind of way) if a certain cellphone company has some kind of deal with the health insurance people? Because the damn phone has it in for me. Technology seriously has improved in that anything above R99 probably won’t start a tumour growing around your ear lobe. Yes, in case you’re wondering, my cavemobile was R99 exactly. R99 = 99 problems.
The radiation or radio or radioactive waves – whatever they are – that my phone uses to communicate with are so violent that it interrupts the radio signal with a loud popping and crackling, and makes my computer screen come over with dozens of wavy lines. How can that possibly be good for your brain? I might as well put my head in the microwave. I mean I won’t put my head in the microwave because, well, that’s stupid.
This ghastly gadget makes me re-realise (ironically) that cellphones are the best invention ever. Meeting at concerts has been made a gazillion times easier, getting lost is easily solveable, secret SMSes between teenage lovers are no longer made into intimidating house calls past 9pm. A flat tyre or a change in plans can be dealt with easily. The only sad thing is that we no longer have to rely on the kindness of strangers, so strangers are no longer kind.
And to my previous phone? The one that left me, alone, in the wilderness, with this primitive, lightweight cheapie? I’m doing fine, by the way. I don’t need you. In fact, I think I can get my message across far better through the medium of song: