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Priorities First (Classic Random Repost)

9 Feb

February 9, 2012

I have to admit- I am busy. Too busy to blog. While I have material for the next two weeks I have not actually, you know, um… written anything.

But that is no problem when you have a back catalogue of almost 800 posts.

I picked this at random and it is a pretty good one. Hey, could have been worse, it could have been my review of Matthew Perry’s bomb TV show Mr. Sunshine.

Enjoy.

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Originally posted March 24, 2011

Quick- your toilet or your cell phone?

You can only have one. Which is it?

I choose the toilet.

Let me say up front that I am a cell phone owner. I am not a cell phone user. My phone is rarely, if ever, on. My theory on cell phone ownership is this: I am not a doctor or a lawyer. I am not on call at all hours of the day or night. If I am out doing something I don’t want to talk to people with whom I can talk to any other time. I don’t need to be on the grid 24/7. My phone is for my convenience. It is there in case I have to make a call. I don’t make frivolous calls. I have never called someone to say “where you at?” My phone calls don’t include the phrase “just chillin’.”

This is why people buy answering machines. Unless you are a professional or a corporation, you don’t have an answering machine to get the important calls you miss when you’re out, you have it to screen calls so you can avoid them. So if I am avoiding calls at home why would I answer any ring when I’m out?

I can hear the arguments now: What if it is an important call? If I am expecting an important call I am not at a ball game in a crowded stadium. If my wife is pregnant and may go into labor at any minute I am not venturing more than two minutes away from home. Don’t look for me in Baltimore. What about an unexpected emergency? Really, how many emergency calls have you gotten in your life? I haven’t gotten any. Odds are I won’t miss one if I go out. If an emergency happens at night I can be reached at home. During the day get me at work. The odds are on my side that I won’t get an emergency call while pumping gas, and the rules say I can’t use the cell phone then anyway.

The usefulness of my toilet is so obvious that I won’t go into it. I will simply link to the blog entitled No Toilet No Bride if you need an explanation.

Of course I am used to the toilets (and toilet paper) of the modern world. What would the answer be in Cambodia?

40 percent of Cambodians have cell phones? I have trouble believing that. How can they afford them? From all I have seen of Cambodia it is A- extremely poor and B- extremely poor. It is also underdeveloped and extremely poor.

“Hello, Sam?”
“Yes.”
“Where you at?”
“Starving.”

Cambodia once had the thriving civilization of the Khmer Empire. Its capital city, Angkor, was the seat of government for a civilization of over 3 million. Not a single one of them had a cell phone. And no, it is irrelevant that cell phones were invented maybe five hundred years after the civilization declined and disappeared. My point stands- they valued toilets over cell phones.

So imagine the embarrassment of the guy sent to Cambodia to convince them to use toilets. This could not have been a glamour assignment. This seems like the sort of job given to the new guy.

“Earl, I have a job for you. It is a very important overseas assignment.”
“My name is Louis.”
“Earl, you leave tomorrow morning for Cambodia.”
“What am I going there for?”
“We’ll brief you when you arrive.”

And then it is too late to back out or quit.

On the other hand, put yourself in the place of the farmer singled out for producing the most excrement of anyone in the village. If he’s anything like me, he took it in stride. I’m sure he stood up, gave a small but awkward smile, waved to the crowd, and announced that he’s ready to take on all challengers. I hope a championship belt and a Wrestlemania match come with this title.

I wonder if Oprah knows about this? She needs to make them sign her no cell phone pledge.

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