Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pocket Dialing

By A.J. Llewellyn

I'm currently working on "Peridot Dreams" in which my protagonist, Konu, a 500-year old Tahitian wizard, is sent from the spirit world to modern Waikiki to help in the centuries-old war between good and evil. He has tremendous trouble with modern conveniences. Things like flushing toilets, light switches and cell phones confound him.
I'm discovering he's not the only one.
How many times have you picked up your ringing cell phone to hear a series of random, ambient noises....vague chattering, traffic, indistinguishable conversation, only to find whoever called you probably did it by accident?
And I don't know about you but these accidental calls can be damned hard to get rid of. I've ended the call, picked up the phone a few minutes later only to find the line tied up with someone else's gibberish.
In the good ol' days, stationary phones didn't have minds of their own. They didn't embarrass you by calling people you didn't really want to speak to.
And I wouldn't mind being pocket dialed - yes, this strange phenomena even has a name - if the strange, echoey sounds on the other end were kinda interesting.
I've listened sometimes to try and figure out if somebody really is trying to contact me or to see if their conversation holds any fascination and let me tell you, most people are damned BORING!
I did some screenplay critiquing work for an actress three years ago. It was a horrible experience. She'd written a dreadful screenplay and flailed about like a drunken dolphin as I tried to help her improve her work. Instead she ran out of here in screaming tears.
And she's been pocket dialing me ever since.
Her calls come in at inopportune times. She must be a bit of a party girl. She always seems to call me around midnight. And her conversations with whoever she's driving with would have you snoring in your salad.
My friend Greg's cell phone called me 14 times the other night. I didn't want to wonder what he was doing to nudge his pocket that it decided to call me every twenty seconds.
It drives me nuts.
I rarely use my cell phone so I don't call anybody unwittingly, or pocket-wise. As a five year old growing up in Australia, we used to think the odd prank call was the bomb. I've learned my lesson, trust me...but I think cell phones' inner five-year olds need a time out.
After all, it can get expensive for the dialer and I'm sure, sometimes for the dialee, if he/she has left their cell phone on. These pocket-dialed calls don't end quickly. They go on and on and on...
Pocket dialing also has other potential hazards for those who make them.
A dear friend of mine overheard her husband's entire, sex-talk filled conversation with a woman he'd met online. She was aghast, he was in denial and last I heard they were in therapy.
Another friend I know told me her cell phone bill skyrocketed when her darn phone chose to keep reaching out to her brother in Tokyo. Repeatedly.
I am filled with angst about this because last night my niece Eleanna came to stay and her parents pocket-dialed us. She answered the phone and looked at me.
"I thunk my parents are having sex," she said.
"Really?" I grabbed the receiver and listened. Just to be sure, you know. Ahem.
They were. It made me smile. Go Daddies! Her two horny fathers were having sex in their car. And I will never let them live it down...lol
But how about you? Are you a dialer or a dialee? Does it bother you? Or should I just shut up, grab a pocket and dial?

Aloha oe,



DC Juris said...

My cell phone has a feature where you can lock the keyboard, and it won't dial anything until you unlock it, which requires a code be punched in. I don't buy cell phones without that feature for this very reason! LOL

KC Burn said...

I used to have a boss who would wake up in the middle of the night and leave mostly incoherent instructions on my work voice mail. Unfortunately, she also used to pocket dial as well. I had to listen to each and every pocket dial in case it was an intentional, middle of the night call with instructions. GAH!!

Silver Pixies said...

*snickers* Been both... But the worst of it was my phone would Dial 911 while i was working at wal-mart in the Deli and i am damn sure they got an earful of crap they shouldnt have.. they would always call me right back though and ask if i was ok.. I now only get phones i can lock the keypad on for that very reason

Julz said...

I don't usually pocket dial myself. but I do get them. Both of my sons have been known to pocket dial me. Luckily my phone has a slide and the keys lock by themselves. It is the only kind I will get now. And before it was a flip phone so I didn't have to worry about it then either.

Usually it doesn't bother me. I don't get them that often. Guess I am pretty easy going and just take it in stride.

Lisa Cunningham said...

My husband usually pocket dials my work number, which leaves a long message with him talking to someone or on his other phone. I have to listen to the whole message before I can delete it. Most of the time, I can understand anything he says.

Serena Yates said...

What a great post, AJ! I don't have a cell phone - now I know why. :-)

DH Starr said...

I am more of a dialer primarily because I'm running around all the time and my belt clip broke a few weeks back and I haven't replaced it yet. My phone sits in my pocket and when I forget to lock it so it won't dial, the unfortunate soul who I called last gets called again.

Oh, and I love the butt-dial as well.

Gabby-Lily Raines said...

Haven't been pocket-dialed myself, but......since the purse pocket I have the phone in tends to get tossed about a bit, I set the number lock thingamabob on - problem solved. I usually keep that on unless I am going to be specifically calling someone.