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29th October 2007

Telephone @ 16:00


Today I left my phone at home. Not on purpose mind but by accident. What a bizarre experience.



When mobile (cell) phones first became popular fashion accessories I was reluctant to get one. I recall a conversation I had in 1998 with Big Gay Gary from HSE about mobile telephones.

Big Gay Gary - Look at my new phone. Look. Everybody look at my phone. Aren't I just fantastic! You don't have a phone because you are not as fashionable as me. But look as I pick it up and us it like I'm in a catalogue. Gosh I look so suave and sophisticated. The boys will be clammering to get my trousers off in Garlands. Not that I'd bum them of course because bumming is not good.
stegzy - Gary, it makes you look like a twat.
Big Gay Gary - Nonsense, I'm a fashionable gay now. EVERYBODY LOOK AT HOW COOL I AM.

I said to myself I wouldn't venture into the realms of mobile telephony. After all who would call me? Nobody. Well...maybe Clopper Gnomepants or someone to tell me I've got a job or something, but no. I'd have nothing to do with such things.

Then Derek-what-loves-himself (who also worked in HSE) said:-

Derek-what-loves-himself - I have a pager. Look at me. I have a pager. All the girls will be wanting to suck me off because I have a pager.
stegzy - But why have you got a pager? Surely people don't page you. You're hardly popular.
Derek-what-loves-himself - I have a pager because my mum can tell me when my tea is ready and it doesn't cost as much as a mobile telephone.
stegzy - Ah I see.

So I went out and bought a pager. I had my pager (and accompanying software) for some years. People could page me from their computer, Clopper Gnomepants could send me cheeky little text messages and girls would approach me in the street and offer to suck my penis. I resisted the urge for mobile telephony, seeing it as a fad in much the same ilk as those laser disc things or those mini-disc players that people seemed to flaunt in similar ways.

Then I crumbled. I can't remember exactly how. It was something to do with Clopper Gnomepants not being able to answer the telephone at home and we were awaiting something. I'm not too sure, but somehow I gave in to peer pressure and purchased my first mobile telephone. It was a chunky affair. Pay as you go. I think it was a Sony Ericsson though it might have been a Motorola. It felt weighty in my pocket and I felt suave and sophisticated. I think I still have it somewhere. But that day was D-Day. I had entered into a lifestyle which many of us today accept as norm. From there on I had a new telephone regularly. I bought into the "it's not just a telephone-it's a fashion accessory" idiom. I would take my telephone out in polite company and lay it on the table in front of me. I would regularly check to see if I had missed a text or telephone call and I would present my telephone to those I was with as if I was more important than them because I had the need to constantly check my telephone.

Then today I left my telephone at home. I left it by accident. I had the need to make telephone calls which I would have ordinarily made while I was on the go. However not being strong enough to lift up the red cast iron telephone box I was forced to enter the tramps piss palace that is a public call box. The first thing I noted was how few of them there are now. Not just the iconic red ones, they have been in decline since the mid 80's, but the new smoked glass "I could be in any Western European City" ones. The second thing was how much the minimum fee now was. When I was a lad (when a good percentage of you were still but faint stirrings in your father's underpants), telephone calls from public telephones were about 5p for 3 minutes. Granted by the early 90's this had increased to 10p. But now you're looking at 40p! Forty Pence! Thats a hell of an increase. Ok you get 20 minutes to a land line but still! 40 PENCE! Thats 4 bags of beef Space Raiders! (or 2 bags of Spicy Transform-a-Snaks).

The third thing was mid journey from Barnsley to Pontefract I became entangled in traffic. I was going to be late for work. I know, I thought, I'll call in and say I'll be late. But I couldn't. Because I didn't have my telephone. Even so, at frequent moments through the day I have patted my pocket to look and see if I've got my phone, do I have any messages? Has anyone called me? But you see, the likelyhood of anyone calling or texting me anyway is so remote I have no fucking idea why I carry the thing around with me (let alone pay £35 a month for the privilege of having my nads fried by ELF radiation).

So why not try it yourself. See how naked and bizarre you feel when you leave your cellular (mobile) telephone at home.



Frankly I feel a little liberated.
 
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[User Picture Icon]
From:kingdavey
Date:29th October 2007 16:20 (UTC)
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My mobile doesn't leave my side. I even take it with me from room to room.

My first Mobile was a Motorola flip with a little pull out plastic ariel. This was before digital signals. I was living just outside of the M25 at the time, so was on One2One whose signal at the time only covered London. (I have no idea who One2One became). When I was visiting my parents, I had to drive 20 miles up the A3 (main London to Portsmouth road) to get to a layby close enough to London to pick up my voice mail messages. I was so greatful when they introduced remote pick up of voicemail.

The phone weight a ton. It was about 3 inches thick. The talk time on it was about 45 minutes and stand by time was only about 6 or 8 hours. Text messaging was still an alien idea and years away.
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From:stegzy
Date:29th October 2007 19:33 (UTC)
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One2One became O2 I believe (see what they did there?). I remember the Rabbit phones too. You would have to go into a shop that displayed a rabbit sign on the outside as I think they acted as a beacon much in the same way as wireless hotspots are today. Of course they didnt catch on.

And yes! THey were heavy buggers. I'm surprised we didn't all walk round like the Hunchback of Notré Dame under the weight of the electronic accessories we were carrying round with us in them days.
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From:kingdavey
Date:29th October 2007 20:51 (UTC)
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after a bit of research, I have found out that one2one became T-mobile.

I used to work at a place that was a rabbit hotspot. In the year i was there, no one that I know of ever used a rabbit phone.
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From:stegzy
Date:29th October 2007 21:00 (UTC)
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hmmm...now there you go see. I always thought One2One became O2 however now I wonder what became of Rabbit.
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From:kingdavey
Date:29th October 2007 21:06 (UTC)
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It disappeared the same way as Beatmax videos, Squarairels (The square satalite dishes from BSB) and the Dat tapes (same quality as a CD but on a tape similar to a zip disc for the computer)
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From:stegzy
Date:29th October 2007 21:36 (UTC)
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All about Rabbit

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From:kingdavey
Date:29th October 2007 23:18 (UTC)
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Thats the thing. I remember them
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From:the_lest
Date:29th October 2007 16:27 (UTC)
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That story gave much amusement, thanks for posting! You're good at telling stories in an amusing way, I guess. I had a similar experience last week, I didn't leave my phone at home, I brought it with me everywhere, but as I was visiting the remote town of St. Ives, it seemed that you can't get a signal anywhere at all except maybe on top of a very steep hill! But it was interesting moving around social circles in the old fashioned way and actually meeting friends at the time and place we originally said we would meet.
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From:stegzy
Date:29th October 2007 19:33 (UTC)
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I remember giggling with glee when I noticed that my mobile phone had no reception in the part of Wales I frequent during the summer. I think I whipped it out on a surprisingly frequent basis just to check if it had any reception (my mobile not my penis).

[User Picture Icon]
From:zoefruitcake
Date:29th October 2007 22:00 (UTC)
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damn, for a nanosecond I thought you had a very clever penis then
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From:the_lest
Date:29th October 2007 22:10 (UTC)
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really? I started forgetting to check mine after a while... since I didn't have my phone distracting me I think I made more effort than usual to be social! I remember at one point I did get a message (about an hour or 2 later) and just couldn't be bothered to respond to it til the next day.
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From:spush
Date:29th October 2007 16:43 (UTC)
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I often forget my phone then feel kinda naked.. what if someone's texted me. But 9 times out of 10 no one has. Sad really, no one loves me. :(
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From:stegzy
Date:29th October 2007 19:34 (UTC)
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I got home tonight expecting a lexicon of textual epistles. Alas I had but one text message and that was spam (which I note has increased of late).
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From:spush
Date:29th October 2007 20:56 (UTC)
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Aww... though if you want more spam I could always text you myself!
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From:stainsteelrat
Date:29th October 2007 18:42 (UTC)
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LOL, amusing post. It sounds like you've been assimilated by them that has mobiles.

I rely on mine for excruciating moments of boredom so I can play Jawbreaker. I get the panics and sweats if it's missing at such a time.
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From:stegzy
Date:29th October 2007 19:36 (UTC)
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Curiously I bought my first PDA just so I could play that game. Rather an expensive choice to make though I think at £350.
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From:stainsteelrat
Date:29th October 2007 19:45 (UTC)
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LOL, addictive stuff!
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From:stegzy
Date:30th October 2007 10:04 (UTC)
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Curiously I used to feel the same about my wrist watch. I used to wear a wrist watch all the time until someone told me that everytime I looked at it I was watching a moment of my life tick away. This depressed me so I stopped wearing it. Of course then, for several months after I felt naked.

Odd isn't it?
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From:billzy
Date:29th October 2007 20:41 (UTC)
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Im never without my mobile, im convinced i can tell when its going to go off. I just get his feeling, and i take my phone out of my pocket and 5 seconds later it receives a text/call.
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From:stegzy
Date:29th October 2007 20:43 (UTC)
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Thats the radiation frazzling your knackers you can feel
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From:billzy
Date:31st October 2007 15:25 (UTC)
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lol probably!
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From:sovereigna
Date:29th October 2007 23:53 (UTC)
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LOL - my worst thing about not having my mobile is that my poor brain can't remember everyone's contact details anymore!

I've forgotten my mobile a few times (which being an E61 is my mobile, mp3 player and computer in one), thought .. "don't be ridiculous, I can live without my mobile for one day!" then needed to call someone for a valid reason, look at the telephone on my desk and stare dumbly at it because I don't have the faintest idea of how to get in contact with 95% of the people I have stored in my mobile without it!.

Ten years ago when we first started getting mobiles, I knew all the mobile numbers, home numbers, addresses and a lot of work numbers of all my best friends by heart. Today I'm lucky to remember their surname!! :S
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From:stegzy
Date:30th October 2007 09:54 (UTC)
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Thats a problem I had too. Once I could recall the number of nearly everybody I knew. Now I even have problems remembering their surnames sometimes.

A case in point is Big Gay Gary mentioned within this entry. I worked with him for nearly 5 years but now I haven't the foggiest what his surname was. I'm sure if I had his number in my mobile (which I haven't) I would probably have been able to work it out. Yes, I am one of those saddos that have people's full names in my mobile address book....even my wife!
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From:louenn
Date:30th October 2007 07:51 (UTC)
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You can guarantee that the one time you forget your phone is when you need it.

I tend to leave mine in my bag, and it's on silent when I'm in work, so if anyone phones I don't hear it anyway! Not that anyone ever does phone.
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From:stegzy
Date:30th October 2007 09:58 (UTC)
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Why do we carry them? Is it just for the convenience of being able to be reached at any given moment? Or is there some sinister forces at play here? And what is the true cost of convenience? Sterile males? Cancer? An overstressed populace?

After all the only time my phone does ring it tends to be someone barking at me wondering where I am or to tell me I've been unsuccessful or something.

Maybe I should go retro and dig out my old pager (if it still works that is) ;-)
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From:louenn
Date:30th October 2007 20:11 (UTC)
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Well, I rarely get called, except by people who want something - like Paul calling earlier because he wants to borrow the church keys.

A pager would be less stressful... Let me know how you get on!
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From:aladdin_sane
Date:30th October 2007 10:20 (UTC)
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I've spent hundreds on mobile and landline phones. All I got back for the effort was Maxx Jamrack snubbing me. :(

I should never have been born. The product of a virus.
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From:stegzy
Date:30th October 2007 12:49 (UTC)
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Maxx Jamrack probably has one of those big grey bricks business men used in the 80's
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From:celticblissy
Date:31st October 2007 20:03 (UTC)
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I left mine at home today too.
I just could not find the little bugger so gave up and went to work without it.

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