Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6/29/2010 Incommunicado

I do not hold my hand to my ear to talk on phones, ever. I haven't for years. Not home phones, cell phones, or work phones. I have a cordless headset at home, a headset at work, and an earpiece for my cellphone in my car. The whole crooking-your-neck-thing -- not me, no way, no how.

This is the major reason I don't carry a cell phone -- with a close second being that rarely have pockets that fit a phone, and even if I did, I don't want a phone in them. But even if I did find a way to physically carry the phone, I wouldn't want to talk on it by holding it to my ear. I'm not going to carry a headset around with me, no one does that unless they truly are on the phone all day and have a Bluetooth parked on them all day.

I talk on my cell phone a lot -- exclusively in the car, and exclusively while driving. Say what you will about that, but I challenge any talking-while-driving foe to demonstrate how my talking to my mother, while looking around at everything around me, is in any way more dangerous or distracting than having my three children in the back of the car. I'm here to tell you: the boys fighting right behind me, me looking at them in the mirror, twisting around to take something, reaching back to smack someone, turning around to issue an order one last time, Katrina shrieking... Joe Simitian, where are you when you really need to outlaw dangerous distracted driving conditions? It's downright peaceful and safe when I'm chatting happily away with my mother with no one else in the car. The only thing I've ever done is miss an exit, once or twice, and we've all done that for any variety of reasons.

But all of this is possible only through the good graces of an inexpensive, yet difficult-to-find piece of equipment: the cellphone earpiece. Not a bluetooth -- been there done that, don't need the batteries, hassle, or boot time. Just a plain old wire that leads to an earpiece and a microphone, thank you. And those are remarkably hard to find.

Today I went to 5 stores, two of which were AT&T stores which is what my phone is. Nada. I got the last one of only one kind of earpiece at Best Buy, then went to Radio Shack to validate. They had a little more selection, but weirder quality, and I liked the Best Buy one better.

Why are these so hard to find?! I guess everyone crooks their necks in their phones or holds them up with their hands. Blah. But at least I did find one, just in time for our upcoming trip (!!) (!!) (!!!!), so I'm back on the air.

My new headset means I'll meet the legal standard for driving while talking, but with the kids in the back, I sure as heck will fall far, far below actual safety standards.


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