There was a time in my life when I could leave my house without a cell phone. It was great. I would go about my daily routine without having to worry about people calling me or receiving email alerts from The Running Room, NHL.com or The New York Times. Or receiving calls from friends and family, wondering where I was, to which I would often snidely respond, “Fortunately, far away from you.
Even though I’ve had a cell phone for many years, I rarely use it. For me it’s only for emergencies, business calls and emails. But I need to have it with at all times because of “what if?” What if there is an emergency? What if one of my students needs a term paper edited right away? What if my wife needs me to pick up eggs and milk from Safeway?
Recently, I lost my cell phone, which is not new for me. I had just settled in for evening in front of the television to watch some hockey. Then I realized my cell phone was missing – ensue panic mode. What began as a causal search – looking inside of my car, in the kitchen and my bedroom – became a full “cell phone hunt”.
How my poor wife, Baljeet, got caught up in it, I don’t know. But I do remember rambling in a Tommy Lee Jones manner from The Fugitive — “I want a full hard target cell phone search of every gas station, warehouse, farmhouse, outhouse, henhouse and doghouse in a three block radius of where the cell phone was last seen. I want a phone call made to Thrifty’s and TD Canada Trust to see if anyone there has seen ‘said cell phone’, as it was there between the hours of 15:00 and 15:30.”
Baljeet told me the last time I lost my cell phone she had found it in the laundry hamper, so I looked in there first. No luck. I decided to call it to at least get a sense of where it was by the sound of its ring tone (“Don’t You Want Me Baby?” by Human League). While I was calling my phone three or four times, Baljeet was looking in the laundry machine where my workout clothes were being washed, since I had once left my iPod in the washer for a complete cycle. (That’s a story for another time.)
I couldn’t hear my cell phone in any area of the house, so I looked in my car again – no cell phone, but I did find some old receipts from Future Shop that I needed about three months ago to get ten dollars off my PS3 controller, which had gone down in price a few days after I purchased it. Funny how when searching for an object you find so many other things you don’t need.
While looking through all the pockets of each jacket I owned, Baljeet asked from the top of the stairs, “Do you want me to look in the laundry hamper again?” Searching in places for a second time, things had become desperate and I began thinking about someone else with my cell phone making long distance calls to New Zealand. I decided that I would contact my cell phone service provider and ask them to put a hold on any calls.
As I waited for a customer service representative, I looked at my couch and wondered if the phone had fallen in between the cushions. I reached in and sure enough, there was my phone, blinking on and off to tell me that I had six missed calls (Baljeet had called it twice while I was searching the car). At that moment the customer service representative came on the line and asked me how she could help me. After what I had gone through during the previous 30 minutes, I felt like I was beyond help.
Like I said, I remember a day when I didn’t need a cell phone with me at all times. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had various members of my family engage in a similar search as the one previously described. But before you laugh too hard at my antics, I know many of you reading are in the same boat. Raise your hands if you have stopped halfway through your journey and driven back home because you left your cell phone at home.
I thought so.
“My phone lightens my load” Bah Humbug @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
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