The other day I was chatting with my dad on my cell phone when I went though an area notorious for fuzzy reception and the call was dropped. When I got him back on the line I said something like, "I don't know what just happened there. My phone died for a while," instead of saying "Hey dad I'm driving and going through some rural parts so don't be surprised if the line goes dead again." The reason I didn't say the latter is because one time a few years ago my father dragged me to the Radio Shack to get me one of those hands-free headsets you can use to talk on the cell while driving, and what followed, every time we talked, was this conversation:me: Hi dad! him: Hi honey. You in the car? me: Nope. him: Are you in the car? me: Ok. I am. him: Using your headset? me: Yup! him: No you're not. me: I AM! him: Are you? me: Ok. I'm not.
I'm not even going to go into my reasons for thinking those hands-free headsets aren't really that much safer than talking on the cell phone using your goddamn hands in the interest of the length of this post, but the point is when I talk to my father on the cellular, I like for him to think I'm not driving or think that if I am I'm using the headset, which I assure you, I'm not. You'd think I'd use it. After all, I am in the car constantly and love to talk on the phone, but there are so many wires and it still scares me when I see people using those things and, for a second, think they're nuts and having a little conversation with themselves before I see the equipment and realizing they're actually talking to another person.
I'm not going to try and defend my actions because talking on the phone in the car? How am I going to sit here and say that's a really good idea? However, I would like to talk about the hypocrisy of my father's constant nagging regarding my in-car practices because 1) Have you seen him drive? and 2) This morning I called my dad from the car using my cell phone without the headset to get some information I needed. He was in his car, too, on the way into the city. I asked my question and he told me to hold on and then recited some specifics to me from an email he had stored in his Blackberry. Then he said, "You should get a Blackberry." And I didn't say anything like "WHAT IN THE NAME OF GOD - DID YOU JUST CHECK YOUR EMAIL WHILE DRIVING???" because I trust his judgment, but if you live up in the D.C. area maybe it would be a good idea to just watch out on your ride home tonight.