Featured Column
Week of 9.26.2005
Oh, how I love my cell phone!
          It used to be that I’d go to my local Starbuck’s, order a decaf cappuccino, buy a copy of the New York Times, grab a seat outside and slurp and read. I wouldn’t leave until I had gone through every page of my favorite newspaper.
          Things are different now. I have a cell phone and I love it. I can’t live without it. I depend on it so much. My cell phone is now my best friend. 
           Now, when I go to my Starbuck’s shop I still order a decaf cappuccino and I still get a copy of the New York Times, but I spend most of the time slurping and fondling my cell phone. Oh, I still turn the pages of the Times, but most of my attention is glued to my cell phone. It’s now my best and closest friend – I call my phone “Celly.”
          Wherever I go “Celly” goes with me.
          When I’m at Starbuck’s I’ll bet I check “Celly” 20-times an hour. I’ve got the ringer set on high, but I still check it ever few minutes just to make sure I don’t miss a call. You see, “Celly” is my connection to life. If I don’t get calls from my friends I start to get depressed because I think they don’t like me. The more calls I get on “Celly” the more important I feel.
          The other day I was driving along the freeway, going about 70-miles an hour, drinking a soda and talking on my cell phone and I felt so good. I was talking to a new cell phone friend of mine, when a car pulled up alongside mine and honked. The guy in the car gave me a dirty look and an obscene symbol just because my car had drifted a little bit into his lane. It didn’t bother me a lot because I was so glad that my new friend had called me. I felt important so the hell with that guy in the car.
          Yesterday I accidently went through a red light on the way to Starbuck’s. I just happened to be talking to an old high school friend and I guess I just got lost in the conversation. Two people honked at me and flipped me the bird, but most of the time things like this don’t happen. Besides, I wasn’t going fast.
          Now, when I got to Albertson’s to do my shopping I can push the cart with one hand and hold “Celly” in the other. It’s a great feeling to be walking down the canned foods aisle and hear my phone ring. I think to myself, “They like me, they really like me.”
          I think people are just jealous when I’m sitting at a nice restaurant and my phone rings. Oh, sure, they give me dirty looks, but I think it’s because they didn’t get a phone call and they’re envious of me. I really think that the more cell phone calls I get the more popular I am.
          Sometimes people give me jealous looks when my phone rings when I’m at Barnes & Noble or Borders. I watch their heads jerk around when it rings. I think those people are jealous too. Maybe they need more friends.
          When I play tennis I put “Celly” right on the bench, next to the court. When it rings (I set it on “loudest”) I stop the game and answer the call. I get some exasperated, dirty looks from the other three guys on the court but I figure that they don’t have many friends either. By the time I hang up and go back on the court those three guys are fuming mad with jealousy. I don’t hear their cell phones ringing.
           My “Celly” is so important that it goes into the bathroom with me. When my cell phone rings I know that someone, someplace considers me important. It’s a wonderful feeling.
           I have a different personality now that I have “Celly.” My best friend is always with me, carried in my left hand wherever I go. I find myself checking my “inbox” every few moments, just to be sure. I wouldn’t want a friend to call me and not connect. What would they think of me?
           Last Tuesday I went to the hospital to visit a friend. He had just had a triple bypass operation two days before. He was still weak and recovering, but when my cell phone rang his cheeks got flushed and his eyes fluttered. He could barely speak. All I could hear him say was, “What the hell…” I didn’t see a cell phone in his room, so I presume he was just envious with me having a friend call me on mine, right there in his hospital room. I have a feeling he was really impressed.
          When I go to bed “Celly” goes with me, right on the nightstand next to me. I won’t turn “Celly” off. Sometimes I get a phone call at 2 o’clock in the morning and I really feel needed and important. Friends are wonderful. I have 79 contacts on my cell phone book.
           Although I don’t actually need it, next week I plan on getting a new cell phone. I’m getting one that takes pictures and connects to the internet. I’m not sure what I’ll name my new friend. How about “Phony.”
Married to a cell phone
      Ron was born in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Southern California and lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for three decades. He attended Inglewood High School and U.C.L.A.. His youthful goal was to become a major league baseball player. In Hawaii Ron played on a series of championship softball teams. He is an active tennis player.
      Ron’s career began at the Inglewood Daily News where as a youngster was enrolled in a publisher training program. He served as an advertising salesman, circulation manager, writer and layout and design staffer. He has been a newspaper publisher at the Oregon City Oregon Enterprise Courier, the Beloit Wisconsin Daily News, the Elizabeth, New Jersey Daily Journal and This Week Magazines (Hawaii).
      Ron lives with his wife, Marilyn, in San Diego, California. His two children, Douglas and Diane also live in the San Diego area. Ron’s interests range far and wide and are reflected in his columns diverse topics.
Ron Cruger