Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hands-Free CB

Here in California, our legislators have recently made the roads safer by passing a new law, which always works. We have been required to be “hands-free” with our cell phones in the car since 2008, but now they really mean it. No, really this time.

In 2008, we could still touch our phones while driving, and we could make a phone call while driving, but we weren’t allowed to hold the phone up to our ears. So what that meant was if you were on the phone and held it up to your ear during the conversation, you were breaking the law. But if you were on speaker phone and held a banana up to your ear during the conversation, you were well within your rights as a California motorist.

Also, if you simply held a banana up to your ear while not on the phone, that was OK, too. And presumably, if your phone was turned off and you held it up to your ear while driving, that would have been OK, since at that point your phone is really just an expensive plastic and glass banana, communication-wise.

Since January, however, we are now no longer even allowed to touch our phones in the car. We are still allowed to have a conversation on the phone, but the call has to be initiated without ever touching the phone. We can touch buttons on the steering wheel and dashboard of our space-age cars that will make our phones call someone, but we can’t touch the actual phone itself. It is now required to be duct taped to the roof of the car at all times. There has been no official word on where the bananas need to be.

We are also still allowed to talk directly to the other people in the car, but they will not respond, because they’re all texting each other.

omg. lol.

So here’s my question, oh-so benevolent leaders of this great state: What’s up with CB’s? I saw a trucker the other day just chatting away with someone (presumably another trucker, or possibly a truck stop hooker), holding the CB microphone right there in his hand, which was not even on the wheel of the enormous eighteen-wheeler he was piloting down the freeway. What’s up with that?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but a CB is exactly the same thing as a phone, only with less dropped calls. I realize that you only have to hold the CB microphone up to your mouth, instead of the entire side of your head, as with a phone or a banana, but something tells me lack of peripheral vision is not what you guys are trying to legislate. So why can’t I hold my phone in my hand and talk on speaker phone, but I’m perfectly welcome to hold a CB microphone and do the same thing?

Although, if I got a CB, I’d have to learn an entirely different language, so that may not be the best option. I’ll constantly be having to ask if other truckers have their ears on, and alert them to my 20. I’ll need to let them know if they have Smokey the bear knocking on their back door, and whether it’s Evel Knievel, a gumball machine, a county Mountie, or a plain brown wrapper. Or maybe it’s a Kojak with a Kodak, in which case they’d better listen to their bird dog and slide off the hammer.

That sounds like too much work, especially since most of my car trips are just taking the kids to and from school. I barely remember when to do that, so I can’t be keeping track of all the bears as well. Plus, I’m not sure I could fit an eighteen-wheeler into the school parking lot. And besides, I like my phone and I want to keep it. So I’ve come up with a plan.

Here’s the next big new idea that someone else can make millions on, since I’m too lazy to do it myself. We need CB radio microphones that plug into the headphone jack on our smartphones. That way we can all talk to each other on speaker phone, just as before, but now we’re perfectly legal again, since it’s a CB microphone and all. Sorry iPhone 7 users. You guys are out of luck on this one. You won’t get to have a cool trucker handle, or say ‘over’ after every sentence like we will.

So, anyway, I’m thinking we need those, or as an alternative, phones cleverly disguised to look like bananas.

Either way will be fine with me. Just let me know when they’re available on Amazon.

See you soon, I’m 10-7. Y'all keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down. Tome Raider over and out.


Copyright © 2017 Marc Schmatjen

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