Dozens of cell phones radiating energy all at once – in the parking lot, in the lobby, in the stairwell. Radio waves pierce buildings, cars, even elevators, so the radio frequency waves can easily penetrate our craniums. Even a thick head like Uncle Leonard is no match for microwaves vibrating at high frequencies. In fact, some of the telephones use frequencies high enough to burst through the ionosphere, shoot out into space and bounce off the moon.

I am a morning person and often get to work two hours before most people have hit the snooze button a second time. My early arrival allows me to experience that “clean, well-lighted place” that Hemingway wrote about in 1926. It is quiet here until the others start arriving, cell phones in hand.


Just think about this: dozens of cell phones radiating energy all at once – in the parking lot, in the lobby, in the stairwell. Radio waves pierce buildings, cars, even elevators, so the radio frequency waves can easily penetrate our craniums. Even a thick head like Uncle Leonard is no match for microwaves vibrating at high frequencies. In fact, some of the telephones use frequencies high enough to burst through the ionosphere, shoot out into space and bounce off the moon. Maybe that’s what happened to Uncle Leonard.


Imagine standing in the middle of this plasma cloud of cell phone waves. It would be like a constant MRI machine that has been throttled back. But even if cell phones radiate less than a watt of energy, one solid watt all day long might have some weird cumulative effect. Maybe not. Maybe it’s like temperature. A constant 81 degrees inside and out may not be harmful, just uncomfortable. Like cell phones.


Who is on the other end anyway? Is it your kids’ principal, school nurse, guidance counselor? Or is it your boss wondering why you aren’t at the 9 a.m. meeting? Well, I can tell you after intensive eavesdropping, it is usually someone of similar age and gender. Women talking to women; men to men.


Only about 10 percent of the calls are related to actual business content. The rest is devoted to repeating jokes from Jay Leno, retelling headlines just heard on the radio or small talk.


“It’s cold today.”


“Yeah, cold.”


“But no frost on the windshield yet.”


“Yeah, that’s good.”


“How about Brady last night?”


“Yeah.”


“Looks like he’s back.”


“Yeah.”


“Well, I’m at work. See you.”


“Yeah, see you. I got to get up anyway.”


I particularly object to cell phone users who call home just as they are about two blocks from their houses.


“I’m almost home. Be there in a few minutes.”


Why not wait, arrive home and make a grand entrance like Tyra Banks or Donald Trump?


The situation is made worse by mobile phones that can function as peripatetic workstations. People use phone applications to diagnose health problems or play chess, figure out mortgage payments or trace their ancestry.


I guess the only people smiling are battery manufacturers. But they won’t be in until 10. Too many personal calls to make.


Peter Costa is a senior editor with GateHouse Media New England. His most recent humor book is “Outrageous CostaLiving: Still Laughing Through Life,” available at amazon.com