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On ham, grits and cell phones
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MOULTRIE — We’re all sitting there at the breakfast club, and someone begins talking about his new cell phone. It can do a lot of stuff, but it can’t pour coffee nor can it scramble my sausage and eggs into my grits. So I’m left with some comfort zone. What I mean is, I don’t think my life is totally about advanced technology and gizmos. There are still books to be read, there are still sticks to be whittled and there are still songs to be sung in the shower.
As well, no matter how sophisticated a sound system may be and how many CDs you can download, it cannot replace the personal soulful sound of a weathered old troubadour picking a flat top Martin in a smoky tavern with peanut hulls on the floor. Technology has not mastered ambiance yet.
But don’t get me wrong, a lot of that technology is good stuff. For instance, when we get into an argument over which movies Randolph Scott starred in, Sonny Presley can put aside his waffle, whip out his phone, link up to Google and before the toast will melt the butter he’s got the answer. Which leads to a great conversation about the late Johnny Mack Brown and the fact that retired chiropractor Bill Smith had his photo taken with him right here in Moultrie many years ago.
And by Sonny’s super phone we confirmed that it was Charles Starrett who played the Durango Kid.  Arguments don’t last long with that kind of technology resting right there beside a bottle of pure cane syrup — quite a  contrast at that moment, the science of the future and the artistry of the past. Of course the maple syrup guys wanted equal time. But, their perspectives must be factored somewhere along the Mason-Dixon Line.
The cell phone has really impacted our early morning gatherings. And on this morning someone mentioned just how marvelous that technology is because as we are sitting there radio waves are passing right through buttered grits, through fried country ham, through thick brick walls and through some pretty thick human bodies.
Almost on cue, everyone stopped eating when that realization was pronounced. And we sort of stared at each other and our food. I guess it’s just the way the mind operates, but a cell phone signal had just passed through Clem Weldon, through a plate of hash browns and was now flopping around somewhere back in the kitchen. That might have been what we heard back there instead of a pot falling off a table.
Most of us had never thought of this innovation in those terms. And then comes the question, can those cellular waves hurt us?  There is no strong data to show that they do ... at least none that’s been revealed, and that could lead to a whole nuther conversation on conspiracies.
But we agreed that the grits tasted about the same as before cell phones. And Clem acts about the same as well. So as a layman’s observations go, we concluded that we were all safe.
I try to be fair in my commentaries so let me say that I use my cell phone a lot. I don’t text, however. There’s enough of my life that I can’t get back already. But when I’m out jogging, it’s nice to be able to call my wife and ask her to come get me. I don’t do that very often, only when my ego gets so large that I imagine I’m a congressman.
I leave you with this thought: Make sure you turn your cell phone off when you’re in church ... especially if the ring tone is Rod Stewart’s “Wake Up Maggie.” I won’t say what prompts that warning.

Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. Email:
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