Mobiles have case to answer

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 August, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 August, 2000, 12:00am

We were wonder. . .Ring, ring. Ring. . .excuse me. 'Wai? I'm busy. I'll call back.'

Sorry about that.

Anyway, last week we were wondering, what if. . .Ring, ring. Sorry. 'Hello? No, I'm busy.'

Lai See wa. . .Ring, ring.


This is becoming a problem. The mobile phone has become too mobile, it goes everywhere and gets everywhere.

There once was a time when you would be soaking in the tub, and your good old reliable land-line phone would ring.

The choices were simple.

You could let it ring; shout at the top of your voice for someone to answer it; or you could leave soggy, soapy footprints from the bath to the living room and just as you reach out to pick it up, it stops. We bet most people chose the first options.

But things have moved on. Soap-on-a-rope has developed into Motorola-on-a-rope.

There is no escape.

Just last week, the European Automobile Club (ACE) in Stuttgart reported that the German Government was planning to bring in legislation which will forbid the use of mobile phones in cars when sitting at a red traffic light.

A statement made by the Transport Ministry made it clear that it no longer considers it acceptable for drivers to use their mobiles even during 'traffic-related interruptions'.

This is interesting.

Does that mean it's OK to use the phone when the vehicle is moving?

Lai See called up the German Government to find out if this was true.

Unfortunately no one answered the phone, which must have meant they were stuck at traffic lights.

But let's face it, phones do have a nasty habit of going off at the wrong moment.

In fact, that's how Lai See gets most of his material.

All day-long he sits in toilet-cubicles at various five-star hotels around town listening to other peoples mobile-phone conversations.

'Listen here Mr Greenspan, a rise in US interest rates will not be welcomed by the Hong Kong Administration. Damn. There's no bog-roll. Mr Greenspan? Hello?'

So here is our Top Five list of when you would not want to be caught with your trousers down. Sorry, I mean answering the phone.

Ironing: Hong Kongers have a well practiced arm action that automatically moves their hand to their right ear every time the phone rings.

Queen Mary's Hospital would be full of people with brown, iron-shaped right ears if they did any ironing themselves. Instead they get their maids to do it.

(Iron clothes that is, not themselves. Although if recent testimonies are to be believed, the practice of self ironing has become an epidemic among maids.)

Giving Birth: 'Grunt, grunt.'

'Breath deeply Mrs Wong.'

'Uuugghh. I hate you, how could you do this to me? Ahhhh, hold my hand, I love you. . .Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Wai? Having baby. Call later. Nggghhhh, uggghh.'

'Mrs Wong, I'm just going to insert this. . .'

Anyway, you get the picture.

In a Fight: Best not to have the phone switched on when having a barny with the missus. There's nothing a woman hates more than being interrupted (so our girlfriends tell us) especially when she's right.

Landing at Chek Lap Kok: Come on, hands up, who hasn't switched off their mobile phones when they've boarded a plane? Think about it, storms over Hong Kong, aircraft buffeted left, right, up and down, can't see a thing out the window.

You vaguely remember the air crew saying something about the use of mobile phones and electronic nose-hair removers could cause the plane to fly into a mountain, when your phone goes off.

'Umm, errr, hello.'

'This is your Captain speaking. Turn that bloody thing off.'

How do they get the number?

When someone else's phone is ringing: Sit on the MTR and watch as 30 people check their phones when just one rings.

Lai See likes to let his ring. Then he can watch as everyone looks around the carriage trying to discover whose phone it really is.

After that he can. . .Ring, ring. Ring, ring.