It's a Samsung T-519 "Trace." It's got Bluetooth, a memory card expansion slot, and a 1.3 megapixel camera, and lots of other bells and whistles. So many, in fact, that I'm totally swept up in cellphone culture; conveniently text messaging all my friends, zapping files back and forth from my computer; the hi-res camera ready at a second's notice. Even though these are all just peripherals, I love all them all much more than the main feaure.

I hate actually talking on the phone! Lately I've begun to daydream about laying it under my car and driving over it, back and forth, until the voices in my head tell me to stop. Seriously, I think I wanna just get rid of the thing altogether.

What if there's some emergency, my friends argue. What if your car explodes in the middle of the night and you need a friend to drive to, say Guatemala, and pick you up? What if I'm lost somewhere (Guatemala?) with no way home and reaching you is my last hope?

Frankly, deal with it. Guatemala is a rather extreme example, but we had ways to resolve these issues way before we all got mobile phones. This device might actually be useful if I really had to deal with emergencies like that, but mostly people just use it to track where I am and what I'm doing, and annoy me into making up excuses to hang up on them.

I wouldn't mind if they stalked me in a cool way. They could batarang a homing beacon onto me from a far rooftop, with such precision that I don't even feel it. That could be followed up with a stealthy chase, bounding rooftop-to-rooftop, to my super-secret hideout. But the reality is just not that badass. The act of holding that thing up to my ear is an annoyance, and the inevitability of splitting my attention between this conversation and whatever else I was already doing fills me with impatience. That other thing I was working on before you called: that was something I would probably rather be doing anyway or else I would have called you "just to say hi," and now it has to come to a grinding halt so you can tell me all about your day. Or whatever.

So I have to put down my book, pause the XBox game (usually Marvel Vs. Capcom 2), tune out "Scrubs" or Colbert, and stop trying to coordinate a mouse and keyboard with just one free hand, because that never works out. But I would really rather get back to that stuff, and if I'm gonna put it on hold for this call, you'd better make this brief, because I just remembered that my arms are really weak, and holding that thing gets uncomfortable fast. I lose interest in the conversation after about 2 minutes.

My girlfriend is the worst offender. She constantly call me "to see how I'm doing." Sometimes I don't answer; for instance, if I (1) am at work, (2) am driving, or (3) don't fucking feel like blabbing on the fucking phone. I've begged her over and over again: don't call; please just text message me instead! But she enjoys chatting and she's pretty persistent. Sometimes she'll just keep calling until I pick up.

I hear her out for 2 minutes, but after that, true to form, I start concocting exit strategies. I have to go to the bathroom. I'm getting another call. I was doing something when you called and I really must get back to it. She notices when my replies start to shrink into terse grunts and knows me well enough to sense my focus wandering off. I know it's mean, but please understand, I subconsciously started ignoring the caller as soon as I got the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the message. Now she's just dull background noise. And once again, just like that, I'm hating the way this thing feels against my ear and trying to block her out.

Seriously, it's like turning on your TV to a show you don't really care for, like One Tree Hill. You can't change the station, and you can't turn it off. This starts as an incidental irritation, then you realize you're gonna sit through some b.s. commercials as well, but in no time it's a fierce and loathsome enemy, a terrifying menace that can't be bargained with, does not feel remorse, pity, pain, or fear, and absolutely will not stop until you are peeved. Chucking it into a vat of molten steel is suddenly your only reasonable option.

I'll take any excuse to pry this thing off me. I'll make up one if I have to.