LET he who is without sin cast the first phone. Well, I'm proud to state I've never owned one of those bleating, peeping pieces of plastic and I'd be happy to throw as many as I could get my hands on into the middle of the harbour. Perhaps my distaste for portable personal communication devices stems from a particularly traumatic childhood incident. When I was nine or 10 years old, a friend and I decided to stage our own revolution in telecommunications by rigging up a tin-can-and-string system between our two houses. Which was fine, except that we lived almost a kilometre apart. After the best part of a day spent passing a very large ball of string through back yards, around trees, and over fences and power lines, we were gutted to discover our nascent network was as much use as mammarian appendages on a prize stud bull. Anyway, I guess I was scarred by the disappointment and have never had any use for anything other than the kind of phone that's too big to hang off your belt ever since. In fact, I have long insisted that not owning a mobile phone is far more cool, especially amid the symphony of rings, beeps and twitters that is Hong Kong. After watching innumerable friends and colleagues fall prey to their siren song, I feel vindicated at last. According to the latest issue of that arbiter of style, GQ magazine, ditching your mobile phone is '... a sign of true status - of freedom, of the ability to be blithely uncontractable. Only the cooly unencumbered will swan through life out of the reach of these monsters.' Hear, hear. I mean, if you really feel the need for some dangly, jangling thing, why not just get your penis or nipple pierced? It would be cheaper, more hygienic and far less likely to disturb you with an urgent message to come back to the office. Unlike fast cars, houses or yachts, portable phone one-upsmanship revolves around how small yours is - an unusual boast indeed, for the average status-conscious male. One of the few things smaller than their phones must be their brains. Who, in these security-conscious times, when companies spend a small fortune on anti-bugging devices, would want a key staff member blathering away in a bar about which shares to buy or the new account he's just snagged? Then there are the imbeciles who think it's cute to program theirs to play a little tune instead of ringing. I hope there is an especially hot and sulphurous place in hell for such people. Others wanted for crimes against communications include the noisy, voluble phone-toting nitwit in the cinema - a great Hong Kong cliche, but, alas, still alive and well - and people who keep them switched on in restaurants. For the latter, I suggest an appropriate punishment would be taking them out into the kitchen and having them drawn, quartered and turned into dim sum. Besides, don't these people read the papers? Studies on mice reveal that the radiation from mobile phones turns your brain into one big cancerous blob. That's another thing I hate about mobile phone owners. No sense of tumour.