[Gregory] Sweet Bird Of Nokia | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Gregory] Sweet Bird Of Nokia

My office downtown is close to Smith Park. Often, during my 15 minutes of government-mandated break time in the afternoon, I walk to the park and sit on a bench to enjoy my state-sanctioned five-minute cigarette. I like Smith Park for the bossy squirrels and the large fountain. The sound of water running—besides making me want to pee—relaxes me and allows me a few minutes where the worries of the day aren't nipping at my heels.

Yesterday, as I was sitting on my bench and enjoying my daily dose of nicotine, I heard a strange sound. For the first time it wasn't a homeless person asking to bum a smoke. It seemed to be a bird. At least, I was pretty sure it was a bird. The reason I was confused about the origin of the sound was that it definitely sounded "bird-like" but—if this was a bird—it was doing the best impression of a Nokia ringtone that I've ever heard. You know the ringtone I'm talking about: the "default" ringtone of a Nokia that makes my ears bleed and reminds me of the tone sequence in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." The ringtone never incited violence in the UFO's during that movie, but it definitely incites violence in me.

After searching the trees, I finally spotted the singing bird and realized this poor bird was just parroting the strange sounds he'd been hearing in Smith Park. I say "he" because I assume that only a male bird would be singing a Nokia ringtone. I expect much more from a female bird—like maybe a warbled version of Fergie's "My Humps." At first, I laughed at the ridiculousness of actually hearing a bird singing a Nokia ringtone. Then, I started thinking about how this was a perfect example of the small ways our daily lives influence nature and the world around us. I know that's a large jump, but tell me: if you heard a bird singing a Nokia ringtone, wouldn't you start thinking about all the ways we are obviously ravaging the natural beauty of the Earth? It's only one of the small consequences of our lust for convenience.

Three days ago, while stepping out of my VW, I turned quickly to hit the "lock" button on my key chain and nothing happened. There was no locking of the doors. There was no nice little "beep-beep" telling me my belongings were safe from roving criminals. Nothing happened. It stunned me. What was I to do? I was shocked to realize that if the lock button were no longer working, it would force me to actually stick the key in the door and lock it manually. Jesus Christ. Do people still do this? I was pretty sure that a key had never actually been inserted into the door of this car in the three years that I owned it. And, as long as this is America, it shouldn't have to be. Locking my car doors via a nice little button is a convenience … and I love every button-pushin' second of it. Like most Americans, I want my life to be easy, uncomplicated and full of buttons to push that do things I do not enjoy doing.

We see evidence of these consequences every day in the news. Scientists fight with the government about the real effects of global warming. Studies tell us the meat we eat is loaded with hormones and additives. I think a lot of times that all of these problems seem so large, so incomprehensible to most of us, that it is much easier to sit back and say, "This isn't something I can handle." Then, we go about our convenient lives chasing our oblivion with television, the Internet and who fathered Anna Nicole Smith's baby.

I once told someone that being "passionately present" in my life was something very important to me. I think in these past few months a lot of my passionate presence has degenerated into just "presence." I've been tired, overworked, stressed out, and I don't have time to deal with the problems of the world. I have enough problems of my own to address without wondering if eating a Hershey's bar is hurting some small, overworked child on the eastern side of the world. But wondering those things, and adjusting my behavior accordingly, is part of our responsibility as human beings on this Earth. I'm not saying I'm about to stop shaving my legs and give up dairy, because smooth legs and cheese are two things I hold very dear. I'm just saying that maybe I'll start doing the little things that used to be a part of my life, like shopping locally, buying organic produce and recycled paper towels. Hey, I may not be saving polar bears personally, but every little bit helps.

And if it only helps one little bird give up his Nokia love song, I can say that I've done my small part. I want to live in a world where birds sing, not parrot some mechanical sound made in China. That just ain't natural.

Previous Comments

ID
74776
Comment

Lori, I thought you quit smoking. Yes, I'm messing with you. :-P

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-04-18T21:17:20-06:00
ID
74777
Comment

Oh, I DID. I quit smoking at least once a month. Last time I actually made it the whole month. ;) L.W.-I'll tell you what I tell everyone else. If I quit smoking I'd be damn near perfect. That's just not fair to everybody else. :P

Author
Lori G
Date
2007-04-19T06:03:07-06:00
ID
74778
Comment

While we're on the subject of ringtones, I was standing in a line several months ago and heard a ringtone of a woman moaning while having sex. I was looking around to see if a woman was suddenly getting sexual urges, but none to be seen. Finally, the guy who owned the phone answered and the moaning stopped. Some people have no dignity for themselves.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-04-19T07:04:35-06:00
ID
74779
Comment

Golden Eagle, I don't even know how to respond to that other than to just say...EWWWWWWWW!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-04-19T07:13:58-06:00
ID
74780
Comment

lassie............

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-19T08:10:20-06:00
ID
74781
Comment

There's a ringtone that sounds like a chicken. It's amazing what kind of ringtones are out there. But the sex ringtone takes the cake. Maybe I can find one with Casey Kasem on a cursing tirade.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-04-19T09:26:20-06:00
ID
74782
Comment

I've always thought that phones should just RING. But, I would be a complete hypocrite if I didn't admit that my ringtone right now is Stewie from the Family Guy saying "Attention World Leaders, I have 157 nuclear warheads trained on every major capital in the US. The world is now under my control. And, look, I'm NAKED." It never fails to make me giggle.

Author
Lori G
Date
2007-04-19T09:34:01-06:00

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