Monday, January 21, 2013

Things have changed a bit since 1999

I am Chris’s pager. You know me as 555.818.1234 . March 9th. 1999 was the most traumatic day of my being. I had faithfully woken him up at 5am, had the screen window cleaned, and been put in my place of honor at his left hip. We left home to go to the airport for a day trip to Houston. Trips to Houston are always exciting because I get to show my wares many times in a day.

Flying however is not my favorite activity because he always stuffs me, along with my great rival the cell phone, into a dark, black bag before going through security. He explained this once, but my battery was low, so I switched off.

On this morning, he stuffed me into the bag, and unceremoniously dumped me into the overhead bin of a Southwest Airlines plane to Houston. During the flight, I was paged, and managed through vibrating hard, to escape into the bin. The bin was clean, and uncluttered – and best of all, the cell phone was still in the bag. The cell phone was less trouble than normal, it had been switched off for the flight.

The flight landed, and a somewhat groggy Chris pulled down the bag, and didn’t notice that I had escaped. I vibrated at 60-second intervals to try to alert him, but to no avail. He ignored me.

So there I was. Abandoned in a strange city. In a strange compartment thinking I would never find him again. Every time I was called, I hoped it was he, but no he seemed to have forgotten all about me.

I can only imagine how frantic he was without me. I kept getting called – almost 20 times in the day, and knew I was important. The cell phone had pride of place that day, though. I hoped that Chris wasn’t going to think that I was dispensable, and rely totally on the cell phone in the future.

Meanwhile, the plane was cleaned and took off on an odyssey across country. We even left Texas and went to Rhode Island. At the Providence airport, a cleaning crew member found me, and handed me to lost and found. I heard those clever people at South West airlines wondering how to reunite me with Chris.

One of them turned me over and deciphered the number tattooed on my back. She called it, and was given Chris’s name. They looked in some thing they called the reservation system, and found his reservation with our phone number in it. Luckily it was our home and not that cell phone’s number. Several people tried calling but there was no one home to answer. My worst fears were realized. I had been tossed aside and replaced. And then late that night, the phone rang. I heard the familiar voice. Chris called! He was worried about me after all. He wanted me home. He authorized the use of his credit card to have me shipped. He left a long message warning that if the Southwest people were to try to call him at work, I would vibrate.

I passed a more peaceful night than I expected. Still I wakened with a ringing in myself at 5:00am. It was no help though. I was still up North where it was cold out. I spent a fretful day, and eventually found myself on another of those beautiful Southwest Airlines planes going home to Dallas. Every time the plane stopped, I hoped that I had arrived, but no. In fact it was worse, I was going to Houston. I didn’t know the plan had changed and that Chris was going back to Houston that night, and would rescue me.

I sat quietly in my box, not knowing when he would pick me up. And then, I heard his voice. He was coming to get me. I had not been abandoned after all. We had a happy reunion. He illuminated my display to check the pages. I felt needed again. He put me back in my holster, we were a team once more.

As we left Houston the following day, the cell phone’s battery ran out. I was again the only way to reach him.

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