A kid biked by Insider’s house the other day in the early afternoon. The know-it-all was punching his fingers furiously into his cell phone with his head down when he ran smack into a sidewalk, flipped over the handlebars and onto the old guy’s lush lawn. The boy immediately jumped up, got his cell phone out of harm’s way in the street and laid back down on the lawn to apparently gather himself. A few minutes went by and Insider noticed the kid had gotten back up and was now walking his bike along the road with one hand and punching things into his cell phone with the other. Apparently the kid was doing something called text messaging, which is similar to email, Insider’s young punk friend told him. When it was discovered all was well with the kid, the old guy just laughed and laughed, and it wasn’t just a silly little giggle. It was one of those Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show moments. Oh, Insider just loves his people watching.
That got Insider to thinking about this new phone, the Ipod that’s been all over the TV of late. As much as the old guy hates government and wishes it was still the size the guys behind the Federalists Papers envisioned, it may be time for cell phones to be banned in cars and, of course, bikes. Just look around and notice how many people are either talking on their phones while they drive or are busy hitting the keypad with reckless abandonment. Perhaps the bullies in Annapolis have been on to something after all with this cell phone ban legislation. In a few short years, that same kid that took a tumble onto the old guy’s lawn will be driving and the ramifications could be much worse.
The old guy is calling it quits. The Underwood is going up and the replacement parts are impossible to find, the handwriting is too messy nowadays and the ideas are becoming increasingly difficult to come by. It’s been fun, but the time is right to part ways with this column. It’s become a dreaded chore. In fact, someone else at the newspaper office has filled in for Insider multiple times, as he routinely missed deadlines over the last couple years because of writer’s block or forgetting to take his memory medicine.
This was the old guy’s idea, so don’t go sending hate mail to the punk kid publisher. The young-timer tried to talk Insider out of it, referring to something he called a “dedicated readership” and blah, blah, blah. It’s just becoming too much of a job, and that’s when it’s time to quit. The publisher is too young to understand that now. He writes four columns every week, but 50 years from now, he will understand what Insider is talking about. It’s never been about the money (there was none in the first place). It’s just a good time to put a wrap on this column. Insider will not miss it.