Thursday, November 30, 2006


I was on my way to George Bush Intercontinental Airport this afternoon when I realized my dick was missing.

I had had it with me earlier that day. No doubt about that; I distinctly remember using it right after lunch. But now it had gone missing.

OK, it wasn’t really my dick. It was my cellphone. But it may just as well have been my dick, for all the Diminishment of Manhood I felt when my primary means of portable communication was missing.

As I sped north on the Sam Houston Tollway at a leisurely 70 MPH, I checked every pocket. Shirt. Pants. Jacket. Everything came up empty.

Where the fuck had it gone? I mentally retraced the events of the afternoon.

Just before, I had attended a meeting in one of the satellite offices that sits just a few blocks west of the Great Corporate Salt Mine’s main compound. Upon arriving in the meeting room, I had removed my suit jacket and draped it over a chair. After about 45 minutes of listening to my colleagues feed data to a consultant, it was time to head to the airport for my flight home. I grabbed my jacket, excused myself, and left.

Aha! thought I. The phone had been in one of the jacket’s pockets and must have fallen out when I draped the jacket over the chair. That, at any rate, was the most likely scenario.

I was about to replace the phone anyway - with one of those fancy-pants Crackberries, so I could check my e-mail on the fly - but to be without a phone for even a single day is...well, it’s like being without a dick, in today’s plugged-in, high tech, space-age world. I had to get the damn thing back.

As soon as I arrived at the airport, I checked in my car and caught the bus to the terminal. Once there, I ran to the nearest pay phone.

“Pay phone”? What the hell is that?

They’re what Men Without Dicks use to make phone calls. They are thin on the ground these days, but you can always count on finding one or two, where in years past, entire banks of them stood. And I don’t miss the days when pay phones were the only way to make calls while on the road. They sucked then - and they suck even worse now, since only Desperate Losers need them anymore.

Getting the damn thing to accept my corporate credit card was an exercise in futility. I ended up feeding in five dimes, enough to make a single local call - which I did, to one of the meeting attendees. With any luck, she might have noticed the phone lying there on my chair. If not, I was screwed.

I got her voicemail and left a message asking her to call my home phone and leave a message there for me, telling me whether she had found the cellphone. As it turns out, she did find it - right where I’d figured it was, too - but when she called my house, she got a real live SWMBO instead of our answering machine.

This was Not Good...because the last time SWMBO got a call from a Great Corporate Salt Mine location from someone other than me, it was to tell her that I had been carted off to the hospital with a kidney stone. When The Missus saw the caller ID, she had one of those brief “shitting a peach pit” moments until she realized that the call was simply to let me know my dick cellphone had been found and would be express mailed to me. No kidney stone or other disaster this time.

An old proverb says that in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. But in the land of cellphones and Crackberries, the man without portable communications is...dickless.

I can’t wait to get mine back.

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