Amid the furor last week over Joe’s Shit-phone… the endless on-the-bus bartering for the addition of the detail that the phone was “rinsed” and not just “wiped,” the barrage of emails insisting that Joe was a blue-collar hero for fishing his phone out of the toilet, the even larger barrage or emails suggesting that Joe was eating his own shit every time he answered the phone, the federal probe into my Fecalscope and its implications regarding the war on terror…
Amid this furor I neglected to mention that I dropped my own cell phone in a puddle in Boston last December. It came back to life after a day of drying but then sputtered and frothed at the mouth for a few weeks before the battery finally died and I was forced to visit my local Sprint PCS store, only to discover that 95% of the phones they sell nowadsays are not merely phones, but phones slash cameras.
And while I’m usually the last to embrace any sort of technology (I am proud to inform you that I skipped the Palm Pilot and am currently celebrating it’s imminent extinction), I purchased one of these newfangled camera-phones for the good of The Road Journal. Rest easy readers! Never again will I be unequipped at an important moment because my digital camera was too cumbersome to have on my person…
The camera phone is particularly useful when hanging around with Gordon:
Gordon playing Hungry Hungry Hippos by himself
Gord eating a plate of meatloaf. What? I didn't say anything except that he was eating meatloaf. Sickos. You're the fecophiliacs, not me.
Graham Colton of "The Graham Colton Band" fame, giving a flourish at the end of his bowling delivery.
Brian Rosenworcel of "The Brian Rosenworcel Band" fame, still, after all these years, unable to shave off a beard without leaving the porn moustache and taking a picture of it.
To the untrained eye this appears to be a mere picture of a cell phone — not very exciting, no. I mean, sure there’s some nasty elephantitis growing on Joe’s thumbnail, but that’s not the point. The point is that the photo isn’t your usual cutting-edge road journal fodder.
To those of us who live on a bus with Joe it’s much much more than his cell phone… it’s his *Shit-phone* now that he dropped it into the toilet at Assumption College. After he took a crap, after he wiped, but before he flushed… yes, the worst possible combination, everyone’s worst nightmare, Joe’s reality: Reach in and grab it? Scoop out the turds first? Flush it down and go directly to Radio Shack and start over? Please keep in mind there was piss *and* shit in the toilet. Who makes #2 without a little #1? Not me. Not Joe.
Joe reached in and carefully retrieved his new Shit-phone from the toilet (supposedly without touching any poop with his hand), wiped it off, dried it under the electric hand dryer, and has been using it since, despite the short-term consequences… (“Joe — is our connection okay? It sounds as if you’re making a sniffing noise”) and the inevitable long-term consequences… (Shit-phone cancer, etc.)
Joe thinks we’re making a big deal out of nothing (for instance, I refuse to “call him” anymore). His phone works, and he’ll continue to use it. Fortunately for everyone, my computer comes equipped with a special chemical-detecting “Fecalscope” function and you won’t believe what it shows us…
You gotta get rid of that thing, Joe! For Chrissake, it’s still on your hands! The 9 button’s covered in shit!
2004. New tour. New truck driver (“Butchie”) (really). New bus.
Whenever we get a new bus we instantly begin marvelling at all the features that are different from the last bus. (Hey, the grids covering the air vents in the bunks are removable! That’s crazy!) And while I was busy being impressed with the double tape deck in the front lounge (with both auto reverse AND high speed dubbing, thank you very much), the others were discovering the “trash compactor” — conducting experiments and..
TRASH – BEFORE COMPACTIFICATION TRASH – AFTER COMPACTIFICATION
As you can tell from the convenient before/after photos, the only real difference is that the styrofoam cup is smushed. Hyperconscious of the digital camera in my hand and smitten with the idea of glorious road journal glory, Gordon tossed a boot in the thing and set it to STUN…
(unstaged action photo by Brian Rosenworcel)
BOOT – BEFORE COMPACTOSYNTHESIS BOOT – AFTER COMPACTOSYNTHESIS
Most anticlimactic road journal ever!