Friday 20 September 2019

A new meaning for cell phones

Pat Fitzpatrick

WHAT to do in prison on a lazy afternoon? You've read all the books in the library, lifted all the weights in the gym, taken part in the production of the Merry Widow organised by the Operatic Society, and just completed your PhD in Criminology titled Don't mind the Why, Here's how I did it, so now what do you do? Well, you do what every other bored crank does on a lazy aftern

WHAT to do in prison on a lazy afternoon? You've read all the books in the library, lifted all the weights in the gym, taken part in the production of the Merry Widow organised by the Operatic Society, and just completed your PhD in Criminology titled Don't mind the Why, Here's how I did it, so now what do you do? Well, you do what every other bored crank does on a lazy afternoon in this country, you ring Liveline.

Naturally, when a high-security prisoner talked to Joe by mobile phone last week from Portlaoise, there was a predictable outrage at this brazen breach of security. But isn't it typical of the new heartlessness of modern Ireland that nobody mentioned the plight of this guy's cellmate, because he's the real victim here. This poor man is one of the first people to witness the disappearance of the last haven free from mobiles. Up until now, if you'd had enough of the nattering Nokias on the train or the moaning Motorolas in restaurants, you could always join the Rossport Five or obstruct a tribunal and disappear into jail for some peace.

Not any more, the mobiles have gone to jail. Pity the poor woman trying to have a decent conversation about slopping out with her cellmate, only to be ignored as the other woman sends texts like "How r u? Pls c 2 rasher and whacker b4 they talk bout u no wha. And put out the bins. C u in 4 yrs. Xxoxxo."

Or you can just picture the hurt in the cell when Joe Duffy's new mate got off the phone to Liveline.

"Who was that you were talking to?"

"Mind your own business."

"Ah, jaysus, don't be like that. I wish you'd involve me in your life a bit more."

"OK, it was that that guy Joe Duffy."

"The fella from RTE with the beard and the fake Dublin accent? What did he say."

"Well, he finished up by telling me to take care of myself."

"He says that to everyone."

"Jaysus, why do you have to ruin everything? What do ya fancy for lunch, pizza or Chinese?"

"Pizza."

"Fine choice my good man. Hello, is that Domino's?"

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