But so what if cell phones are expensive and don't work very well.
That's why I wanted one. I said we needed one for emergencies,
when, uh, ya know, like, there's a snowstorm? And, and,
Jessica is traveling alone? At night? Yeah. Yeah, always at
night. And a spaceship immobilizes every vehicle in the area? Um,
OK. Forget the spaceship. But something. Like, I don't know.
Because nothing happens, really. Not like in the old days when
something with a name like "flywheel" or "carburetor" fell out of
the engine just after making a loud clunking sound. So, OK. But,
something. Because something could go wrong. And then wouldn't we
be glad we had a cell phone? Of course, its battery would be so low
that she would sound like someone spelling
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious while getting tubes stuck down
her throat and I would hang up thinking it was a prank call.
I did try hard to find the useful purpose in my extravagance. But
in the end, I knew that what I wanted was the extravagance. I
wanted to walk down the street and flip the phone open, like
someone out of Star Trek. "Jessica? I should be
molecularizing there in about 3.2 minutes. Jessica? Jessica? No,
I'm not gargling. M- ZSHHH batt
s KSZIT low."
Who cared that the reality crashed like a bad hard drive on my
dream of coolness? I would be modern.
Finally, I bought a cell phone. I didn't like it. I ordered it over
the Internet and when it showed up on my doorstep, it didn't look
like the picture. I mean, it did. But not like I thought the
picture looked. Am I making sense? Well, never mind. If the point
of a cell phone was looking cool, I couldn't be seen with this. For
months, I never even took it out of the box. When someone told me
that it didn't matter whether you activated it, you still had to
pay for the service, I canceled the whole thing and sent it back.