Long, long ago in a different, distant bay when Granny was teaching decorum and deportment, it was behaviour most boorish to stand around with your hands shuffed to the wrist knucks in your trousers’ pockets.
Such idle, vulgar stance was open, foolhardy invitation for Granny to deliver a disciplinary clout to your noggin—Smack!
“Get your hands out of your pockets and straighten up, you look like a heathen,” was Granny’s instruction.
Almost without exception, only loutish, uncouth boys felt the punishing wrath of Granny’s scrubbing-board knuckles. After all, so long ago young and virtuous maidens, skirts ‘a skirling, had yet to be dressed in long pants.
When coarse behaviour tipped towards unseemly practice, Granny adjusted her commandment accordingly: “Young man!”—Smack!—“Stop fiddling with your hands in your pockets!”—Smack!
Just days ago, while restlessly biding my time in a Wal-Mart line-up, I thought Granny’s times had come again—kinda.
“Harry, my heedless Honey,” said Dearest Duck, nudging me, not smacking me, “be careful what you’re doing with your hands reeved in your pockets.”
My usually admirable poise was shaken. I was staggered, taken aback.
“Wha…?” I managed to say, gob-smacked.
“Mind your phone,” said Dearest Duck, nodding at my concealed and restless fingers.
I whipped my right hand free, waggled my fingers in Dearest’s face, assuring her they’d done no wrong.
Yet, p’raps, I’d been a finger-tap away from inadvertently committing civic crime.
Belatedly, my close call sent a shudder down my spine.
Resilient Reader, do you know of what I speak and its connection to the cell-i-phones of the title?
I wouldn’t have known except Dearest Duck mentioned it to me shortly after Daddy’s Girl persuaded me to purchase an iPhone—I’m not even going to say iPad—saying, “It’ll allow you to share Face Time with Pop’s Girls. Think how sweet that would be.”
Daddy’s Girl explained.
Grandfather guilt is a powerful motivator. I hie-dee-hoed off to Mr. Mobility’s shop and bought an iPhone.
Later in the evening, I was ensconced in my Lay-Z-Boy brand new cell-i-phone [silly phone!?] in hand. My mug of herbal tea stood ignored and cooling on an end table, I was that engrossed in stroking and tapping all the wee magic icons on the phone’s display.
“Be careful you don’t accidentally dial 911,” said Dearest Duck from her nearby rocker.
I hoped my look in response to her caution said, “Do you think I’m stund?”
“It happens,” said Dearest Duck. “It’s called pocket dialing. Well, it is when the phone is accidentally dialed while in your pocket.”
“Or in your purse,” she added before I had a chance to say a word.
“Purse dialing,” I mouthed, stroke-tap-stroking the icons, tickling my enchanting iPhone into giggling merry ting-ting-tingling sounds, almost like a happy child chortling.
“Pocket dialing is getting to be a problem,” said Dearest Duck, “as more and more people have fancy phones with programmed hot-keys, or whatever they’re called.”
“People are accidentally going online and driving up their cell-i-phone bills.”
[Dearest Duck didn’t say “cell-i-phones.” I said that trying to be funny.]
“Worse than costing themselves loonies, people are sometimes calling 911 without knowing it. You can imagine the trouble that’s causing.”
“Harry! Stop fiddling with your phone and pay attention.”
“My Duck,” said I as my cell-i-phone’s cheery chortling ceased. “There’s no 911 response out around the bay. Sure, I could croak here in my chair, my perishing fingers jabbing at our touch tone’s keypad.”
“True for your landline,” said Dearest Duck, “but your cell-i-phone [!] will connect with a 911 number somewhere. That’s what they say anyway.”
Dearest Duck droned on.
My face and eyes assured Dearest Duck I listened attentively, as I should, while my ever-inquisitive mind wondered if my magnificent cell-i-phone could download Angry Birds.
And so our evening passed…or something.
Now you can understand why—Granny’s age-old training not withstanding—you should never ever, especially in public places, stand visible, or hidden behind a garment rack for that matter, with your fidgety fingers shuffed way down deep in your pockets.
Thank you for reading. Be mindful of pocket dialing.