Oh, the horror of the cellphone pocket dial – the secrets that have been spilled, the positions that have been compromised, the marriages and governments that have crumbled.
The accidental call is a symbol of our postmodern age. Of technology doing what we never intended. Of gadgets running amok.
Potential dramatic storylines are endless. If Alfred Hitchcock were still alive, he’d remake one of his classics and call it “Pocket Dial ‘M’ for Murder.’”
In some circles, the phenomenon is crudely known as a “butt dial.” It’s a fitting description, regardless of where you carry your phone, because many an offender has made a royal hiney of himself.
(By the way, apologies to Mrs. Nose for that Barry Manilow medley a few weeks ago.)
’Twas only a matter of time before Tacoma stumbled headlong into the international pocket-dialing hall of fame.
This being prime habitat for stupid crooks, it hardly grabbed front-page headlines this week when a drunken driver inside a suspected stolen car accidentally rang up the cops and led them to him.
Not once, but twice, in the same night.
Ha, ha, only in Tacoma, the northland snobs might scoff. But they’d be wrong.
In South King County last spring, police busted an alleged car thief after overhearing him talk about his exploits while he drove around with his alleged henchmen.
His cooperation with the cops didn’t stop with the initial pocket dial. He unwittingly left his line open 45 minutes.
Only in Renton.
Butt wait, there’s more: These helpful bozos shed light on the positive side of pocket dialing. Makes us think a free cellphone should be issued to every knucklehead released from jail.
Alas, the benefits of butt dialing are not all they’re cracked up to be. They’re easily outweighed by the oodles of inadvertent 911 calls that pour in to emergency dispatchers.
Pierce County’s Law Enforcement Support Agency says about one-fifth of cellphone calls it receives are pocket dials. Kris Dessen, LESA spokeswoman, called it “a problem we encounter on a daily basis.”
Sounds like a job for the next governor and the 2013 Legislature. If you look around, you can clearly see the pols have eliminated the scourge of driving while talking on a cellphone. Next in their crosshairs: Driving while pocket dialing?
Of course, society will never part with its cellphones, so that leaves but one alternative.
A statewide ban on pockets.
Things that go bump in the night: Butt-dialing drunken drivers isn’t the only after-hours excitement in Tacoma these days.
Downtowners were startled around 1:30 a.m. Aug. 15 when five steel support plates from the Murray Morgan Bridge project crashed down from the top of the lift span.
And here we thought the bridge’s curse was finally lifting.
Tom Rutherford, city project engineer, tells The Nose that work on the bridge continues, and it’s still on track to reopen this year.
As with the Kingdome ceiling tile episode of 1994, we’re just glad the sky didn’t fall when someone was around to get hurt.
One Nosey reader put it this way: “Just a bunch of seagulls and pigeons had the you-know-what scared out of them. And it’s not as though they need any sort of encouragement in that area.”
Queasy does it: Seventeen days of deep-fried fun commence today at the Puyallup Fair with the catchphrase “Get your Happy On.” (We sense a theme. The Evergreen State Fair this year used “Get Your Squeal On.”)
But with the combination of gut-bomb food and stomach-churning rides, we’d have chosen a more honest theme – “Get Your Queasy On.”
Don’t forget the flayed Chinese corpses in the new “Our Body” exhibit. Food vendors should brace for slow sales of barbecued ribs.
More evidence we don’t exist: Sunset magazine, so ever-lovin’ trendy and smug, published a travel piece about Vashon Island in its September issue. It includes instructions about how to get to the artist-hippie enclave – from Seattle, natch.
The accompanying map chops off the bottom of the island and doesn’t show the ferry crossing to Point Defiance.
Not that we Tacomans should care. As islands go, McNeil is more our style.Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com.