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Pocket Dialing
The best defense is an oblivious offense.

Illustration by Tiffy Thompson

I remember making a shattering pronouncement to an ex that he was ‘dead to me,’ followed by dramatically hanging up on him.  Pressing ‘end’ on a cell lacks the terrifying wrath of slamming down a landline. Still, I was pleased with my outburst. Until my stupid cell pocket-dialed him 3 times in succession.

“In 2011, York Regional Police received 97,886 unintentional calls to 911 from cell phones, which accounted for a whopping for 37.33 per cent of all 911 calls received in the area.”

That’s a third of all calls to 911! Jeopardizing the emergency phone lines with your careless butt is bad enough. Worse is the personal humiliation that accompanies pocket dialing, especially when you’ve been caught in the act of incriminating yourself in some manner. You’re most likely to pocket-dial someone with an “A” in their name, or a recent caller. Hopefully, they’ll just hear you deeply engaged in sober and illuminating conversation. But what happens when your butt documents In flagrante delicto?

That’s what.

Pocket dialing (or ‘butt-calling’ – not to be confused with the booty call), increases in the summer. This is allegedly due to an increase in roller coaster ridership(!) You’ll need a contingency plan for when this happens to you.

The best course of action is to eliminate your phone in its entirety, or heaven forbid, downgrade to a flip phone. That’s not going to happen. You’re an important person with difficult tasks to accomplish, like riding every roller coaster in the Western Hemisphere. Unfortunately putting the lock on your phone may not even provide a buffer from accidentally calling emergency numbers. Emergency numbers usually remain accessible (even when your minutes are up)  and are generally rerouted to a ‘soft’ key – usually the OK/Select button.

You can turn the phone off completely or put it on standby. But that seems so aloof! The best defense is an oblivious offense.

Ex: You accidentally pocket dial your mom, just as you’re recalling your recent acid trip.

Mom: “Did you just call me? Are you doing drugs?!”

You: “Why can’t you be more supportive of my art?! I already told you about my latest performance piece — Our Patio is Double-Helix.  It’s to be performed to a bombastic jazz score, and I was going to wear to wear that cloak I made out of boxes, remember? Mom you don’t honestly think I’m doing drugs, do you?”

You can use it to re-confirm your deathly illness (right before the long weekend).

Your Boss: “Hello? Is that you, so-and-so?”

You: “(Death rattle) …. Urghhh… my bowels are imploding! ….aughhh! (insert putrid squelching sound effects here).

Another strategy is to wield the pocket dial as a manipulative tool to achieve your own ends.

Ex: “Accidental” Pocket dial

Your friend: “Hello?? Who is this??”

You: (Insert one or all of the following)

“….murmur murmur and I hope she knows that I… remember when she…figuring things out for good…owes me fifty bucks…murmur”

“….murmur murmur and I hope she knows that I… remember when she…figuring things out for good…leaves that moronic deadbeat finally …murmur”

“….murmur murmur and I hope she knows that I… remember when she…figuring things out for good… changes up these hideous bridesmaids gowns…”

Tiffy Thompson is a writer and illustrator for the Toronto Standard.  Her butt will phone you back momentarily. Follow her on Twitter @tiffyjthompson 

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