Saturday, September 23, 2006

What? You don't do this with all your new phones?

 Published September 23, 2006
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

A few weeks ago, my toddler decided it was time for me to get a new cell phone. I realized he had come to this conclusion when he toddled up to me (as toddlers are wont to do) holding my phone, both pieces of it, in his hot little toddler hands. I decided he was one savvy baby and took his unspoken advice, marching myself into the store for a nicer, newer, definitely sturdier flip-phone in a very girly shade of pink.

My first days with my new phone were like the first days of a new relationship. I thought about it all the time, pulled it out several times a day just to gaze at it like a beloved snapshot, and I spent as much time as possible getting to know its many fascinating features. It's safe to say I am completely twitterpated with my Sanyo SCP-2400 with Speakerphone and Optional Internet. (Sigh...isn't that a great name?)

The feature I'm most enamored with appears to be the "memo" feature of my phone. Using this tool, I can make an 18 second recording of absolutely anything. I'm assuming people use this for those all important "notes to self." So far, I've mostly used it for dorky silliness.

For instance, one of my first memos was recorded with my sister, Carla, in attendance. She was suggesting I make an alien autopsy report. I decided to go for this instead: "Captain's Log, Stardate 9703425-4...31...(giggles and snorts)...We've just entered the...uhhhh...Dalron Sector of...(more giggles) um...Channel 5...(snorfles)...SCOTTY! BEAM ME UP!"

This memo thing is kind of distracting, if you don't mind my saying. It reminds me of the little tape recorder Carla and I had when we were kids. We used to spend hours recording ourselves being goofy...then spend hours listening to our demo tapes over and over. At this writing, I have listened to yesterday's goofy memo about 42 times. And that's just in the last hour.

At some point, I realized that the manufacturers of my phone probably didn't create this feature specifically for two zany sisters who like to hear themselves make stupid jokes, so I set out to learn how I would ever put this tool to some serious use. After recording three more nutty memos, I finally hit upon it.

I use my phone to make snide remarks; I use my column to make snide remarks. I use my phone to record my goofiest thoughts; I use my column to record my goofiest thoughts. Why not use my memo feature to record ideas for my column? Ser-en-dip-ity-doo-dah! (Yes, I recorded myself saying that.)

This discovery was exciting on two levels. 1) Column ideas strike whenever they want to, often when I'm least able to write them down. Having this phone with its ingenious little memo system means never again having to scribble notes on old receipts or tissues only to lose them five minutes later. 2) Using my cell phone to help write my column makes it a business expense. HELLO, WRITE-OFF!

Currently, I have recorded 18 second memos on 3 future columns. I'd tell you what they are, but I'd hate to ruin the surprise. What I can say is that they are 54 seconds of comic perfection just waiting to be transferred onto the Mother Load file on my computer. I'll be doing that once I'm done listening to them over and over.

I've only heard the second one 87 times, so I figure it's good for another week or so.