Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Fun with Text Messaging.

I really don't like cellphones. There's no real reason for it, or at least none that other people would understand, I just hate the damned things. I think it's a combination of the fact that I don't much like talking on phones to begin with, and that year when I had to carry a cell nearly constantly so my boss could find me in a pinch.

Before you get too impressed by how important I was, I should point out that my boss was a gargantuan mass of flesh with the leadership ability of a jar of mayonnaise. No, wait, sorry, mayonnaise doesn't actually MAKE you want to kill yourself, so I guess my boss was operating at a sub-mayonnaise level. In any case, he used my electronic leash for such vital tasks as calling me on a Saturday night to find out if he should e-mail my officemate to remind him that we had a big project due on Monday. He then, some hours later, called me back to let me know that he (my boss) had e-mailed my officemate to let him know about the big project. That my officemate already had his part of the project done, had told my boss this on Friday, and was senior to me (Technically. Realistically, nobody was senior to anybody at that job except for the monkey-demon who ran the place) did nothing to add to my pleasure at these events.

So, basically, I've learned to hate and fear cellphones. This makes it all the more amusing to me that I now, as a grad student who isn't selling drugs or pimping out runaways or anything, actually have another cellphone. I have a good defense, however, which is this: my family misses me.

No, seriously, they do. Trust me, it's as amazing a revelation to me as anyone else. I can only assume that with distance comes a tendency to forget what I'm really like. So, when my mother renewed her wireless plan, which she uses primarily to talk to her sister in Cleveland, she availed herself of the opportunity to get a second phone for free and put it on the same plan. The first I knew of all this was when I opened a package from home, expecting a ceramic armadillo candle holder (I seriously got this for Christmas one year. Actually, my sister and I each got one piece in a matched set. After considerable discussion, we still have no idea what our mother was thinking) or something similar, and instead found a brand new cellphone.

Once I stopped screaming in utter horror, I called my folks on a regular normal phone and was given the news. Now, all this presented me with quite a dilemma. On the one hand, as I stated before, I really loathe these friggin things. On the other hand, free long-distance IS free long-distance and I have an innate love of tinkering with gadgets.

So, bowing to my parents' transparent bid for more frequent calls home, I kept the cellphone. I even began carrying it with me to the office (as opposed to what I did initially which was plug it into the charger and kick it under my bed) so that a friend of mine who was going through a rough spot ("rough" in this case defined as, "breaking up with his manipulative, clinical fiancee") could get through to me if he needed to talk. As expected, while I have found this thing to be occasionally convenient, I really regard it with thinly veiled contempt. Wait, did I say 'thinly veiled?' I meant 'totally obvious.'

It therefore came as a surprise to me this weekend when I learned that this dreaded object can be a source of amusement. See, as it turns out, this thing is capable of text messaging. Now, why you would use THIS thing for text messaging as opposed to, say, a BlackBerry is beyond me. Yet, still, it appears that people do use phones like this for messaging. I found this out because I received two very exciting messages that I'm going to share with you today. The first arrived at 8:01 PM on the 11th of this month from one Kristen Beck:

This is parents might not be here when you come over tonight :)

"Indeed!" I thought in response, "Her parents might be elsewhere!" My mind swirled with the possibilities. What might we do to take advantage of her parents' absence? Then, of course, I remembered that anyone who still has their parents for roommates is probably far too young to be interesting to me. Yet, the subtle promise in the message was flattering for all that it wasn't meant for me. So devious, so alluring, such a nicely understated message! Yet, I was to be disappointed as another message arrived at 8:02 PM from Ms. Beck:

So sleeping together might be possible lol

Alas, the subtle promise of the earlier message had been cast aside in favor of a blunt suggestion. It reminded me of nothing so strongly as an episode of the television program Blind Date that my roomie and I had watched. In this episode, a woman commented to her date that her friend had been having "Lots and lots of sex with this guy... if you know what I mean." Indeed. How could I possibly not know what you mean, unless I simply don't speak the English language? Similarly, I'd say Ms. Beck rather made her intentions almost disappointingly plain. Where's the mystery? Where's the romance? Where's the seduction? Hell, where are her parents?

In all fairness, however, I DO have to give young Kristen credit for one thing: at least her spelling was more or less normal. I mean, I've grown somewhat accustomed to going online and seeing nothing but "leet speak," which would have made her second message look something like this:

$0 $133PiNg +0g3+h3r mi+3 b3 p0$$ib13 101

I'm sure you see my point.

So, while I still don't like cellphones, perhaps I can at least look forward to more stunning text messages from people who don't actually know me, but are offering sex anyway. It should be a nice change from all those people who do know me but don't offer sex.

For which, in the vast majority of cases, I am truly grateful.


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