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I hate cell phones. And that, in truth, sums it up. They are, quite frankly, destroying the very fabric of this great country of ours by eroding the social and moral fibers that tie not only families and communities together, but also the nation as a whole. I will elaborate.

Cell phones encourage rudeness, which fosters indifference and unkind thoughts and gestures. Many a Bloodthirsty Weasel™ can trace their origins back to this point. I have done many a cartoon featuring the cell phone in my book The Bloodthirsty Weasels: On the Loose and Buck Wild, available through NeDeo Press, 336-315-6080. But I digress.

For instance, pretend that you're with a bunch of people-let's call them "friends and family"-and you're having a good time together. For the sake of example, the good times move outdoors. Without fail, someone will whip out their cell phone and call someone else, even if that person is standing right next to them. Then, and this is what gets me, they hold up their self-righteous index finger at you in the universal sign of "Wait a moment," as they walk away, squinting, and begging the pardon of the person they called. Eventually, they wander back, and with a smug smile and sigh, announce that they're "sorry." Talk about needing a fix. Smokers are not as rude, and they smell.

Cell phone technology has gotten out of hand. Literally. Now the exceptionally rude can be mistaken for the clinically insane as they wander around the mall talking into their cell phone headgear. My favorite rude trick of these addicts is as they meander about, yapping incessantly, they are suddenly annoyed because you weren't listening to them. Apparently at some point in their droning, they paused to ask you a question and were affronted when you ignored them. It's not your fault-your mommy taught you it was rude to stare at "those people."

We, living in the public, civilian domain, do not need cell phones. Did we not, but a little over two hundred years ago, organize and pull off a national revolution with nothing more than a church tower, two lanterns, a fast horse and a loudmouthed insomniac? How far the mighty have fallen!

Would I wish I had one if my car broke down on a dark and deserted road in the middle of a thunderstorm? Maybe. But then I might also miss the opportunity to wander up to a creepy mansion and do the Time Warp with a sweet transvestite from Transylvania. That turned out okay. We couldn't have that story now, not with cell phones. Just think about how Casablanca would have ended if Bogie and McCall had them. Cell phones could ruin a lot of other great movies too: The Shining, Jaws, Three Men and a Baby and The Village. (Ring, ring-"Help, my husband went psycho." Ring, ring-"We need a bigger boat." Ring, ring-"Buy diapers on the way home lest we get into a comedic situation." Ring, ring-"We need peroxide.") The list goes on and on.

So, with that in mind, maybe we only need cell phones in the military. Getting and receiving orders on the battle lines would be a cinch (unless your wireless plan isn't in that area, or your call is during peak hours, or you're roaming, or your battery is low). Lots of things from the military eventually find their way into the civilian market; isn't it about time the opposite happened? I'll add this in for free-you will never be able to convince me that those things do not cause brain tumors.

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