I visited my nearly 80 - year-old mother this weekend, and she told me that her cell phone continues to ring. She has a cell phone designed for five-year-olds, the Firefly. It's cute as a bug. When we got it for her [she wanted a cell phone wihtout "all those buttons"], we programed in the two main numbers, for emergencies, and a handfull of others in her phonebook--which to this day she cannot use. But we call her every once in awhile on the cell phone, so she feels connected, not only to family but also to the twenty-first century. Everybody MUST have a cell phone. Even when they never leave the house, it seems.
Her Firefly, she explained, rings and rings for over an hour and she can't shut it off. "Did you try to turn it off?" we asked.
I took the phone and turned it off, showing her the exact step of pushing the red (hang up) button. It went off. I noted that her description of the Firefly's continued ringing sound was not one the phone is programed to make. The Firefly has about five different "rings" and to me they all sound the same, but it is not a "ring." This was my first clue.
The phone needed charging, and I guessed maybe this was some signal the phone makes to say "plug me in." So, we plugged it in.
Two days later she calls me. "My phone is ringing again and I can't shut it off."
"Huh." I replied. "Have you tried to turn it off?" I asked.
"Push the red "hang up" button."
"It doesn't go off and it won't stop ringing."
I can hear the soud its making over the phone. This is not a cell phone noise. But I play along.
I picked up my cell phone and called the Firefly. It rings, she answers. "It works," she shouts.
"Yes, but I still hear that noise. Is it doing that in your ear?"
Long pause. "Ya know," she starts, "it isn't coming from the cell phone."
What a surprise! I think to myself. "Where is it coming from?"
"I think it's that clock on the counter," she says. The clock that DOES NOT WORK, cannot be programmed by a normal human being [and I have a sixth sense for digital watches and clocks] and should not have batteries in it. But she insists it works --it's supposed to actually SPEAK the time when you push the button. Though, what use this feature is I cannot guess. And now the clock that is impossible to set for month and day and time is beeping. Obviously an alarm of some kind.
"Take the batteries out of it," I suggest. She wheels herself over to the counter and I hear a lot fo rattling. Finally, the beeping stops.
'It WAS the clock," she says. "I thought it was the phone."
This ranks right up there with the weekend before when she swears some one came into the house and took a shower early Sunday morning. Why would someone break in and take a shower? Silver or jewels maybe, but a shower? And after they took a shower they set the damn clock's alarm to go off in the middle of day and disguise itself as a cell phone.