Cell Phones as History Changers

“Listen, my children, and you shall hear,
Of a phone call made by Paul Revere.”

Have you ever thought about how much cell phones might have changed history, had they been around earlier? Or how about all those times in fictional books and movies in which the plot evolved around mysterious phone calls or the mad search for a usable phone booth during a point of crisis?

With a cell phone handy back in the 18th century, there would have been no need for a  “midnight ride.” Paul Revere could have called it in: “Hello, is this Major Tom Brady? – Paul Revere here. It’s by sea. The Brits are pouring into Boston Harbor right now. I can see ’em getting off at the dock, even as we speak. OK? – Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got a great dart game to finish over here at Sullivan’s Pub before I scat home to finish polishing some silver. – What’s that? – No problem! Glad to help.”

Perhaps, the following could serve as a few other examples:

1) Non-Fiction / Pearl Harbor, Dec. 1, 1941, A call comes in from Cell Phone Float Tower 29, about 180 miles NW of Oahu, at 7:39 AM:

“HELLO, PEARL! Listen up. This is Cappy Hunt, and I’m out here NW of Honolulu, doing a little fishing off the banks of Tower 29. – Listen real good. – You’re going to need to get some people out here to see what I’m looking at right now as the dawn comes up on us. – It looks like Hirohito has sent the whole dad-gum Japanese Navy out to greet us and it don’t look friendly in any way. As far as my eyes can see, they got destroyers, cruisers, battle ships, and flat tops – and one way and another – they is all loaded to the gills with big guns or them Mitsubishi Zero planes – as they is all decked out to fly, fire, and bomb. Send enough men to do the roadkill work and get everybody braced at Hickam Field and Pearl ready to defend everything we’ve got – with every thing lethal that we’ve got. I’ll hang loose as your lookout for as long as I can out here, but, granddad gummit, I forgot to charge this phone last night.”

2) Fiction / Barbara Stanwyck plays a disabled New York socialite who accidentally over-hears plans for a woman’s murder in the 1948 big movie, “Sorry, Wrong Number”. By the time she learns that she is the intended victim, it’s the last scene in the script and the killer is standing over her bedside, as her husband also calls to check on her, gets the killer, only to hear him say, “Sorry, wrong number” as he finishes the job and the movie through her screams. Had there been digital cell phones in 1948, Stanwyck would have had a suspicious phone number or a GPS on the scary caller – or something early enough – to have saved herself from starring in one of the creepiest bad ending movies of all time.

3) Weather News / Remember the old days, when some really bad storms, like the deadly tornado that struck Waco, Texas in 1953? As per usual, there were plenty of horrifying, but few, if any actual newsreel photos of the twister itself in real time. And we would always say or think: “It’s too bad someone didn’t have a camera handy when this monster hit!” – Now. in 2018,  there are no shortages of cameras – anywhere there are people. It’s all about the digital phone and how we now use them.

4) Cell Phones & The Bullpen / Do we really still need those clunky dugout wall phone land lines to be in touch with the bullpens during big league games? It’s imaginable the bullpen coach could even reply to a manager’s call with a phone video if he really wanted to see for himself if a certain reliever appeared ready.

5) The Cell Phone Immediacy App / (Maybe we already have this app and I just haven’t gotten the word on it.) How about a cell phone app that shuts the instrument down once it detects that the phone is moving through space that exceeds the power and speed of human assistance alone. – And maybe the same app could have the same capacity for broadcasting to the first 100 car-length of phones behind you why everyone is stuck on the freeway and not moving at other times. And it may also throw in some alternate route suggestions to boot.

Footnote: The problem with effective need-serving phone apps is that they immediately convert from need service into entitlements – and we start treating them immediately as desirable conditions of life that we have a right to expect every day from womb-to-tomb that we spend alive on Planet Earth.



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle


2 Responses to “Cell Phones as History Changers”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    I’m more concerned about the effect cell phones have on our current history. Phone-heads wander around yakking louder than necessary and offending everyone within shouting distance.

    And then when the phone-heads and their cousins, the texters, get behind the wheel of their two-ton monsters, they are more dangerous than drunk drivers. At least the driver with a beer in his hand is actually looking through the windshield–not staring down at a device in his hand or on the seat.

    When I go to my neighborhood sports bar to watch a game, most of the people on barstools are staring in a zombie-like trance at their “smart” phones or talking to someone miles away while ignoring the person sitting near them. Signs of the Apocalypse.

    End of rant.

  2. News, US News, Health News Says:

    Nice article it was. Looking for this type of information for so many days. Really appreciating work for public information as informatory news. We also hope to proide people with such kinds of article to make people familiarize with prevailing condintions of politics, weather, science, sports and health etc all around the world.

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