Death of a Cell Phone


I plugged my cell in to charge it Monday night and nothing happened.
No little charger light.  The battery symbol showed half the charge gone. I know a dire situation when I see one.
Tuesday morning I called our purchasing department. “Peg, do you have an extra charger lying around for a Motorola Razr?”
She caught the desperation in my voice. A half hour later Gardi, the campus mailman delivered a charger. I plugged it in. The screen read, “Unauthorized charger.”
What the hell! What insidious bastard bent on the worst form of torture could invent an “unauthorized charger?”
I was beside myself. The 40-minute drive to work was bad enough knowing I had maybe only an hour left on my cell. Now I sat at my desk staring at my dying companion, knowing there was nothing I could do but let it quietly, painlessly, expire.
I called Peg in Purchasing  again. “Peg, my cell is dying and I’m not doing too well, either.  The charger is unauthorized.  The life support system failed.” She understood. We’re allowed a new cell every two years.
“Am I eligible?” I asked in a voice that I noticed was sounding more breathy and raspier as the clocked ticked toward my cell’s demise.
Yes, she said. Sometimes in this business you have to make quick decisions No time for vacillation. I placed my order.
I took some deep breaths, felt my empty pocket where my cell had nestled for two years. The new phone wouldn’t be in until Thursday. I could make it, I told myself.  Somehow. . ..
In the bathroom mirror, the deepening shadows under my eyes said it was going to be a tough battle.
Cell phones change one’s habits more than we realize. My office phone rang. Most of the times it’s a sales rep so I usually let them leave a message.  Only people close to me have my cell number.
On the few occasions that the university president calls me, she calls my cell. I realized that she couldn’t do this now and that I’d have to more closely monitor incoming calls on this 20th century fossil whose mouthpiece is anchored to a box with a springy cord!
I couldn’t leave a message to the admissions director and tell him to just call my cell.

I couldn’t take calls in my car which has a built-in Blue tooth.

I couldn’t make a couple quick calls while walking across campus.
Life as I’ve known it for more than a decade was now moving Back to the Future minus Christopher Lloyd.

I realized how close I had become to it these past two years and at the same time taken it for granted.
God, I missed that little silver beast.
That night it struck me that I had two years’ worth of phone numbers programmed into it. I opened it just as it started a slow beep:  “Power low.”
It was telling me, in a quiet farewell message,  that  it would soon be dead.
I quickly started yanking the numbers off.  A few moments after I pulled the last number it quietly left this world.  I stared at it and ran my fingers in a goodbye caress across its sleek silver chassis.

I’ll miss you Motorola Razr.

But not for long.

Tomorrow I pick up my new Blackberry!

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3 responses to “Death of a Cell Phone

  1. So now you’re a CrackBerry addict, right?

  2. That’s a great story! It just shows how quickly and firmly technologies grab us. Once we’re hooked there’s no turning back. Glad you didn’t have to attend the dead cellphone support meeting on campus 🙂

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