The Wood Shed

You never know what you're going to find in the pile.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

More on Technology

I’m on the road or, more accurately, I was on the road. There is nothing more distressing on a long road trip than the unmistakable call of nature. None of the options are good: notoriously disgusting gas station restrooms, heavily used rest stops, equally nasty facilities at the fast food chains, or the woods just off the shoulder. The warning signs hit me about mid way across the George Washington Bridge in NYC headed north on I-95... and in no big hurry since it was 5:00pm on a weekday. Those of you that have taken that route already know the predicament that I was facing. Stop in the Bronx? No. It is quite a ways into Connecticut before you start to see exits stocked with the usual options. I was hurting.

Finally a service center, that efficient northeastern answer to traffic congestion, land-use crowding, and the travelers’ desire for fast access to food, fuel, and relief. It was going to be a close call. Dive bomb or paper the seat? No time, I was in distress but I made it just in time. However, my personal distress (how shall I put this delicately?) was painfully obvious to anyone not currently afflicted with an acute sinus attack. Now at this point you’ve got to be wondering about the title. And here comes the tie-in: sitting in the next stall apparently done with his business and oblivious to the olfactory assault resulting from mine was someone so engrossed in his text messaging efforts that he failed to notice the evacuation taking place all around him. Beep, beep, click, beep, click, click. What the hell could be so important that he would want to hang around for bonus time in a public restroom?

I really don’t understand text messaging: you send a message by hitting the numbered keys on your cell phone until the desired letters appear and when you’re done composing you send it to the recipient’s cell phone. A sort of cell to cell email? Why not just call? If they are too busy to talk you’ll get their voice mail and you can leave a message – in a fraction of the time it takes to type it out using your keypad. And I really don’t understand text messaging from a public restroom.

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