Don’t you just hate it when you’re at a concert, meeting, or church service, and someone’s cell phone rings, its computerized tones filling the room, breaking your concentration on the event? Now, people can download their favorite songs to their cell phones for everyone else to hear when they ring. One gal in my singing group has “Ode to Joy” on her phone. Occasionally, the cheerful strains of this melody accompany whatever song we’re practicing, and as luck would have it, it’s not in the same key.
My brother once had a song by his favorite rock band on his phone. When we attended his daughter’s dance recital several years ago, I suggested he turn it off so the orchestral strains of “Swan Lake” wouldn’t be augmented by the synthesized chords, guitar notes, and drum rolls of Van Halan’s “Jump.” Instead of gliding across the stage like swans on a clear, blue lake, the ballerinas would leap high in the air, not very swan-like.
Have you ever been at an event where you realized you forgot to turn off your cell phone? You don’t want to turn it off now because it will make noise, and that will be just as bad. Your phone isn’t even set to vibrate. You’re sitting in the middle row of a darkened theater. In order to get out so you can answer your phone, you have to crawl over a multitude of legs. How embarrassing would that be? All you can do is cross your fingers, bow your head, and pray the world doesn’t find out you’re a fan of Guns and Roses.
I’ve been there. I was at a poetry workshop when someone else’s cell phone rang, and that person hurried from the room to answer it. It was then I realized I’d forgotten to turn mine off. Fortunately, I’m not a fan of Guns and Roses, and my phone has a button on the top I can push to switch it to vibrate mode when it does ring, but I still felt self-conscious. This inspired the following poem from How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver.
The Blue Doorknob
”Ting a-ling, ting a-ling,” goes the cell phone.
With an apology, someone hurries from the room.
Better him than me, I think,
as I try to concentrate.
I forgot to turn mine off.
“What comes to mind when you think of a blue doorknob,” asks the poet.
The one in my pocket threatens to expose me
or inspire someone to write a poem.