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It's a pretty short leash after all

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Friend of the c0w and upstanding civic pioneer Virgil Inferno recently shared this story to the Cult of the Dead Cow Facebook group.  Join us there sometime, whydon'tcha?


I never really wanted a cell phone. Despite the fact that I worked in IT for far too long to mention, I was never interested in the prospect of carrying a portable phone. I think that the driving force for this particular aversion had something to do with the fact that, once I owned one, people could call me. Frankly, even now, I don't pick up my home phone when it rings, so why in the hell would I want to "have a chat" when I'm out doing something constructive, like wandering around Cupid's Toybox with no intention of ever buying anything (if you're not familiar with Cupid's Toybox, engage your imagination). Sadly, I eventually lost that particular battle, as my wife came home one day, handed me a box, and said, "Here's your new cell phone." Because my wife can be pretty damned scary at times, I said, "Thank you, honey. I always wanted one of these."
The weird thing is that, for the longest time, a lot of folks seemed to have a problem with my refusal to adopt the device, and I never knew why. Once they found out that I didn't have a cell phone, they would start asking me all kinds of questions like, "What if you have to get in touch with your family?" Then I would reply that I was usually always in only one of two places, at work or at home. If I was at home, everyone knew where I was. If I was at work, everyone still knew where I was. Then these people would ask, "What about your children?" and I would say, "What about my children? They know where to reach me." To this they would reply, "But they can't text you," and I would answer with, "I have really fat thumbs, so I couldn't text them back, anyhow." Finally, as if by revelation, they would proclaim, "The car! What if you get in an accident?" Strangely enough, this is where my train of thought would ultimately go right off the rails. Now THAT was a good question.
So, what if I was in an accident? If the accident wasn't serious, I don't think I would want to call my wife from the side of the road. I may have worked some odd hours, and I wouldn't want her to worry any more than necessary. Besides, I certainly wouldn't want to give her a whole lot of time to get herself all worked up before I arrived home with a borked automobile. I'd rather it be a surprise. It would also give me a better chance to run away.
But what if I was in a serious accident? In that case, I would have to know how serious. If I ended up mangled and wedged in the car, making a phone call would probably be one of the last things on my mind. I'm sure my wife would be notified sooner or later, anyhow, and I would rather it be done by someone who didn't have a gearshift stuck in his liver. Realistically speaking, I doubt that the conversation would even be intelligible. Besides, if it was as serious an accident as I think it was, I'm sure that the phone probably went right through the windshield, flew over six lanes of traffic, and then landed in the back of a landscaping company's trailer that was going in the opposite direction. Of course, then I would need a new phone, which is just another complication.
Wait, though. What if...um...I mean, what if I actually died in the accident? Frankly, I think that would change the rules entirely. If I just so happened to be killed in the car accident, then maybe the cell phone would finally come in handy. Of course, the result would probably be something like this:
*deedle deedle deedle* [actual sound of home phone...sort of]
Wife: Hello?
Me: Hi, honey. It's me.
Wife: Hey. Where are you?
Me: I got into a car accident.
Wife: A car accident? Are you serious?
Me: Yeah. Kind of a major car accident, too.
Wife: Oh, my god! What did you do to the car?
Me: It's kind of...well...squashed.
Wife: You squashed the car? How squashed?
Me: Really squashed.
Wife: Totaled?
Me: Yeah, looks that way.
Wife: Damn it! I really liked that car.
Me: I know. Me, too.
Wife: Oh, are you okay?
Me: Er...not really.
Wife: What happened?
Me: I died.
Wife: You died? Are you serious?
Me: Yep. I'm dead.
Wife: And you still called me?
Me: Well, it's sort of like prison. You get one phone call, but only if you have a cell phone. I guess you're not allowed to look for a phone booth. The Otherworld seems to be all 21st Centuryish these days.
Wife: Well, that's nice. How did you die?
Me: I'm not sure, but I think I hit a cow.
Wife: You hit a cow? How do you know that?
Me: Because there's currently one standing only a few yards away from me and it's giving me some serious stink eye.
Wife: There are cows up there?
Me: I'm not sure that it's really "up there," but yes, apparently there are cows here. I mean, at least there's one. I guess that they're a lot smarter than we think they are.
Wife: Not smart enough to get out of the road.
Me: I was on the freeway. Somehow, I don't think the cow just wandered into the road.
Wife: You don't know where the cow came from?
Me: I don't really remember.
Wife: What in the hell was a cow doing in the middle of the freeway?
Me: Funny, that's exactly what I thought right before I soiled my pants and everything went black. I do remember that part. Aw, man. Now everyone is gonna notice that I crapped my pants.
Wife: I don't think that's gonna make a difference judging from what you've told me.
Me: I guess not. Anyhow, I'm sorry about all of this.
Wife: That's okay. I expected you would do something monumentally stupid sooner or later. Besides, we kept your insurance up, right?
Me: Yeah, we did. You should be covered for a good, long while.
Wife: Good...but what do I tell the kids?
Me: Tell them the same thing you told them about the cat. Tell them I ran away to find myself and was adopted by carnival people.
Wife: You think that will work?
Me: It worked for the cat.
Wife: Well, crap. This is a bummer. I'm going to miss that car.
Me: I know.
Wife: Oh, and you won't be around anymore, either. Who's going to fill that depression in the sofa? It's only shaped like you.
Me: Get a new sofa. You'll have money, remember?
Wife: That's right. I'll have money. I forgot. Cool. A new sofa.
Wife: Honey, I have another call coming in. I have to take this. Hang on...*click*
Me: Wait! Wait, I'm losing my signal. Honey? Honey?
Me: Shit. I knew I shouldn't have gone with T-Mobile.
(The cow slowly wanders over.)
Me: Oh, hey...hi. Look, I'm not exactly sure how this works. Should we exchange cards or something?
Cow: Moo.
Me: Right. (I extend the phone) Do you need to call anyone?
[Fade to black]



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