Finley

I was shaking.

My heart was pounding.

I was in great fear.

How could this be happening?

Of what did I fear? Was someone trying to break into our home in the highly religious neighborhood along Saint Andrews Drive with a bazooka?

No, it was WORSE.

I was on an errand that would cover three miles, roundtrip, and … I FORGOT MY CELL PHONE!

NOOOOOO!

I had my carrying case, just not my phone.

You know the feeling, correct? OK, some of you do, don’t you?

It’s come down to this: Home or away, I feel, well, naked without my addictive cell phone. (No mental pictures, please.)

To make matters worse, if that’s possible, it was a wet, rain-soaked, cold, miserable day. What if someone one smashed into me, injuring my Razorback Red Rav? How would I contact Wife Margie?

Guess what? Some idiot almost did. I was truly frightened.

This is what I’ve become in Modern America. Excuse me. This is what WE’VE ALL become in Modern America.

Being oh so careful while driving, my mind leapt back in time, a time when there were no cell phones. It was easier then. Phone someone from your car? Haha.

You remember. At least you should, if you’re a middle-aged, mature humanoid.

We (you and I) would be at some important event many miles from home on a dark, foreboding night. When the function was over, we’d leap into our respective vehicles (we couldn’t all fit into one) and drive to the safety of our homesteads.

No big deal.

Or, hey, we might even be on a long vacation trip and driving overnight. We had to be at grandma and grandpa’s house the next day for their anniversary party.

So off into the night we’d boogie.

No big deal.

Times change. Now it IS a big deal.

There’s no question about the “feeling of safety” cell phones provide. I’m right, right?

Fact is, when they started to become popular about 30 years ago, I think safety was one of the key factors in purchasing one’s first cell. It was nice to know that help was only a phone call away.

That’s really why I bought my first one, although it was an awful looking piece of equipment, unlike today’s sleek, tiny instruments. Today’s phones are more “Brad Pitt.” The old ones were strictly “Michael Moore.”

My first cell came in a pouch roughly the size of an adult lunch pail. It wasn’t all that easy to handle. It pretty much needed to be “charged” all the time.

And you looked pretty dorky carrying it around, not that some of you didn’t look dorky even without a phone. No offense.

After I moved up to a cell phone approximately 5 to 6 inches long (think of today’s regular landline phone, only much heavier), I gave my pouch phone to my sweet, widowed mama, Gigi, and she’d use it –for safety’s sake – when she drove here from Brazoria County to visit.

With this history, you can see why I was horrified when I began a trip to the Clinton F. Greenwood Harris County Courthouse Annex and discovered I’d left my cell at home. How could that happen?

I could blame my ineptitude on my usual excuse – not paying attention – but actually, it was the fault of Woody and Joy Walker.

After I had my knee replaced by Dr. Kevin Horn, who apparently used a machete, the Walkers “loaned” me a bicycle device you place on the ground and pedal. So I was doing my knee exercise and laid my phone on our television stand an arm’s length away.

When finished, I got dressed and headed for the courthouse … FORGETTING MY PHONE on the TV stand.

It’s the Walkers’ fault, then, because I’ve kept their “bike” for 29 months and failed to return it, and they’ve haven’t reported me to the police. So their bike was the distraction.

Elsewise, I would’ve had my cell phone with me. No harm, no foul, no fear.

 

Jim Finley is a retired managing editor of The Sun. He can be reached at viewpoints@baytownsun.com, Attention: Jim Finley.

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