Question of Atheist Scruples — where cell phones solve a giant problem

The Man and I watched Adventures in Babysitting last week. I’d first seen it at my birthday party in 1988 (grade 8) and perhaps again once since. There are so many places in that film that a cell phone could have solved major plot dilemmas, but they didn’t exist at the time. Or at least, weren’t publicly available cheaply.

The MacGuffin of the plot revolves around Chris having to rescue her friend from the bus station; she’s changed her mind about running away. in a particular scene, Brenda is phoning Chris from a payphone apparently “owned” by a homeless man who’s freaking out because she’s in there calling someone. “Get out of my house! Get out of my house!” Finally, she kicks his slippers and other shit out of the space and hollars at him, “You just moved!”

I’m laughing now. God.. so funny..

The rest of the film revolves around the babysitting adventures Chris has with the three kids as she tries to meet up with Brenda. It’s pretty entertaining fluff, I must say.

So, the question:

You are at a public phone. Someone else is waiting. Do you cut your call short?”

Perhaps you’ll recall: these questions come from the 2nd edition of A Question of Scruples published in 1986. Adventures in Babysitting came out in 1987.

So, the answer: yes. I’d cut the call short.

I don’t even like long calls on my own cell phone. I just buy minutes for it at $20 as required so the less talking/texting I have to do the better all around. I have no idea how people afford payment plans that let them text novels every three seconds.

No idea at all.

So, from a service sharing perspective, yes, if someone is obviously waiting to use that service, I’d be a jerk to deliberately lengthen the time I require to use that service if I can shorten the need and let the other person have his turn sooner.

For other pop-culture fun, I turn you to:

Clickhole and its list of 7 classic ’80s movies that would have been over in 5 minutes had cell phones existed.

Cracked, taking on how text messages would solve many movie dilemmas.

and lastly, the Atlantic – how cell phones ruined party movies.

So, the question is directed to the reader — what do you do in this scenario?

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