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Thursday, April 18, 2024

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who lose their cell phones and those who do not.

Until recently, I never thought I?d find myself in the first category.

(By the way, there are another two kinds of people in the world: those who say there are two kinds of people in the world and those who do not. Once again, I never thought I would find myself in the first group.)

I went to Busch Gardens last month to cash in on a yearlong pass I purchased during the summer.

I went on the Montu for the second ride of the day, and afterward, I realized that my cell phone was gone.

See, I know I had my phone with me when I got off a kiddie roller coaster earlier. Maybe a goat from the petting zoo pickpocketed me when my mom was adjusting my shirt collar.

But more than likely, my link to the universe fell to its demise as I flew upside-down and sideways above an artificial Egyptian archeological site.

Now, you may be wondering why I still had a cell phone after swearing against them in a November column for microwaving my brain.

Unfortunately, it proved nearly impossible to kick the habit. For one thing, I needed some way to call 1-800-Ask-Gary in case of an emergency, and payphones are hard to find.

A decade ago, there were 2.6 million pay phones nationwide. Now, only about 1 million can be found. Last month, AT&T announced it would be phasing out all of its pay phones by the end of 2008.

Where will superheroes change into tights?

Anyway, after my dear friend went MIA, cell phone separation anxiety ensued in its five horrible stages: antsy thumbs, talking into stray bananas, uninterrupted bathroom breaks and paying attention to the people in the surrounding area.

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Finally, there was the drinking, which actually wasn?t too bad seeing that Busch Gardens gives out free beer samples.

But the real blow came later when I realized I didn?t have any of my sacred contacts written down. They were stored only in my phone, which is lost somewhere in Africa, which is somewhere in Busch Gardens.

I never write down anyone?s number because I can just type it into my phone. I only have a few of my friends? numbers memorized, and that?s only because I didn?t feel like typing out their names.

I had the numbers for at least a dozen take-out restaurants programmed. What about all of my friends? old cell phone numbers that I never deleted? And I can?t forget about those 1-800 numbers I saved from my favorite Billy Mays commercials.

I had something close to 350 contacts in my phonebook, which is absurd. There are probably only a few dozen people I talk to on a regular basis, and that?s only when I feel like talking to them.

It reminds me of the 700 closest friends Facebook says I have.

Speaking of Facebook, now I have to create one of those events where people who don?t want to talk to me will be forced to give me their phone numbers. I?ll call the event "A roller coaster killed my phone."

Now, if only Web sites could fall out of amusement park rides.

Vincent Massaro is a journalism senior. His column appears on Mondays.

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