Cell phone memories

When carrying a cell phone, I very seldom use the ‘Memory’ or ‘Address Book’ feature. I prefer to dial the phone numbers of family and friends from my own wet-ware memory, rather than to use the silicon one that comes with the phone.

Likewise, if I am traveling to meet someone, I write their phone number on a piece of paper and dial from that if I need to contact them.

Seems like these days I am in the distinct minority on this. Everyone seems to be using their cell-phone memory to hold numbers — so much so that quite a few people I’ve met on a professional basis cannot remember the phone of close family.

This is a Bad Thing.

Every day, someone will be booked into our jail, who when it comes time for those famous Two Completed Phone Calls, tells the officer, “I want to call Soandso.”

Officer sez, “Okay, what’s that number?”

Bookee, in a stricken whisper, “It’s in my cell phone.”

Which, naturally, has already been sealed inside a plastic property bag, that being locked inside a property box.

And I’m here to tell you that this is a syndrome which affects even those who haven’t wound up getting hooked and booked.

Sometime ago I was in the midst of a midnight munchie run when a young lady walking across the parking lot of the grocery store whilst talking on her cell phone wasn’t paying quite as much attention to walking as might have been appropriate — consequently managing to trip over a car stop and produce two of the prettiest silver fork fractures I have ever seen.

Rescue was called, I was attempting to make her comfortable until they got there and I asked if there was someone who should be notified.

She answered that she wanted her daddy called. I asked what his number was, she replied that it was in her cell phone.

Unfortunately, the cell phone was not quite as impact-resistant as one might have hoped.

The last I saw of her, she was being loaded into an ambulance — and still had not been able to contact family.

Gentle Readers, cell phones can be wonderful little gadgets. However, as with anything made by man, they can fail. Dead batteries. Impact. Water infiltration. Simple wear-and-tear. Car crashes.

Remembering Rule Number One* here at The LawDog Files, you can guarantee that your cell phone will go Paws Up about the time that your life goes Biblically pear-shaped.

Folks, memorize your important numbers. Dial them from your own memory so that you will continue to remember them. If you can’t do this, write them down on something that doesn’t require electricity, an LCD screen and delicate electronics to read.


*For the newbies, Rule Number One is: “Murphy hates you. Personally.”

New laws

19 thoughts on “Cell phone memories”

  1. I’m funny like that about remembering certain numbers, as well. Glad to know I’m not wierd…haha!

  2. And don’t forget another downside to having your numbers in the cell phone memory….

    If a “critter” steals the phone, they’ve stolen those numbers too.

  3. Um. (Raises hand.) What does “Biblically pear-shaped” mean? It sounds like a fun term, and I assume it means something has not gone well, but could I get some background on the phrase please? It appears to be a common phrase according to Google, but I couldn’t find any background. Thanks,

  4. Good point. I’m actually guilty of this one to a certain extent.

    (K whips out phone and a post it and starts jotting……)

  5. Unfortunately, a lot of people have several numbers, and will only answer one of those numbers on a given day. Mt memory is not what it used to be. I guess they are self selecting for my less important list. 🙂

  6. You remind me of a story my flight instructor told – and a habit she had. She REQUIRED us to use the old manual whiz-wheels (E-6B)..She had one student who absolutely refused, so she allowed him to use the electronic version.

    He went to empty his personal tanks before a long cross-country flight and she flipped the batteries. During the flight, she changed their destination, requiring recalculating all the data.

    He whipped out his gadget which was…DOA. He spent quite some time fiddling with it whereupon she asked him “Um…Do you know where we are now? Or whether we have enough fuel to get where I want to go?” He had NO idea where he was any more, and no way to figure out if he COULD get anyplace else.

    ALWAYS have a GOTH (Go To H3!!) plan…


  7. *grins* Cell phone dead?

    Isn’t that what the iPOD is for, for back up on the cell phone numbers?


  8. As always a good point. I’m guilty of over relying on my cell phone and worse, my Crackberry instead of my memory. I resolve to change that, if I don’t forget.

    You’re also the second blogger in about a week to use the term “Silver Fork Fracture”. The problem is all too many new EMTs haven’t learned all those old fashioned terms.

  9. Kate –

    My iPod is my phone number backup too…of course, when I get an iPhone there goes my back up gadget…whoops!

    I do have immediate family home/cell numbers memorized, but everyone else’s…well, I get a bit fuzzy there. Guess I need to dig out the post-it notes too.

  10. But LawDog, that’s what the other cell phone is for!

    Usually I write everything down in a hard copy address book, but I don’t always do that with cell phone numbers that I get when I’m out and about. A good reminder.

  11. I am guilty of relying on my cell for a lot of numbers, but I have important ones written down in my wallet. I can remember an FFL number, a couple social security numbers, and a couple phone numbers, but I can’t remember all my important phone numbers. I should be ashamed.
    The girl who didn’t know her own father’s phone number, though…wow. That’s pretty darned bad.

  12. On the other hand, if you fall down and get knocked unconscious, and someone finds you and wants to call someone who might know you, they’ll have access to the numbers in your phone, but not those in your head. It’s always a good idea to have important numbers memorized, but you should have them in your phone, too. (also, if your phone gets lost, and found by a good samaritan, they can call one of your saved numbers to try to get it returned)

  13. If I should be found unconscious, I assume that someone will be looking in my wallet for an ID.

    And right beside the drivers license there is a laminated card with printing on two sides. Face side lists family and doctors with phone numbers. Reverse lists allergies, current medications, date of last shots (flu, tetanus), and date of last physical. The card is re-written after each physical.

    I am more concerned about passing out someplace than about being arrested. Like millions of other Americans, I do not do things that will get me arrested. (Yes, I make full and complete stops at stop signs; I would not want to embarrass my nephew.)

  14. I have various incarnations of my Everyone In The Known World (or at least mine) in different notebooks scattered here and there. I’ll go to update it, and won’t be able to find the notebook. Then, when I’m five people from finishing my list, all of the old notebooks reappear.

    Of course, in case of me being incapacitated in some form (unconscious, all extremities broken, you know, the usual stuff) I have “Mom” and “Dad” in my cell phone and also “In Case Of Emergency” which has both the Farmparents’ numbers, and Mamaw’s.

    It’ll make it easy on emergency personnel if I’m ever in a car accident, or such. Someone also suggested recently listing it as “A In Case Of Emergency” so that it’s at the top of the contacts list, which is smart.

  15. Remember Roger’s Rules for Rangers? Have you ever thought about writing a modern list, a set of simple guidelines that will see someone always prepared for every little thing (and the rare big things) life may throw at them.

  16. Jason said “On the other hand, if you fall down and get knocked unconscious, and someone finds you and wants to call someone who might know you, they’ll have access to the numbers in your phone” …

    This puts me in mind of an e-mail I received a while back, that said that you should save the number of your emergency contact (the person you would most want the police to call in the above circumstance) under the name “ICE” (In Case of Emergency). The e-mail went on to say that LEO’s will know to contact the person at that number, and most will look for it in your cellphone directory.

    LawDog, is this true? Or just another myth perpetuated by the internet?

  17. And, just a hint: many jails won’t let inmates call cell phones. The only calls allowed are to land lines. Memorize a land line of someone stable.

    I have broken the screen on my work phone and broken the power adaptor on my personal phone, in the last month. Fortunately, in my wallet is an itty bitty “Little Black Book.”

  18. Yep. I have them all in my cell phone memory but I also carry a little matchbook sized phonebook in my wallet that has all of the truly important numbers in it as well.

    That little book has saved my ass a couple of times. I’ve been in a couple of accidents in the past few years and both times the medic or police officer found the ICE numbers to call in my little book that has ICE in big, bold letters on both covers.

    I work in the Network/Telecom/Computer industry and I can gaurantee you one thing. That cell phone /PDA/electronic device will let you down every damn time you have a true emergency.

    Don’t believe me? Next time you have an accident see if you can even find the damn thing much less find it in working order. Also, it works really good when you’re being robbed, attacked, raped, etc…

    I’ll take my little ICE book in my wallet and my CCW gun over a cell phone anytime.


  19. Gentle Readers, cell phones can be wonderful little gadgets. However, as with anything made by man, they can fail. Dead batteries. Impact. Water infiltration. Simple wear-and-tear. Car crashes.

    Or, in one instance of my own remarkable incompetence, being smashed into a cliff.

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