Thursday, December 25, 2008

This means something. This is important.

My cellphone ring tone is the five-note theme from Close Encounters. Isn't that just the best choice for a ringtone? It's distinctive, easily recognized, and entirely appropriate.

And there's one extra bonus I discovered a few days ago. Waiting in line at the supermarket, and the lines were extremely long and crowded due to the pre-Christmas rush. It was a wall of bodies and carts. While I was waiting, my cellphone rang.

Normally in a crowded public place, whenever someone's cellphone rings, everyone else looks at them. When I say "looks" I really mean "glares" at the person with the cellphone. But when my cellphone rings with that distinctive, familiar five notes, everyone looks up.

By the time it occurs to them to do something else, I've already answered the phone, and then they're feeling too silly about it to keep glaring at me.

Too bad I get so few calls.


litlfrog said...

I agree--that means something. It's amazing how our brains get subtly rewired by culture. In a far more trivial example, I've chatted online with people who've set their ringtone to the attack sound of a World of Warcraft creature called a murloc. When that goes off in a crowd, you can tell the WoW players--apparently, our heads all pop up like frightened deer.

Hawthorn Thistleberry said...

Actually, the title is just me quoting (or more likely misquoting -- today I seem to recall those lines are the other way around) Roy Neary, in the famous mashed-potatoes scene.