A real phone-y
Most people struggle with envy. “He has a better car, job or collection of Pabst Blue Ribbon coffee table coasters,” that kind of thing.So I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been feeling a little insecure about my phone identity lately.From “Yello” to “Mmmmm, bye” everyone else I talk to seems to have their phone identify down. They have their tele-lingo nailed, if you will.Spending about as much time on the phone as Michael Jackson does petting his monkey, you’ll often find me conducting highly important interviews with world-famous rock stars, communicating with editors across the country and ordering the $4.99 special pizza with bread sticks from Dominos.But, what I’ve noticed is that everyone else seems to have some either cool or annoying phone habits that I can only aspire toward.They fall into three groups. Funny, quirky and annoying.My grandfather has topped the quirky category with his award-winning adaptation of the age-old, but you’ve gotta admit rather boring, “Hello.”Screaming as loud as the last Ozzy concert in a manly tone forged from years of battle, smoking approximately 6,783 packs of unfiltered Camels and watching years of the Home Improvement Channel, he’s come up with a substitute for hello that has somehow evolved into “YELLO!”Unfortunately, gramps’ hearing is shot, so when I call the conversation goes something like this:Gramps: (loud, earth shattering) “YELLO!”Me: “Hi Gramps, it’s me, Erik.”Gramp: “Derek?”Me: “Erik.”Gramps: “Im not interested.” (click)Then there’s the classic, “I’ll let you go.” It’s kind of the same asgetting dumped in a relationship or fired. I kind of wanted to keeptalking … gee, thanks for “letting me go.”Then there’s the annoying phone habits. This awful word seems to be spreading rapidly. Call your phone disease control officer to getvaccinated, because the “Mmmm, bye” sickness is booming.The worst part about ending a conversation with the annoying “Mmmm, bye” is that it seemed up until then (besides the part about the midget farm) that you were having a normal conversation. There’s no “Mmmm, hello,” or “Mmmm, how ya doing?” But at the end of the conversation you get the “Mmmm, bye.”It somehow reminds me of a Hanson song gone even worse. Like they’re debating what to say next, instead of the plain-old boring “good bye.” It’s like they were considering “Mmmm, I’m out,” or “Mmmm, later.”Mmmm, what am I writing about?Luckily, the annoying and the quirky seem under control in my social group.It’s all the cool phone things like saying “late” at the end of aconversation or a simple, yet refined, “sup?” in the beginning that are causing me phone anxiety.I’ve tried to keep up.Saying “late” just never worked for me. I’ve also tried to keep up bytesting out “I’m out,” the Italian-inspired “Ciao,” and I tried, but long ago abandoned, the introductory Budweiser-commercial-inspired “Whhhaaazzzzuuupp?” Lately I’ve been working on, midway through the conversation, “Can you hear me now, can you hear me now?” which I’ve stolen from a wireless phone company commercial. Give me a call on my cell and I’ll test it out on you.Mmmm, bye.