In every group of friends, there is always one cell phone hater. Someone who has despised cell phones with all his might since the day of their cursed, Japanese, Pearl-Harbor-bombing, shittily-manufactured, overpriced, more-trouble-than-it's-worth inception. That person is not me. Just kidding.

Inevitably, this person also has a cell phone. I am this person. I have a cell phone. I am a walking analogy for every group of friends. But I don't consider this hypocrisy for two reasons. One, there are a lot of products I despise but use anyway: one-ply toilet paper, electric hand dryers, automatic sinks, women, unflushed urinals. And two, I have successfully convinced myself that a cell phone is just a cordless phone with an infinite range. Okay fine, I'm just an imaginative misogynist with a distaste for public restrooms. The point is, why do I yearn for a phone with a camera?

Who decides what the latest feature will be for every brand's latest phone anyway? Is it the same person who decides that black jeans will be back in style this fall, causing me to buy them at TJ Maxx in 2006 when faded dirt stains are already back in swing? Because that person still owes me a personal apology from 2001. Mostly because black jeans do not hold on to dirt stains easily, but also because I now have several 100-pixel-resolution embarrassing moments caught on ten different people's phones and emailed to at least 35 address books by now. I particularly resent the one where I'm drunk sitting in a wheelchair acting like Timmy from South Park in the middle of a crowded hotel elevator. I mean seriously, those kinds of pictures need a caption. Who's with me on this one? TWO address books raise their hands?! Fuck all 33 of you, especially those of you with Gmail accounts capable of holding my entire embarrassing camera phone collection. I swear I knew that was a cop last time I hit someone with pancakes at IHOP. Although looking back, I do regret the raspberry syrup part.

I'm already struggling to think of the last new feature on a phone. OH right, it was the one where you can pull the antenna up and get just as shitty reception. How many days must I live without knowing whether having to sit under the left corner of the desk in my room to get reception is the result of my antenna breaking off or everyone I talk to having an antenna attached? And what's with these new phones having antennas “built in”? Yeah right, I'll believe it next time a mosquito puts its fucking ear to my skin to make sure it's flesh.

Let's see, what was the feature before the ambiguously-functional antenna…. Was it the color screen display that cuts battery life in half essentially confining your phone to the wall (worthless)? Or the digital-glowing analog clock (confounding)? Perhaps it was the combination of the two, where the digital-glowing analog clock with permanent backlit display and endless polyphonic MP3 ringtone downloads drain enough battery to turn your phone into a wall alarm clock requiring an AC adapter. Either way, it's enough to make me keep shopping around to find a phone that actually has both of these features, plus a 200-pixel camera, a purported built-in antenna, and the ability to leave my room for three hours without needing to recharge. Oh, and they have to PROMISE to let me wait TWO FULL YEARS before I can upgrade to one additional useless feature without paying more than a new Saturn Ion, also known as “regular price.”

Of course, I am partly to blame for many of the malfunctions that have plagued my phones over the years. I have combed the Verizon website many times and never found a place where it advises dropping their Motorola 120c into a 20oz glass of Miller Light while playing beer pong. Nor have I ever encountered any place in the troubleshooting section of the Nokia instruction manual where it recommends dunking my 3560 model into the toilet while puking to boost reception. But don't worry, I haven't finished reading the manual yet. And don't think you're off the hook yet either Samsung x426, you were clearly in your protective plastic belt-casing when I backed over you sophomore year.

So, will I continue to lose ten friends every six months because putting on my pants before getting the hell out of my last hookup's room before dawn is more important than remembering to take my cell phone? Yes. And will pride keep me from going back to get it when my address book just surpassed 50 for the 10th time in three years? Of course. But only because I know that where there's a new cell phone, there's another drunk dial waiting to happen.

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