June 23, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:07 pm

What do you think this list is?

Stars and Stripes Forever
Washington Post
Soap Bubble
Horse power
Little Bear
Flower viewing
Go on a visit
Song of baby
Dream Land
Carlos Latin
Rock’n Roll
Rock Waltz
Salsa Marimba
Tonky Rock

No, it is not the song list from a Slim Whitman disc. Nor is it a dance recital program from Miss Sally’s School of Dance.

What we have here is the list of “Ringer Types” that I could choose from for my new cell phone. I had thought that the “chimey” thing that sounded like an ice cream truck playing the theme from the “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” show when I fire up the phone was an anomaly, and that I could find a “ringer” that sounded like a telephone. You know what I mean? I wanted something that sounded like, well, … a bell.

Actually, given the damage that I managed to do to my hearing by playing drums in a loud rock and roll band for decades (my left ear is worse, as that’s where the monitor speaker — the one that lets you hear the vocals — was always placed), I really wanted something that sounded like a killer bell or maybe even a fire alarm. “Ding, ding, ding,” or “Brrrrrrring, brrrrrrring, brrrrrrrrring.” In a crowded saloon, there is no way that Jimbo is going to hear a dainty version of the “Polonaise.”

In the spirit of candor, I must admit that I left five choices off the above list. They are:

Bell 1
Bell 2
Bell 3
Bell 4
Bell 5

These choices are at the end of the list. So, after listening to the twenty-five bizarre “ringers,” I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking, “Yes! Bells!” Well, none of these babies sounds anything like “Ding, ding” or “Brrrring, brrrrring.” They are little chimey ditties the notes of which seem to be plucked almost randomly from the chromatic scale.

Somewhere in the mondo manual I recall seeing how one can “download” ringer types. To that I say, “Are you shitting me?” Download a farookin’ bell for a phone? It took me a week of hair-hurting aggravation just to put a button on this blog. I could see myself screwing up Mr. Computer and Mr. Cell Phone by trying to download a ringer.

I’m afraid that my age is showing. Hell, I remember when you were considered pretty hip to have one, black, rotary dial phone in the house and when there was no such thing as area codes. Phone numbers began with the location of one’s residence, such as, Essex (for Essex County), and the number would look like “ES-3-4567.”

Hell, I can even recall my grandmother having a “party line,” a phone line that was shared by several households. You had to know “your ring,” (for example, two shorts and a long, all controlled by – get this – a telephone operator) to know that the call was for you and not for the Smith’s down the road. If you were a louse, you could eavesdrop on the Smiths’ calls, but that was streng verboten in my grandmother’s house.

So, now I can actually have my phone play a “Mr. Softee” version of “Stars and Stripes Forever.” How very thrilling.

I chose Bell Number 3, even though it sounds more like an ice cream truck on crack driving by at seventy miles per hour than it does a farookin’ bell.

Time marches on, I suppose.

BRRRRINNNNNNG……….Hello? … *sigh*

Powered by WordPress