1) I now carry a little machine with me to which I am willing to give my immediate attention whenever it bleats. You can make it bleat. Do not abuse this power. Remember: It is very easy to get on my mental ‘Regularly Calls For No Reason’ list, but it is very hard to get off that list.
2) It is not permitted to initiate a call and then behave as though I initiated the call. I regularly have phone conversations with an unnamed person to whom I am reasonably certain I could successfully donate bone marrow that go like this:
Me: What’s up?
Caller: Nada. What’s up with you?
Me: Um, you called me.
3) A telephone is a tool for exchanging useful information. My father is a perfect telephone user:
Dad: Hi. An airplane crashed on my house, and I have to sign some things. Can we move our tee time to eleven-fifteen?
Dad: Everything else good?
Me: Yes. You?
Dad: Yes. See you in an hour.
4) That you can now call me and notify me that you will be thirty minutes late does not mean that it is now generally acceptable to be thirty minutes late. Mom.
5) If I do not answer the phone when you call, the correct response is to leave a voicemail. Hanging up on the voicemail and immediately redialing to make the phone ring again will result in the swift imposition of sanctions.
6) The burden of remembering the codephrase that subtly communicates present inability to speak freely is on you. Here’s the codephrase I’ll be using: “I can’t talk right now.” If I employ this codephrase, getting annoyed at me for refusing to share my end of the conversation with the rest of the airport/traincar/elevator is prohibited.
7) I understand nothing about cellphone finance except for the unquestionable fact that I am getting boned on the bill worse than anyone else in America, which leaves me, rage-wise, permanently just below the ‘Donald Duck’ threshold. For the general good of everyone, discussing cellphone finance with me is forbidden under all circumstances.
8) I have successfully ducked the march of technology for years. This does not mean I am unhappy to have a phone now. Circumstances change, and the phone is a price I am willing to pay. However: My tolerance for talking about how I ‘finally’ got a cellphone is going to be low. One of the first thirty times I hear comedy on the order of “Hey, welcome to 1997!” will be met with a violent response. I have already chosen which one. Remember this when my phone rings and you’re feeling especially clever.