Science fiction author Michael Casher dusts the cobwebs off previously unused sections of his brain.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Belly Call

I never thought it was possible until it actually happened. One day I accidentally speed-dialed a phone number on my cell phone...with my belly. No lie.

One day last summer I slid into the car with my trusty Motorola C139 Tracfone securely attached to the belt holding up my cargo shorts. Yep, some 57-year-old men in Appalachia wear cargo shorts. Not all of us stuff our inflated bellies and backsides into stone-washed Levi's, pretending that time has granted us a reprieve from the aging process. Besides, cargo shorts hold an incredible amount of stuff. I could never fit a wallet, car keys, house keys, business card holder, one of those new 15-stick packs of Winterfresh gum, three or four bucks worth of loose change, pill box, pack of pocket tissues and a big blue bandanna into a pair of blue jeans, no matter what style. Besides, I'd rather look like Captain Kangaroo any day than The Pillsbury Doughboy.

To make a long story less long, when I sat down in the car, my belly (which is not quite a spare car tire but more than a spare bicycle tire) speed-dialed the number of a woman I knew who happened to be in a meeting at work at the time. I didn't know I'd dialed her until I got home when, before turning off my cell phone, I saw that she'd discreetly text messaged me from her meeting, asking me what I wanted.

I had to call her back and tell her that I'd dialed her with the extra fat round my middle and not on purpose. I also called her because I had no idea how to reply to a text message. Just because I can send and receive text messages with my cell phone doesn't mean I know how to or even want to. I have a cell phone for security, emergencies and store-to-home calling so I don't bring home the wrong thing. I'd rather make a call than return an item. In other words, I'm one of those 20th Century leftovers who talks on the phone instead of typing on it.

Anyway, the woman I'd accidentally speed-dialed with my big belly was, to my relief, mildly amused by what had happened. I'm glad because anything so stupid as speed-dialing somebody with your belly and then taking forever to reply to a text message back could have easily been misinterpreted as a prank. But, hell, I'd never make a crank phone call. I wouldn't know how to go about it in the first place, even if I wanted to. Except maybe getting behind the wheel of my aging Daewoo Lanos with my cell phone on and just hoping that my belly and the steering wheel would know what to do.

The moral of this story is that, being a good guy who still wants to become a better guy, I lost 25 pounds and most of it came off my belly. So, the only way I could accidentally speed-dial anyone with my belly these days would be if I tripped and fell flat on my face.

Author's Note, 2-11-11: Because of technical difficulties, I had to give up my Motorola C139 "candy bar" phone and replace it with an LG 410g flip-phone. The biggest benefit with this upgrade is that I don't have to worry about my belly speed dialing people behind my back anymore. The downside is to not give in to the temptation to eat every candy bar, pizza and sub in sight just because the size of my belly is no longer a mobile phone issue.

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