When’s a phone not a phone?
When you’re not using it as a phone.
[Insert some pithy argument here in which we talk about Socrates and the Aristotlean ideal or Platonic Forms. We could actually have this argument, but in the end, that’s going to take a long time and we’re just going to end up at the following point.]
In this modern age of hover pants and flying cars, automated robotic vacuum machines and wrist-mounted crossbows operated by trained ferrets who abide in rucksacks, we have any number of lovely gadgets that do all of the things. Kind of like a Swiss Army Knife, but powered with ELECTRICITY, and with fewer blades. Although, now that I think about it, I’d like my phone to also have blades on it. Real blades, not just pictures of blades. Maybe if I glued my Leatherman to my phone…
…I’ve distracted myself.
The cellular telephones. Here we are, back on track. The cellular telephones with their bells and whistles and playlists and pedometers and the whole nine yards. I have found my cellular telephone (I dearly hope you are listening to this paragraph as if my voice were pinched and warbling, in a slow southern American drawl) to be an indispensable tool at the gym. I have music! Books (I don’t care what anybody says; it’s difficult to read a book while running, even if you’re on a treadmill – I have audiobooks)! Pedometers! Disembodied voices telling me zombies are chasing me! I am the ultimate multitasker. I can watch a closed-captioned television programme, listen to INSPIRING music, track my mileage and caloric burn, and sweat like a grimy rigpig in the blistering August sun all at the same time.
Enter the ubiquitous POLICY.
It is the POLICY at most gyms that cellular telephones (<– remember the drawl whenever this phrase is mentioned) are banned from changerooms. Because of privacy concerns. This policy makes sense. I have no desire to chat on the telephone or snap pictures of my own cottage cheese thighs (nor anyone else’s for that matter) in gym changerooms. Nor in any changerooms for that matter. This POLICY makes sense.
So when I was checking my schedule for the day, and shutting off my pedometer and playlist (because really, tracking my steps from the locker while I am in the shower is not something my cellular telephone is capable of doing) and a Helpful Person said, “I’m sure you probably don’t know this, but cellphones are banned from here because of privacy issues,” I replied by saying “I know. I’m not using my cellphone. I’m turning off my playlist.”
I don’t know if the distinction was clear. I was not using my cellphone in the changeroom. I was using my pedometer in the changeroom. Technically, I was *disengaging* my pedometer in the changeroom. I usually have the thing tucked securely in my brassiere when I’m actually ‘working out’. Digging around in there is Not At All pleasant until I am shirtless afterwards. Perhaps I ought to have engaged in the argument about Platonic Forms at that point. Perhaps we ought to have had the discussion about the Aristotelian ideal of a ‘telephone’ (a discussion that is, at its very core, ridiculous). But we didn’t.
I was not using my cellular telephone. I was using a day planner. I was using a pedometer. I know the rules and I was not breaking them, and I guess the recalcitrant six-year-old in me was full of Pout at that moment. I am still Pouting.