[Disclaimer: This article is satire, or what we used to call "fake news" before actual fake news started poisoning the political discourse!]
“Distracted Walking”: Smartphones are now sending us to the Emergency Room
– Nitasha Tiku, Observer.com
The Department of Cell Phone Abuse (DCPA) was just instituted by New York Mayor Soda Ban Bloomberg, and is being rolled out across the nation. Our new law, CELL PHONES CAUSE BRAIN TUMORS — JK/LOL, takes effect immediately. We’ve modeled the infringements on the point system used in driving offenses: the more points you amass, the greater chance your cherished cell phone will be confiscated. Here is our list of the most serious offenses, followed by the penalties to pull the plug on chronic cell phone abusers:
You’re caught answering your cell phone and saying in a mock whisper, “I can’t talk now. I’m in an elevator.” But you dive into a mundane conversation anyway! Ten points in a crowded elevator. Penalty of six additional points in front of impressionable children under five, and twenty points if those preschoolers have their own cell phones.
The Swerving Spaced Out Abuser
You’re strolling in a shopping mall, completely engulfed texting a message to someone unimportant. Straying out of your straight pedestrian path, you knock into a senior citizen so hard that the poor victim is catapulted into a Hollister and preyed upon by tenacious, half-naked male sales associates. Breathalyzer Test may be required.
The Hazardous Texting Driver
It’s already illegal to text and drive—are you living under a fire hydrant? But if you’re steering an SUV while texting: 15 point penalty for causing global warming. If you cause an accident: twenty points for each pedestrian you hit. If the pedestrian dies: twenty years to life without Wi-Fi.
Arguing for All The World to Hear
City sidewalks need not be a reality show! Fighting with your spouse over money (three points), sex (eight points for too little, five points for too much), leaving the toilet seat up (seven points for each marital cliché). Arguing with your mother over times she didn’t praise you enough (five points, but waived with six psychotherapy sessions).
Listening to Bad Music on your iPhone
Glee versions of ruined classics from the ‘60s: three points. Judy Collins: eight point over-the-hill penalty. Add ten points for using any genre of music to tune out your family during holiday meals. Listening to NPR podcasts erases ten points—but only if you donate $100 during fund-raising week.
Playing Words with Friends During Business Meetings
Do you think your boss is doltish? (Seven letters, 35 point bonus plus triple word score possibility.) This penalty is in limbo pending outcome of a case using the defense that the violator was warding off Alzheimer’s by playing word games.
Texting While Wheeling Your Infant in a Bugaboo Cameleon
You should be arrested for spending $1,000 on a baby stroller. Stop ignoring your precious newborn, who will lag in language development and be rejected from an overpriced preschool if you don’t coo constantly at him or her. Twelve points if the baby is awake; two points when the baby’s napping; six points when you’re napping.
Less Than Twenty Points: This is your warning. Test your resolve by having your significant other hide your cell phone charger one day a week.
Twenty-one to Thirty Points: A burnt-out high school principal biding his time till retirement will make you sit in a school cafeteria smelling like sour milk and type 1,000 times into your phone: JUST TEXT “NO.” Auto-correct will be turned off.
Thirty-one to Forty Points: If you acquire more points in the next 60 days, you’ll lose your privilege to upgrade your phone when your contract expires.
Forty-one to Forty-Five Points: Community Service teaching octogenarians in assisted living complexes how to dial 911 on cell phones without their glasses.
Forty-five to Fifty Points: You’ll be exiled to a third-world country where Sim cards don’t work on your phone.
Over Fifty Points: Your phone will be permanently disconnected. You’ll be forced to search for pay phones and wait until a drug dealer is finished with his call. The test case in our focus group was last seen in front of the M&M Store in Times Square, spouting obscenities into a headset plugged into a disabled first generation iPhone. The police admitted him to Bellevue—where a no cell phone policy has been in place for years.
For more information: Log onto www.pleasedonttakemycellphoneaway.gov.org to download a point system App.
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