It seems like something people would get used to by now, but no. People hate that I don’t have a cell phone. They get nervous. They ask question after question.
Me saying, “I just don’t like them,” is not good enough.
A girl said to me the other day, “You don’t have a cell phone? Isn’t that dangerous?”
I thought about it. About what she meant. I really wanted to understand her point of view. So I said, “Actually it is.”
I paused and sucked in breath. Made a sad face. Then I told this story:
The other day, I was waiting in line at a bank just like this. I needed to deposit my teaching check. The line was long, and I waited for fifteen minutes.
Then three masked men came in the bank. They had ex-presidents masks on. They were yelling and waving their automatic weapons in the air. They told everyone to get on the floor.
We got down.
The one nearest to me, Ronald Reagan, ordered people to put their cell phones out in front of them.
Everyone complied. Everyone but me.
Ronald Reagan nudged me with the toe of his combat boot. He said, “Give it up, hombre.”
I said, “I don’t have one.”
He said, “Fine, whatever you want to call it. Your Blackberry, your Droid, your PDA. Give it up.”
But I said again, “I don’t have one. I really don’t. I swear.”
He laughed. “Do you think I’m an idiot? Everybody has a phone now.”
I said, “Well I don’t. I’m sorry.”
Ronald Reagan glared down at me. “You’re trying my patience. I’m going to count to three.” He slid the action on his gun.
I begged for my life. I’m not going to pretend that I was brave. I cried. I sobbed. I clutched his ankle.
But he didn’t care.
He said, “One………two……..three.”
Then he executed me.