Bah, cell phones. I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and it sure seems like everybody has one. I know that’s not true: cell phones cost money, and that doesn’t flow free for everyone. Buuut you can get a phone at the flea market or yard sale for cheap (or free from a friend who’s upgraded – beware the locked-to-a-network phone) and also, you can ‘pay as you go’, as opposed to ‘use and then pay’.
So, most people around here have cell phones, including me. I left my land line phone # at my last house of roommates – a phone # which I’ve carried from home to home with me since 1998. That’s when I lived briefly in Kits, the end of the era where the first 3 digits of the phone number was related to where in the city your phone was attached. Like with a CORD. Because even cordless phones had cords – from the base to the wall. Since then, phone systems have changed and prefixes have nothing to do with location – though Telus still lives in the Boot, near Boundary and Kingsway – you can see it from the Skytrain if you look south between Joyce and Patterson Stations). But I digress. A few times.
So my cell phone was acting funny. I suspected its demise was near. But who knew when? Surely, later. Not now…and then, it refused to turn on again. Which rendered it useless and left me without phone device suddenly. I could only hope that nothing out there was urgent. Because, I realized, I was kind of cut off. I live in an apartment building, with no front porch. No front door opportunity. There is yell-up-to-the-2nd-floor opportunity, but it’s not for the shy or the lazy. I also have no land line. There are phones I could borrow, for the most urgent uses…but I am used to having my own portable text mssg box/telephone. I like that I can think of a person, want to tell or ask something, and I can just send a quick text mssg. I like that I can be in touch with friends the other side of the world at the same time as I’m at work. I like that I can make plans at the last minute, and that I can communicate with close peeps without leaving the lineup to go the pay phone, wherever that may be. Cuz there ain’t as many around in this city. Cell phones have edged out some of the usefulness of the pay phone box…and I have a hard time thinking of where there actually IS one around here.
Do you know the location of your nearest pay phone? Usually at gas stations. Definitely not as many as there used to be around….before cell phones. And many remaining phone booths are not looking so good, or like they work at all. And remember the country song lyric ‘here’s a quarter, call someone who cares?’…well it will now take you two darn quarters to make that local call. Dang.
I guess I will buy a new cell phone.