‘Bad Coverage’ from the upcoming collection (’09?) Crass Menagerie

February 8, 2007

     As promised to my Big Words bimonthly email newsletter group (which you can subscribe to for free by emailing me at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading), here is a brand new rant that I wrote for my 6th book about cell phones.  After my guest apppearance on The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal, I was inspired to pound this one out.  I’ll be going back on the show next Wednesday (Valentine’s Day) and the show should be up on the Monday following, so keep checking the official Hal site at:


     If you haven’t heard it yet, my blind rant on Episode 21 was a rollercoaster ride of expletives and psychotic fury.  The listener response has been fantastic so far, so don’t miss out.  My segment comes on somewhere around the 90th minute, but the rest of the show is fantastic, too.  It’s a great podcast with top notch production values chock full of hilarious segments, so don’t miss the boat on this one.  I like the Uncle Hal show better than Opie and Anthony at this point.  Believe it.  Anyhow, here’s the new rant:

Bad Coverage

     People need to stop using cell phones right this instant. They’re unnecessary, they’re annoying to everyone in public, they’re a danger when people use them without mandated headsets behind the wheel (which is all the time), and in less than a full life cycle of interaction, results are inconclusive as to whether or not they promote cancerous growths in the human brain. I can’t stand cell phones. Could you tell? Cell phones have single-handedly destroyed public etiquette over the last fifteen years along with the baseball cap, chewing gum and unruly children. All four instances in public should be exterminated on sight.

I will never own one because on the rare occasion three or four times a year when I need to talk to someone right away while I’m out and about, I’ll just turn to the person next to me and borrow theirs. This is amusing to everyone involved as it takes me an inordinate amount of time to figure out a)how to flip the contraption open, b)where to dial the numbers and make sure that they actually got punched in, and c)how to send the message and hang up when I’m done. I can never tell how loud I am on a cell phone so I end up screaming into the mouthpiece and deafening the person on the other end, and the technology is still so bad that I can’t bear to listen to the feedback and the echoes that reverberate through the call.

Nothing in anyone’s life is important enough to warrant talking out loud to someone else in public, be it in a grocery store line, walking around in a store, at a club, during a concert, or otherwise. Ninety five percent of the cell phone conversations going on in the world at any given time are completely moot and revolve around inane small talk that shouldn’t be taking place anyhow, so save your breath, your minutes and my patience and stop now. If I see another couple that’s too impersonal to shop together sharing list notes in tandem grocery/hardware/houseware aisles on their cell phones when I’m shopping, I’m going to wrench the phone out of their hand and bomb a pass down the cereal aisle with it. How rude can you be? Why don’t you take the rest of the world into consideration when you’re shooting your mouth off about nothing in particular and the rest of us have to put up with it? If I have to listen to one more pampered college kid chuckling to himself and recounting the previous evening’s events to one of his homeys when I’m out and about, I’ll rip the baseball hat off their head, punch the phone onto the floor and pop them in the face. Try chuckling when you’re missing the top half of your teeth, tough guy.

Wanna take a picture? Buy a goddamned camera so that your shots don’t look like they were taken with a half mega pixel piece of shit. Nobody wants to see the worse resolution possible. If I wanted to see some crappy, hazy picture, I’d do two doubles of whiskey and look at you, not a half inch muddy screen on somebody’s cell phone. Take your cell phone pictures and shove them up your ass. Wanna listen to music? Buy an Ipod and join the legion of teenage idiots who are incapable of listening to an album from start to finish. Cell phone companies want us to believe that they’ve created a swiss army knife of convenience when in actuality they’re selling us a jack of all trades and a master of none. Why buy one item that works proficiently when you can buy a cheap plastic piece of shit that performs twenty eight tasks poorly? For three dollars a month and another fifty seven in state and local taxes, you can have an awful cell phone with bad reception that dumps out in tunnels, a horrible camera that takes pictures that are blurrier than your aunts glaucoma, an mp3 player that stores up to and including four and one half songs, and a video player that crashes every five minutes?

If I see you in a fancy restaurant shooting your mouth of to someone who’s not there, you get a free punch in the head. It’s a promotion I’m running for Tom Wireless. For five dollars a month, you get no cell phone, no hidden fees and no other obligations for each successive month. If you want to talk to someone, you’ll have the good sense to invite that person out with you or call them from the comfort and privacy of your own phone without bothering me. The first three hundred people to sign up will get an extra punch in the head for each additional cell phone call they make within earshot of what I’m trying to do. Don’t bother other people with your nonsense, your shitty anecdotes, your awful syntax and enunciation skills, or your lack of an indoor voice. Take it outside like every other tactless moron who goes to Buffalo Wild Wings. Every time I drive by one of those places, there’s a small herd of bad businessmen and spoiled college kids in baseball caps standing outside, pacing and running up their minutes on their cell phones. You know what, though? I prefer that over having to listen to it right next to me when I’m having a good time.

When I go out, I talk to the people who are with me or if I go out alone I make new friends and strike up a conversation with whoever’s around. I prefer live conversation. I guess I’m old fashioned that way. I don’t get together with people in restaurants and bars so that I can ignore them for twenty minutes at a clip running my mouth to some idiot on the other end of a mouth piece. I don’t disrupt the natural flow of an evening’s concert or movie by holding a phone aloft and showing the people who didn’t show up what a great time I’m pretending to have while ignoring the evening at the same time. Fuck cell phones and fuck the people who depend on them. That’s my ruling, it’s all encompassing, and it’s final.

In ten year’s time, I will literally be the last man on earth without a cellular device, be it a text messenger, a cell phone, or a hybrid all in one device. If someone wants to talk to me, they can talk to my answering machine at home and nine times out of ten I won’t call back. If they need to text me, they can do so via email and that’s my fastest response time. My favorite conversations are the silent ones that I control on the internet and respond to when I get around to them. In ten years, everyone will have bloated, malignant cancer heads lending the general public an elephant man type visage, and I’ll be cancer free because I haven’t had a cell phone spot welded to my head constantly. I would rather have no friends than a symbiotic relationship with them via a wireless device. If you can’t have the good manners to talk to me in person, then leave a message in my mailbox. It’s located in the pouch directly below my penis. Due to unusually high volume, the response time is three to four years. Thank you for calling Tom Wireless.

Knocking down coverage towers under cover of night,

Tom ‘analog’ Waters

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