My Cell Phone Hates Me. It's Mutual.

So today the daily newspaper tells me my cell phone is the portal through which Texas is being subjected to a massive text-message spam and phone-call phishing attack. You think?

Because that would explain the endless text messages I have received in recent weeks informing me that my pay-day loan for $1,000 is ready and waiting for deposit to my bank account and all I have to do is text my account number and my online password to a stranger in Ukraine.

No, my cell phone is not a portal. Let me tell you what my cell phone is. My cell phone is my worst enemy. My cell phone is a damn mugger who happens to live in my pocket. My cell phone is the worst thing that ever happened to me.

Hey, before my own cell phone started trying to rob me with con jobs, it was already turning all of my conversations over to the police. Do I have a lot of conversations the police shouldn't hear? Probably not any. But let me suggest something to you: Even if I never say a single police-worthy thing in my life, I still find it supremely unfriendly of my cell phone to rat me out to the police all the time anyway. It's humiliating.

And while we're on the subject, I'd like to mention another thing about my cell phone. It does a really lousy job of what it's supposed to do -- convey conversations. Half the people who call me sound like they're trying to communicate from the crypt. It's not just my phone. It's everybody else's too. Cell phones generally are the lousiest, crappiest sound systems in the whole world, worse than greeting cards that say happy birthday when you open them.

What a huge pain. I've thought of all the possible polite ways to tell people I can't understand a single word they are saying. There are no polite ways. "Hey, if you don't mind, it sounds a little like you may have your cell phone pressed to your forehead instead of your ear. Idiot."

So, let me count the ways. Constantly tries to drain my bank account and send all my money to Ukraine. Sells every single phone conversation I make to the cops. And I can't understand jack that people say on it to me anyway.

By the way, whoever you are, please give up calling me with your number disguised as, "Unknown," "000 000 0000," or "State Police Dead Relative Alert." Yes, I was slow to wise up. Yes, you got me with that "Mature Male Models Needed" text. But now I am on to you.

The only thing that stops me from chucking it into a storm drain is that then I wouldn't be able to get those calls from my family asking me if I am doing anything important at the moment. Yeah, I just love those calls. They make my day. Thanks for that, cell phone. You've done so much for me.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze