I was in a theater the other day when a woman’s cell phone rang. (Don’t worry, lady. That announcement was only intended for less important people. Besides, it was only the first act, and exposition’s boring, right?)
Point is, she had one of those ringtones that replicate the sound of an old fashioned rotary phone. This tone amused me the first 100 times I heard it, because I pictured confused teenagers with “OMG, what’s that?” thought balloons over their heads. But now the joke is old, and the tone’s starting to grate.
When this woman’s phone went off, in the middle of the show I’d spent half a year working on, I wanted to frog march her out of the theater. Yet because I wasn’t raised by wolves, I knew this wasn’t the wisest response. Besides, I would end up causing more of a distraction than her damn phone did in the first place.
Instead, I waited until intermission, then told her she’s been exiled to Annoying Island, to live out her days with time share salesmen, the turn signal averse, people who chew with their mouths open and those who chuck “I know, right?” into every conversation. Well, no I didn’t. I had a pack of M & M’s with a Diet Coke chaser. That showed her.
But back to that annoying ring tone. Why stop at 1950′s technology? If you’re going to get in the WABAC Machine, why not go all the way? Or, if you’ll permit me to switch from a Rocky and Bullwinkle to a Spinal Tap metaphor, does Nigel Tufnel set his amp to three? Not when it goes to eleven, he doesn’t.**
That’s why I developed my new ringtone. When I get a call, I hear the footsteps of an ancient Grecian messenger (I mean one from ancient Greece, not an extremely elderly messenger; that’d be crazy) who runs up, panting, unrolls a scroll, announces “It’s for you,” and drops dead at my feet.
Then your message plays, so it better be important. Because you basically killed the messenger.
** Did I lose you there? Sorry. I’m not so good with the linear thought.Sherman and Mr. Peabody enter the WABAC machine ca. 1960 to witness another time and place in history. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)