Area Man's Use Of Pay Phone Angers, Confuses Coworkers
Local man Allen Withrow became the subject of ridicule and the focus of extreme anger this past Friday, when he used a non-cellular fee-based public telephone device -- or "pay phone" -- to make a personal call.
The event occurred at a local bar during an office happy hour, when Withrow excused himself from his coworkers to go to the pay phone at the back of the bar. He somehow used a thick paper binding near the phone to assist him in calling the home of his friend, stunning his peers.
"He literally stood up, walked across the entire bar, opened that book and dialed a number," said Bill Watkins, one of Withrow's coworkers. "It was literally one of the strangest, most 1980s actions I've ever seen."
Withrow's coworker Angela Williams, who was also upset by Withrow's use of the device, commented, "I understand if you don't like the twenty-first century or whatever, but you can't just go on living without a cell phone. It's physically impossible."
Julius Boortz, regional manager at Withrow's office, agreed, and is now reconsidering Withrow's employment with the company.
"Unacceptable," he said, with disgust in his eyes. "Think about how nasty those phones are -- you can catch AIDS from them. Just compare that to my phone." He proudly displayed his cell phone screen, which was covered with fingerprints, faint swipes of nacho cheese, and ear grease.
"And how are you supposed to check your email?" Boortz added scornfully. "With coins? No way, José."
Withrow says he has resisted such social pressure to purchase a cell phone by simply not realizing how necessary portable phones are, or even how they physically exist.
"To be honest, I don't really even know what you're talking about," he said. "You mean a phone I carry with me all the time? With computer chips inside it? That's absurd."
When asked, Withrow can produce -- purely from memory -- the phone numbers of all of his closest friends and family members; without a cell phone to remember such information, he is forced to store it in his own brain. Experts have generally agreed that remembering phone numbers is a waste of mental capacity, and may even be dangerous.
"Normal human beings have devices called 'cell phones' attached to their bodies at all times," said Dr. Wylie Smatterton, a researcher at a prestigious local community college. "Without the healthy doses of electromagnetic radiation these devices provide, it's impossible to say how a person would function. Certainly, the ability to recklessly drive a car or enjoy texting a friend during a movie would be impaired."
Withrow's niece, 13-year old Alisa Burns, has known about her uncle's strange ways for years. She condemned his actions as "bizarre" and "outdated."
"Uncle Allen lives alone, has no kids, collects things, and probably only has fun when he cleans," she said while simultaneously texting her friends, Facebook-friending 8,000 people, taking a photo of herself from above and slightly to the right, and completing her history book report. "Without a cell phone, really, he's basically just waiting to die."