Hello? It's for You, And It's Time To Say Goodbye

By Henry Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 2, 2006

To paraphrase the Marine Corps Rifleman's creed:

This is my cellphone. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My cellphone is my best friend. It is my life. My cellphone and myself know that what counts is not the calls we make or the cuteness of our ring tone. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.

Hit: Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) is accused of "stabbing" or "jabbing" a Capitol Hill policeman with her cellphone Wednesday. The office wants to press charges against her, according to Capitol police sources.

Hit: Handcuffed supermodel Naomi Campbell was led away from her Park Avenue apartment Thursday and arraigned on second-degree assault charges after she allegedly "smashed open her housekeeper's head with a cellphone," according to the New York Post. This is the third Naomi Campbell phone assault reported since 1998. It is my life.

The Post quoted a "law enforcement source" saying, "She's another Russell Crowe."

Hit: Actor Crowe, you recall, was arrested last June for assaulting a New York hotel staffer with a telephone, and booked for "fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon," which was the phone.

A weapon! We know that it is the hits that count . . .

Meanwhile, the "cellphone bandit," Candice Martinez, stuck up four Virginia banks last year while talking on a cellphone. And a Sprint ad shows two guys in a locker debating the merits of their cellphones. One says his Sprint phone is a "crime deterrent." To prove it he invites the other guy to try to steal his wallet, then throws it at him, hard.

We will hit . . .

The point: Are cellphones the new nunchucks, blackjacks, throwing stars or brass knuckles? Are we about to see a movie called "Cellphone Ninja," starring Steven Seagal?

Is the government doing anything about this? Answer: nothing in particular, the same way it did so little about firearms for so long.

At the Bureau of Justice statistics, a spokesman says that weapons are categorized as guns, knives or other sharp objects, blunt objects or "other." A cellphone is merely "other." But is it lethal?

"Any weapon can be lethal," he says.

That little featherweight handful of plastic -- ask Naomi Campbell's maid about "lethal" after her trip to Lenox Hill hospital. Imagine if Campbell had been armed with the $5,700 Vertu Ascent Motorsport cellphone made of "carbon fiber and a patented composite material called Liquidmeal, reputed to be twice as hard as stainless steel," according to the New York Times -- a cellphone so tough that you can drive a car over it.

Why does anyone need a cellphone that tough? Then again, why did Dirty Harry need the hand cannon known as the .44 magnum? The answer should be obvious. Like size, toughness matters.

The cellphone is not just something you call your boyfriend with, it's also something you break his head with, if he really, really needs it. And he has to know you can do it. Watch for more magnum cellphones on the market.

There may come to be a whole new meaning to the phrase "I'm losing you, you're breaking up."

Cellphone-control lobbyists will fight to keep people from carrying them concealed, if at all.

Cellphone advocates will hand out bumper stickers reading, "I'll give up my cellphone when they pry my cold, dead fingers from it." As people already say about their cellphones: My cellphone is my best friend.


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