Tuesday, June 3, 2008

May I speak with the driver of the car?

If you have my telephone number, and it seems that far too many people do, please don't call me mornings, between 8:30 and 9:30 PDT. That hour is the most likely time for me to be behind of the wheel of our SUV, and I won't be able to answer.

Starting July 1, it will be illegal, in the state of Washington, to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving, unless you use a headset or some other hands-free device. I was discussing the new law yesterday with an acquaintance – he owns a town-car service and pretty much lives or dies through his cell phone – and he told me he had read a recent article discussing the feasibility of implanting a cell phone system within a person’s ear and throat. That scares me; I am attached to my cell phone, but I'm not certain that I want to be, well, attached.

That's an old-fashioned attitude, I suppose, but I can be an old-fashioned sort. I think a telephone should be black. Mine is. I also think that a telephone should ring when it wants you attention, not play a Brahms' concerto or an R. Kelly rap. I'm not too keen on text messaging, either, or taking snapshots with my phone.

And that sounds like Andy Rooney, doesn’t it; off on one of his famous Sixty Minutes rants about technology. Not what I intended when I started this. I want to go on record as saying I love my cell phone, wouldn’t be without it, and haven’t had a land-line at home in almost four years, so I suppose I’m going to have to purchase a blue-tooth headset. Never can tell who’s going to call in the morning.

Of course, if gasoline prices continue to climb, it won't matter when you call or how I answer. I may be behind the wheel, but I won't be able to afford to even start the engine, let alone go out on the highways.