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Life is only what you wonder.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

No Walkie, No Talkie

About a month and a half ago, when I was at the Radio Shack at the mall picking out my new cell phone, I saw the various models and brands attached by retractible wires to the little display stand with little plackards telling the name, features, price, etc.
My eyes were immediatly drawn to the metallic red number I saw there.
In case you don't know, red is my favorite color in the world.
It's the color of blood, the color of rubies. Red means stop, danger, warning, and alert. (It also means "beef" with bouillion cubes and Ramen noodles, but we won't go there.)
"Condition red" is the term used in the military when you're in combat.
If identical twins (I keep coming back to that, don't I? I must have a fetish) were standing before me and one was wearing a red t-shirt, I'd be all over the guy in red.

I'm very attracted to red things, so when I saw the shiny, red, candy-like phone sitting there looking all purdy, I longed to make it mine.

"That's one of our latest models," the salesman said, appearing at my side, as if by magic. Either he was as silent as a cat, or I was so mesmerized I wasn't paying attention, but he startled me. He didn't seem to notice as he continued his pitch.
"It has wireless web, speakerphone, camera, camcorder, one-minute memo function so you can use it as kind of a tape recorder . . ."
The even modulated tone of his voice had me in his thrall at this point.
Speak on, dreamweaver, speak on.
". . . and," he said in conclusion, " It has a walkie-talkie function!"

And just like that, the spell was broken.

Walkie-talkie phones are my pet-peeve of the moment.
I hate them.
Hate with a capital "H".

My number one gripe about the walkie-talkie thing is they're so loud, so obnoxious. Everyone I've observed using them seems to feel the need to turn the speaker volume up to maximum, and they shout into it louder than you talk to your Aunt Alma who's hard of hearing. And that loud ear-shattering "beep" (which is more like a skwawk than a beep, really) between exchanges in the conversation is enough to set my teeth on edge.

"HEY! WUZZUP?!" >BEEP!< (static)
"NUTTIN'. WHERE YOU AT?!" >BEEP!< (static)
And so on, ad nauseum.

My number two gripe is all about the privacy issue.
With the walkie-talkie, everyone within earshot (which is an approximatly 30 foot radius, or more) can hear both sides of the conversation. It's impossible not to hear it, even if you're deliberatly trying not to. Don't they care that everyone around them (whether they're trying to hear or not) now knows that Tawanna (who is apparently a big ol' slut) is pregnant and doesn't know who the baby daddy is? I don't know Tawanna, and I don't need to know anything about her. I'm at the newsstand looking at magazines, and without even trying I'm subjected to information about some girl's sexual habits and medical state of the moment.
I don't care, OK? I have my own things going on.

When I'm out and about on my phone, I don't even like people to hear my side of the conversation -- because it's none of their business!
Which is why I try to be as quiet as I can, talking just loud enough so the the other party on the line can hear me, but nobody else.
Sometimes I even wear my headset, which probably makes me look like a receptionist, but you can whisper when wearing that thing and whoever you're talking to can hear you as clear as day. (The only thing about that is before they notice the headset they probably think I'm muttering to myself, which means they think I'm a crazy person, but I can live with that.)

"Of course, it doesn't just come in red," the salesman continued, his voice as sweet as buckwheat honey, "There are four other colors to choose from."
"I don't really want this one," I replied, "What else do you have?"