too many words by laura lemay

whip it out, baby

I’m back at the cafe today because of ongoing Internet connection foofrah. Today my usual spot in the lower room was taken so I ended up in the upper room against the wall in the middle of a crowded row of other computer people. We tend to all cluster around the walls because that’s where the outlets are; the cafe has kindly given us power strips so that we can all plug in at once and not have to crawl around behind each other looking for the plug behind the bench.

As I sat down and unwound all my equipment onto the table in front of me I noted the usual population breakdown. Amongst the big row of tables and computers I was the only woman and the only Mac. No big. Business as usual.

But I also noticed that on each table in addition to the usual array of fancy-ass laptops and cafe glasses in various states of completion that each and every gentleman had carefully, deliberately placed his cell phone in a prominent place of display on the table next to him. Next to me, a Treo. On the other side, a blue RAZR, and just past him, some silver flip I didn’t recognize. Phone and phone and phone, all lined up for display and comparative purposes.

So of course I took my own cell phone out of my bag and carefully, deliberately placed it on the table next to me. There was kind of an unseen ripple across the row of tables, furtive glances, half a mutter from one end of the row, a hand reaching out to readjust the position of their phone on the table. I do not think I failed the man test but I did not come out on top, either. Perhaps I need a more recognizable phone if I’m going to be a proper silverback geek.