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The Journal of Literary Satire | Hastily Written & Slopilly Edited
Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Powerful Stories Made Impotent by the Introduction of Cellphones


Creon: Since my decision has been thus reversed, I who imprisoned Antigone shall myself be present to release her. I’m just going to call ahead. (Takes out cellphone.) Antigone? Greetings. Listen I’ve been thinking about the relationship of power to family. Some heavy stuff like that. I’m going to come down and personally dig you out. Mmmh, I know. I really am sorry about this. … Hameon? Hameon. Go ahead and call your mother. Listen we’ll talk when I get down there, just don’t do anything drastic. I love you too.

The Cask of Amontillado

I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I reërected the old rampart of bones. And it would have been a really, really good plan. But Fortunato had his cellphone on him. That villain only added insult to injury by putting 911 as one of his voice-activated speed-dial numbers, not five minutes before coming to visit. At first the cops thought it was a prank call. He was slurring all of his words. But he persisted, finally dropping my name. With the mention of my name, the cops took an interest. Before I could dig him out, two officers were at my front door. “Montresor, we have received another call from someone claiming to be trapped at your house. Mind if we look around?” While the money helps, I began wondering if it was shrewd of me to have the cellphone tower put up in the belfry. Perhaps not, if I am ever going to successfully bury one of my enemies. They released Fortunato and I was arrested. I was taken away while the cops talked about what a great little invention this cellphone was , since having one around really eases people’s mind when driving their carriage late at night or when thinking of the prospect of being buried alive.

Robinson Crusoe

This first picture is the beach where I crawled ashore. You should have seen me. As I sat on the shore I thought to myself, “Is my fate to be stranded on an island populated by beasts and savages?” Rather than slide into despair, I sucked it up and headed for the mountains. This next shot is of all the beasts and savages. Can you believe each of those little Booths are different cellphone companies? The guy at the first Kiosk, said to me, “How about I get you a free phone?” I looked at him and said, “Nothing’s free.” I should have just ignored him. He started on his whole spiel, “Well for just $9.99 I can get you started on our emergency plan…” This man had a shiftiness about him. I said, “Thanks for your time. I’m just going to have a look around.” I recognized the seriousness of my situation. For miles, nothing but cellphone kiosks. If I didn’t act quickly, I would die out here. Here are a couple of shots of a really quiet kid. Cute, but quiet. He made cases for cellphones. I called him Friday. I told him that I would buy a case, after I purchased a cellphone. So he followed me to the next Kiosk. The next guy told me that his company had recently added thirty new towers and reception was guaranteed on the whole island. He threw in a free camera phone that sealed the deal. Ready to sign on the dotted line, I found my traveler’s checks were missing. That is when I realized this Friday kid wasn’t as innocent as he appeared. Thankfully, the salesman took my Discover card. It really pays to Discover. As soon as the cellphone was in my hand, Friday gave his pitch again. I knew he already had my traveler’s checks, but I gave him the few bucks I had left and he gave me a case. And here is a picture of the first and last sunset I saw on the island. For before the sun had set, I called for help and was shortly returned to civilization—where I could live without my cellphone.


Hamlet: I have of late—but wherefore I know not—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises. (Metallica’s “Ain’t My Bitch” ringtone plays. Hamlet answers.) At the Castle. Where are you? … I can’t … How long are you going to be there?… I was just standing here, thinking out loud …. All right, all right. I’ll stop by. Later. And indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory— (The ringtone plays. Hamlet looks at his cellphone and hesitates before taking the call.) Dude, I was going to call. No, I wasn’t ignoring you … I’ll give you a call tomorrow. I’m sure we’ll do something this weekend. Yep. This most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why— (Hamlet pauses ready to speak, when the cellphone rings. Exiting, he takes the call.) Hello? Hey.At the castle Where are you at? Is Ophelia over there? Yeah? Oh, totally. Let’s do it.

Waiting for Godot

Estragon: Who was that?
Vladimir: Godot. He can’t make it. Let’s grab some Chinese.
Estragon: Sounds like a plan.

Vladimir & Estragon exit stage left.

Justin Kahn is an adjunct instructor in Philosophy. He hopped on the blogging bandwagon sometime late in September 2005. His blog, Concept of Irony, like Seinfeld, is about nothing. The similarities end there. But Justin is planning vast and sweeping changes. Until Justin initiates the Blog Renovation to End All Blog Renovations, his blog has links to some of his other works.