A week ago ....

Claremore’s local Red Cross super hero — known to those who are in the know as Mark Ogle — was showing off a new cell phone accessory.

No blue tooth, purple tooth or green tooth technology here. Just a dated black telephone handset pulled directly from his suit jacket pocket.

“Holy, Blackjack! What is that?” someone asked incredulously.

“My answer to technology,” Ogle replied. “And it only cost $12.99.” He demonstrated how the archaic communication device has been adapted to plug directly into his razor-thin cell phone hanging at hip level.

With a smooth twist of his wrist he slips the receiver out of his inside jacket pocket, clicks a button to receive a call and places it to his ear, all the time talking non stop.

“Yeah, really!” he tells his audience of two. “You can order it right out of a magazine. This is the cheap one. Now I’ll tell you, it does have an echo. That’s what my wife said. But, they do have a more expensive model. It’s $29.99. I’m sure it’s probably better.”

A few days later ...

Ogle stops in, again.

“Guess you saw those copies I left on your desk,” he said, referring to catalog sheets showing samples of Cell-Phone Receivers (”retro” handsets emulating antiquity) available through a specialty sales company.

The grimace on his face belied his former enthusiasm. “Well, I gotta tell you, mine quit working,” he reluctantly admitted.

“You gotta be kidding,” came the reply.

“Yeah, when I’m talking I can hear them, but they can’t hear me,” he said.

Hmmmm ...

There’s a lesson here. Actually, it’s a biblical lesson. Something about mixing old things with new things (see Matthew 9:16-24).

So the break down in communication Ogle experienced was predicted. Like the Master said: You don’t patch old clothing with new cloth. You don’t put new wine in old wine skins. In today’s vernacular, you don’t mix old technology with new technology.

It doesn’t work, and it could be dangerous.

Yes, dangerous.

While sales literature proclaims this “wacky fusion” of high-tech and retro can “create double-takes,” it also claims to “minimize your exposure to radio wave transmission...”


It’s not the brain penetrating radio frequency you should be worried about — it’s the traffic-stopping double-takes.

A study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found cell-phone users are no more likely than anyone else to suffer cancers of the head and neck, brain tumors or leukemia.

On the other hand, whiplash pain is real. It can also be deadly.

So get with the times. Consider one of those new-fangled ear pieces if flipping your cell phone open takes too much effort.

You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen those people walking around with nano-speed transmitting devices stuck to their heads looking a little Borgish. (If you don’t know what Borgish is, you probably don’t know what a handset is either, and you probably still believe cell phones cause cancer.)

Let me tell you how it is. If you want to connect, assimilate. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself talking into a retro handset with nothing but an answering echo.

Now, that could really be a pain in the neck.

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