Attack of the Phone Monster

Those of you who are fans of the television series Supernatural know that there are an abundance of differing mystical, magical creatures. But there are also some creatures who are not mystical or magical, but who have a mystical, magical effect. These are varying types of monsters.

Now I realize that right off the bat some of you are saying, “Dude, are you smoking your printer ink? There is no such thing as monsters.” I disagree. In fact, it is my considered opinion (I like using the adjective “considered” when describing my opinion. It’s so much more appropriate than “humble”) that the reason that you do not believe in monsters is because you are assigning mystical and magical to the topic. No need. It’s like luck. People say, “I don’t believe in luck” not realizing that luck is merely when happenstance just happens to work in your favor. It isn’t mystical or magical; it’s more like, “Oops.”

Now back to the subject of monsters. What makes a monster a monster is not always what the monster is intrinsically per se, but more often it is what the monster is perceived as by the person who sees them as a monster. Take clowns, for example. You always hear people making some kind of reference to an “evil clown” even though, I’m pretty sure, Ringling Brothers has never trained any of their clowns to be evil. But what makes a clown a monster? The people who are afraid of clowns do.

Having said all of that, I will disclose to you that I have a tendency to be somewhat asocial when it comes to talking on the telephone. I would prefer to communicate via email. But the phone monsters insist that their method of communication is “healthier” and so they persuade you to do it. “You can’t hear voice inflections in an email,” they say, “and so it can be too easy to misinterpret what the person is saying and what their meaning is.”

I have an objection to that logic. When I was married, my ex used to relay things that people said when she didn’t like what they said, and the tone that she used inferred that these people were minions of the antichrist. But when I actually heard some of these conversations first-hand, and later heard her relaying the content of the conversation to someone else using the antichrist minion tone, I realized that she was getting it wrong, even though the conversation did not take place via email.

Don’t get me wrong; if there is necessary information that needs to be (briefly) relayed, or if I’m talking to someone who I haven’t spoken with in a long time and there is much to say, then I can get behind phone conversations completely. But the phone monster insists that you “hang out” on the phone. In other words, there’s no real conversation taking place. Generally it goes something like this:

Phone monster: “So I’m at the grocery store… I’m walking down the frozen food isle… frozen peas, hmmm…”

Me: “You know what? I have something burning on the stove, I gotta go…”

Phone monster: “OK, I’ll talk to you later… Oh wait, before you go – just real quick, I was wondering… hmmm – these peas are past their date. I wonder if anyone here knows about it. I should probably tell someone. OK so I’m looking at the frozen pizzas now…”

I have to confess the need I feel to appease the phone monster – even though I realize that this is part of what gives it its power…

I’m sitting at home, minding my own business, enjoying a hot beverage when the phone rings. I look at the caller ID… it’s the phone monster. What do I do? If I let it go to voicemail, the phone monster will be displeased. It will demand a sacrifice; twice as long on the phone next time perhaps.

There is one good thing about the phone monster; I discovered that when the phone monster is talking I can put the phone down and go make a sandwich or watch some TV. When I come back to the phone, the phone monster is still talking and doesn’t realize that I’ve been gone. Of course, it’s risky. If the phone monster ever catches on to what I’m doing it will be very displeased. Life will get very ugly.

Where are Sam and Dean when you need them?

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