Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Laws of Irony No Longer Apply

I'm one of those people who still believes in the old fashioned value that a cellphone exists to make a telephone call to someone else. They shouldn't be used for browsing the Web, listening to music, or snapping a grainy photo. I'll accept that some amount of gaming may be acceptable, but only as a means of deflecting the responsibilities of parenthood in key situations.

Fact is, I've carried a cellphone for only the last few years. This is my begrudging acceptance that I need to be available to my family at all times. It's just that way with the crazy schedules we have.

Today, I learned I might be wrong in my cellphone philosophy.

On a lunchtime trip to a local mall (Whiteoaks, for all you Londoners) I saw something that Made Me Believe. I wish to (insert your deity) that I could have taken a photo. I really do. But because my cellphone clings to my misguided, old fashioned values - you'll have to settle for the thousand words in place of a picture.

She's a Mennonite (maybe Amish?) lady at the mall. She's on the far side of middle-aged. She's dressed completely in black: long woolen skirt, blouse, heavy shawl, heavy-looking woolen bonnet. I'm assuming she's there to shop.

She's talking on a cellphone.

Correction: She's talking very quickly, in some Germanic tongue, on a cellphone.

Further correction: She's talking into the cellphone loudly and excitedly - occasionally pulling it away from her ear to stare at it. She turns it over. She turns it around. She goes back to to her excited German-ish conversation.

I walk by, trying not to be too overt with my stare, but it's much too out-of-place to ignore. It's actually fascinating to watch this person in an apparent verbal deathmatch with technology that, by rights, she shouldn't have.

I wonder about this in silence. Why is she here? Who is she talking to? Where is this other person? How did she come to have this cellphone? Who was the salesperson that sold it to her? What was going in his head?

Later in my trip, in another part of the mall, I encountered what I would assume to be her kin: a teenaged boy and an middle-aged gentleman. They're both dressed in heavy black woolens and flat-brimmed hats; both speaking something vaguely German.

Guess what. They had a cellphone, too.

5 comments:

Sheena said...

White bun bumper or Black bun bumper. Sometime I confuse my Mennonites and my Hutterites.

I no longer have a "home phone". I makes no sense to me. Why would anybody want to call my house when it's me or the leg-over companion they want to talk to. Why does my house need a phone when it can't talk?

Crazylegs said...

Well, the song says, "what our apartment does when we're not around does not concern us". I have no idea what this means, but maybe your house needs a phone?

Think it's time to head to the pub.

Kid Dork said...

Okay, I'm no expert, but I think Mennonite has a far more lenient approach to technology than the Amish.

Then again, everything I know I learned from watching 'Witness', so what the hell do I know?

Aragorn was Amish. I saw him in that movie, so it must be true.

Anonymous said...

Kid dork is right, Mennonites have a very relaxed view on technology. And it depends on sect as well.

In any case, its a very neat story and something you wouldn't get to see everyday.

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