Cell phone evolution
By: Matt Sussman
On a trip back home, I discovered between my Sega Game Gear and my male
cheerleader outfit a rather strange item -- a cell phone, circa 1998.
The "Micro TAC Lite II" featured a phone number display, volume control and
three speed dial buttons. Half of the bottom flipped open, putting it on the
1990s cutting edge cellular- flippin' technology. The phone had a leather
holster, made at the same place from which John Goodman buys his pants.
"Micro" my foot.
Seeing this phone again made me wonder about the history of cell phones. I
decided to conduct an independent research assignment (or maybe it's the result
of mind-altering drugs and potions -- it's all the same to me) and discovered
two amazing facts.
Not only do cell phones date back to the Mesozoic Era, but the future of cell
phones will shape our society in ways we can't imagine -- even though I imagined
it, thanks to imagination-expanding chemicals (also known as a gallon of Wild
History of cell phones
3 million bajillion B. C.: In the days of the caveman, Neanderthals had it
rough. Their cell phone were the size of baby mastodons. Verizon implemented the
latest Flintstone technology, placing a pterodactyl in each phone, who would fly
to the destination number. Sadly, calls would take 30-45 minutes to connect, but
it was faster than logging onto the Internet -- back then, they only had 14.4
Their phones had only one ringtone: a musical gnome who roomed with the
pterodactyl. Anytime the phone would ring, the gnome would smash a boulder with
a pickaxe. Ironically, all the cell phone "gnometones" were direct ancestors of
current ringtone artist 50 Cent.
They had text messaging, but only the richest caveman lords were able to afford
them. However, text messaging was not a very efficient method of communicating,
as the only three letters in the alphabet at the time were "Unh," "Uggh" and "Errh."
33 A. D.: The year Jesus was crucified, all of his apostles had very steep cell
phone bills. They had to pay long distance fees and activation charges. The
bills would have been even higher if they were out of area, but thankfully they
weren't Roman. (Get it? Roman? Roamin'? Please laugh. If you don't, I'll cry
Future of cell phones
The year 2015: Phones will be surgically implanted into people's wrists, because
scientists will discover it is really freakin' cool to talk into your wrist in
public. All of the Hollywood celebrities and CEOs will want this phone upon
initial release, and will have the very first "intravenous phone." Sadly, they
will all die, prompting cell phone makers not to make them out of mercury, lead
and flesh-eating protozoans.
Also, by popular demand, cell phones will be low-carb.
Ringtones will automatically access the private studio of John Williams, who
will begin to conduct a customized, orchestrated ringtone upon contact.
Phone companies will ditch the primitive games like Breakout and begin to
provide games for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. After all, there's
nothing like playing Excitebike or Contra during class.
The year 3005: Cell phones have replaced all face-to-face communication, thereby
destroying the breath mint industry as well as making the high-five extinct.
People will be encapsulated in futuristic soundproof bubbles. Thankfully, cell
phones will be implanted in the brain, creating the first instance of telepathic
In "Star Trek" fashion, all men will be united as one and will fly around outer
space in giant cube spaceships a la the Borg. As the Borg, we will conquer any
and all civilizations who haven't reached cell phone implant technology.
But maybe I'm wrong.
At any rate, I found my old phone, and despite it not working, I will carry it
around today. Maybe I'll even whip it out in public and talk into it, like the
rest of campus.
After all, how can one actually tell someone's on the other end of that
conversation? Everyone could be talking into a dead phone. Maybe I will too.
Besides, I don't want to wake my pterodactyl.