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Ohmigosh - Did I Turn Off My Cell Phone?

     All of a sudden the theater went dark and silent. The previews and commercials were over and it was time for the movie to start. I settled into my seat and reached for the popcorn. And then I remembered my cell phone.

     Did I turn it off on the way in? I don’t think I did. Maybe I did. Darn thing’s in my purse on the floor under my seat. After a struggle to untangle my purse strap from the arm of the seat, I opened the little phone pouch and retrieved my phone.

     I was sure it would go off any minute. Not that anyone calls me on it much, but it has this wacky little tune it plays – very loudly – when someone does call and I didn’t think anyone watching “Open Range” would care to hear it.

     It’s getting to be a thing with me, this phone. Last Sunday at church during the very most solemn moment of the whole entire Mass, I suddenly realized I hadn’t turned my cell phone off on the way in.  ’Course I was pretty sure I hadn’t turned it on that morning either. But not a hundred per cent sure.

     From my kneeling position, I reached furtively behind my back to get my purse off the pew. Trying to look solemn and prayerful, I pulled it around in front of me where I could get the phone out of its little leather pocket. Everyone was praying. Me, too - my phone was on.

     I don’t know who in the world would be calling me at quarter to eight on a Sunday morning, but I was positive someone would if I didn’t hurry up and turn that phone off.

     I held the tiny power button down until the message “Powering Off” showed up.  Unfortunately, I held it too long and the phone powered up again. Somehow I got it turned off before Communion, which I received with great gratitude that morning, thanking God that no one called me on my cell during Mass.

     I’ve had the phone for a year and before that I had another one and before that I had another one, but I’ve never had a problem forgetting to turn it off at the movies and church ’n all that. That’s probably because I’ve just recently gotten into the habit of keeping it turned on 16/7. (The other 8 are for re-charging – the phone and me.)

     It’s tough powering off a cell phone at the movies. It’s dark in there. Can’t tell if the phone’s on or off to begin with. After five minutes of squinting and holding it at all different angles and waiting for bright spots in the movie, I still couldn’t tell.

     It was a pretty good movie I was missing, so to hasten things up I took a gamble and pressed the power button – firmly.  The entire theater lit up in a fluorescent green glow.

     Quick! Shut it off! Can’t. Gotta wait ’til it comes all the way on. After a long green moment, I shut the phone off. At least I thought I did. But I wasn’t sure and I couldn’t see and… It took me another four tries but I finally disarmed my musical time-bomb, tucked it into its pouch and stowed it under my seat.  

     Well, it’s all worth it, I guess. These cell phones are conveniences like we never thought we’d have. I especially rely on my cell to make myself available to anyone who might want to call me any time of the day. Only trouble is, sometimes it’s eleven o’clock in the morning when I suddenly realize I forgot to turn it.

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