| Feb 03, 2005

Mazinaw Musings February 3, 2005

Mazinaw Musings February 3, 2005

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Bundling with Ma Bell

by Bill Rowsome

It was a sweet young voice on the phone wanting to know if I would like to bundle! Of course the first image that flashed through my mind was that of bundling during the pioneer days when a young man, while courting, could sleep fully clothed in the same bed with his betrothed rather than face a dark cold winter walk home several concessions away. If her father was overly suspicious, an elm plank would be inserted on edge between the bodies; as if that could dampen youthful and enthusiastic hormones!


Sir, its Bell callingare you still there? jerked me back from my memories to reality. It was only Ma Bell wanting to know if I wanted to bundle all the communication services she was providing for me. Not giving me time to suitably respond that I had been bundled very successfully (less the clothes and plank) for nearly half a century, she launched into her sales pitch. I already had three of the services offered and the sweet young voice suggested adding a wireless phone to complete the package.

Wireless? I answered using my best-confused tone, not too difficult at my age, Whats that?

She answered by detailing all the advantages of wireless technology: I could keep in touch no matter where I was--by phone, receive email and even download from the internet text message and photographs. I would always be available, at home, walking along the street, having coffee in the malls, in the car and, I suppose, even while bundling, but I didnt interrupt with that suggestion.

Disadvantages? I was able to blurt out and in response to her None, except a small monthly fee. I continued.

I dont need it at home; you were able to reach me without this added expense. I stroll along one of the most beautiful vistas in Ontario, listening to the wind, the birds, the lapping waves and the sweet murmurings of my Significant Helpmate; no way do I want this serenity interrupted by a clanging phone. Drinking coffee, observing and over-hearing conversations in the malls out front is a source of musing about the human idiosyncrasies that surround me; a detached electronic conversation is no substitute for that. While driving I have sufficient distractions from idiots racing all about me without receiving a phone call from anyone. I have no need and I watch my wants.

The sweet young voice interrupted. You are a lucky fellow and I see Im not going to make a sale, thank you and good bye.

What a disappointment, I didnt get the opportunity to explain the awkwardness of taking a call during bundling. I wasnt able to ask her why do so many modern people need 24/7 electronic connection to others. I couldnt inquire about the accuracy of urban legends regarding electromagnetic waves so close to the brain and exploding cell phone batteries as technology packed more and more electronics into smaller and smaller spaces. I didnt have the opportunity to explain the joy of solitude, the contentment of aloneness and the pleasure of ones own company: I am always assured the best of company when alone. I couldnt tell her that wireless signals still couldnt reach the Mazinaw and I hoped they never would.

I hung up on the dial tone and mused about the sorry plight of so many people who need constant electronic connection to others.

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