Thursday, March 10, 2005


Yeah. Mr. Jet Set - dat’s me.

Yesterday, I arose at what the Mistress of Sarcasm calls “the butt-crack of dawn” to catch a flight to New Jersey. After lunch with a customer near the Meadowlands, it was back to the airport and home in time for dinner.

That “home in time for dinner” business was looking a bit sketchy for a while. During lunch, my airline called to inform me that my flight home had been cancelled. Not to worry, they said - I had a seat on the very next flight, departing an hour later. Foo.

But in a rare Stroke o’ Travel Luck, I was able to get back to EWR in time to catch a flight an hour earlier than my original return. Woo-Hoo!

While I was dashing through Newark, something occurred to me. Maybe I was just noticing it for the first time, but...

Nobody uses pay phones any more. Of all the pay phones I saw yesterday, not a single one was being used.

Thanks to cell phone technology, the pay phone is now the buggy-whip of the early twenty-first century. It’s obsolete.

Hell, some of the newer technologies are making plain ol’ cell phones look ancient. BlackBerries. Those nutty Bluetooth earpieces. Now, when you see someone wandering around, mumbling to himself, it’s like as not that he’s a high-powered CEO and not just some random psychotic. (Although if he has a stream of urine dribbling down his pant leg, I’d be placing my money on “psycho.”)

Beepers? Who uses them anymore? Used to be, you’d see someone with two or three beepers hanging off his belt, you would think, “Hey, this guy’s important. Either that, or he hasn’t heard about Beep Waiting.” Now, it’s just as easy to get a text message on your phone...or voice mail.

I’m not gonna miss the pay phone. As an old Road Warrior, I’ve spent too many hours in hotels and airports, trying to place long-distance credit card calls on old rotary phones. Or waiting for a space to open up at that bank of phones near my departure gate. Superman may diagree with me - last time he tried to change while holding nothing but a BlackBerry in his hands, he was arrested for indecent exposure. But that’s his problem, not mine.

Now, what’s the next technology that will be circling the drain?

No comments: