Today, the Galaxy IV satellite failed, plunging nearly the entire worlds supply of pagers into an eerie silence. Of course, not that any of us noticed. This only inconvenienced the twelve of you who still have pagers in the world of the cell phone.
You know who you are. The Czar bets you still call them beepers, too. Well, guess what? Your swingin 60s mod comsat, with day-glo daisy silhouettes painted on the side and transistors the size of a mouse just took a crap. And you realized, to your horror, that no one has been trying to reach you since 1994.
No more being introduced to some awkward coyote-faced endless talker chick at a party, and after 20 minutes of listening to her trying to remember whether her long ago one-month boyfriend Antoine, the rock climber, preferred a Klemheist to a Prusik, you suddenly clutch your inert pager and exclaim that the entire X.25 to Europe is down and you have to go. Now. No, now youre going to have to be like the rest of us and simply splash-chuck the remains of your drink right into her canine face and walk away. What, like Antoine is going to hunt you down? He hasnt seen her since the Plasmatics concert, and now he runs some crampon clinic at the Fort Lauderdale REI, and you know for damn sure that, between tokes, he isnt wondering about the girl with the donkey voice, and whether she would have liked him better if he only had a pager.
What a tragedy that the Galaxy III or the Galaxy V birds never picked up the immense slack, so that you could continue to swing by Mitchs retirement party at the Doubletree, pass a note to the concierge to please call your pager number at the front desk, blow into the party, drink four beers real fast, and then duck out of throwing in $20 for your portion because your pager went off 15 minutes into it. Sorry, gotta run, you say, putting a dollar bill in the bar druids tip glass, The token ring just jumped down from 16 meg to 4 meg. No, now you might actually have to remember who the hell Mitch is, shake the poor bastards hand, and put in the full Jackson. For once. Yeah, pay for your fair share. See what its like.
And pity the shellshocked schmuck who kept his old pagers so that he could walk into Memories on Montrose and Cicero with three pagers on his belt, wearing nighttime black-lensed aviator shades and a Members Only jacket, hoping that the sleek nympho in the Spandex dress rolling her eyes and gathering her belongings into a cartoonishly tiny purse might catch a glimpse of you and think…what? Military operator? Black ops guy? Government hit man? Because those three pagers prove youre always on call and answerable to only three authorities in the world, thereby taking attention away from your stained Polo shirt and the gut that says the last beep you answered was the sound of the deep fryer at Wendys announcing to the world your second order of jumbo-sized fries were about to land on your tray.
Requeiscat in paunch, old Galaxy IV. Yeah, officially you were launched in 1993, not 1963, but your spectacular failure was the better way to go, as opposed to being decommed in humiliation by 2001 because the only guys still using you were Mitch for the pager he forgot to turn into HR on his exit interview, and the backup feed to NPRs Remembering Margaret Mead in Word Jazz. Well call you once in a while from our cell phone.