Sometime in the mid 70’s America was reeling from a collective cocaine hangover, staggering through a national morning of regret and worry, trying desperately to remember what it did at the disco the night before. After a period of mournful staring in the mirror and few requisite repetitions of, “I’m never drinking again,” the nation bumbled out the front door looking for a rural renewal.
Fortunately for everyone, it didn’t last long, and the country was back in the disco doing lines in the bathroom with some backup singer from Change, but not before we got saddled with the horrible burden of the CB radio craze of 1977. For a little while everyone was calling everyone else, “Rubber Ducky,” and “Good Buddy.” It was magical in that sort of moonshine swilling, big hat wearing, klan meeting sort of way.
Here, now, some twenty five years later, we’re back at it again. Thanks to a little company called Nextel, were reliving the cultural nightmare all over again. In my mind, everyone who owns one of these two way radio/phones/idiot sticks really just wants to be a trucker out on the lonely highway.
I’m sure they’ve got a use. Who doesn’t want to have a walkie talkie? Really now. Remember when you were a kid and your parents bought you that five dollar set from K-Mart and you and your brother tromped around through the neighborhood pretending to be Viet Cong, aiming to purify your socialist ideology through the cauterization of live combat? Maybe that was just us.
But today, as grownups and non-truckers, there is absolutely no reason for two way radios to exist. What can these things do that regular cell phones can’t do? I can just see the product development brain storming session now:
“OK, so here’s the idea, even though we have cell phones, we’re going to take a step backwards and market two way radios.”
“Think about it, instead of having a conversation, like a normal person, you can press a button, and only one of you can talk at a time.”
“And the best part? This all happens over a speaker phone, so that everyone around you can hear what you’re talking about, at near jet engine level decibals.”
“Let’s make out.”
A couple of months ago I was in New Jersey seeing a movie with my girlfriend, her brother and her sister. It was perhaps the most comical experience I’ve ever had at a movie theater mainly because of all the stupid things that people were doing in the surrounding seats. I’ll just mention that someone right next to me broke out some chinese food, and someone threatened to beat up a giggling teenage girl, enough said.
But the one that absolutely takes the cake is that just after the previews stopped rolling and we were starting in on the feature presentation, I heard it, that dreadful little sound.
or is it,
You know that sound. That annoying little tone that means you’re about to be on the receiving end of a way-too-loud nextel call. I could hear everyone in the audience let out a collective sigh of anger.
“Yo man, you there?”
“Yeah, I’m in a movie, bro.” (Please note he used the word “Bro.” People who habitually use the word “Bro” AND use Nextels are way up on my list for prejudicial sterilization when I take over the world.)
“Oh alright, call me later.”
“Nah bro, it’s alright, what’s up?”
I swear to God. We got to listen to a five minute conversation between some white trash guy named Scooter and his friend, “Bro” about how some chick wouldn’t put out after the semi-formal. Eventually all the shouting and harassment from other understandably enraged moviegoers helped convince Scooter and Bro to end their little speaker phone tryst.
What goes on in people’s minds that makes them think that other people would either a) Be interested in whatever you and your buddy are talking about, b) Not mind that you’re talking about it.
I’m assuming I’m right in guessing that anyone who owns one of these things suffers from acute narcissism and delusions of grandeur. How else can you explain wanting everyone in your immediate surrounding to listen to you and some dude from a record store wax poetic about the genius of the new Ludacris remix?
Here’s the tall and short of the whole tall and short of it. If you’re not a trucker, you’ve got no reason to have a two way radio. If you use it in public, you’re not only not a trucker, but you’re also an idiot.
So unless we’re willing to start back up with that whole CB radio craze, and someone wants to start calling me Rubber Ducky or Bandit, I suggest we militarize and start trashing these little hellish devices on sight. Cause I don’t know about you, but I’d rather America stay in the disco, that dude from Change said he’d meet us there.