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What not to say on your cellphone

Don’t call me anymore to ask, ‘Did you bring my laundry upstairs?’

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“Mom, you need to get a new toy for the dog. He’s really bored,” says my son over the cellphone.

“Why are you calling me about the dog at this exact moment?” I ask, frantically searching through piles of marked-down dresses at Nordstrom Rack. “Get back to your 10 hours of homework.”

Five minutes later, I hear my daughter’s voice, “What’s for dinner?” she asks, as I maneuver my little red Honda out of the parking lot. “Mom, I hate that stuff.” Click.

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that the quality of cellphone conversations is deteriorating? But before you can say, “Oh, no, not another cellphone story,” I bet you
get three phone calls: No. 1. Will you pick something up? No. 2. Will you tell someone where something is? No. 3. Will you settle an argument between No 1. and No 2?

Last Saturday at Costco, while considering the purchase of a 50-pound bag of broccoli florets, I saw a woman looking at a 20-pound bag of sausage. “Honey,” she says over her cell, “will you run to the basement freezer and let me know how much sausage we have left?”

I pictured her husband listening to one of those educational CDs. You know the kind I mean. Harvard professors lecturing on black holes and molecular biology. And just as this poor guy is about to grasp the concept of String Theory, he gets the call about the sausage.

Fortunately, my husband, a Greek and Latin scholar, will sometimes pepper a conversation with some exciting new research on the Peloponnesian Wars. But mostly his cellphone calls revolve around one topic: toilet paper ... picking some up.

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