During a Christmas holiday two or three years ago, I was back at the family homestead. One of my brothers and his family were up too. Around six in the morning, with darkness still looming outside, I woke up to a strange sound. Talking. I went downstairs, hearing this peculiar voice. It was slightly nasal, low pitched, and vaguely English, going on and on about waking up.
It was, in fact, Stewie.
I don't watch Family Guy, but I've seen enough clips to recognize the voice. It was barking in a condescending way, going on and on... and then I found the reason why this annoying evil voice had invaded my sanctum: it was the alarm clock function on my brother's cell phone.
Cell phones these days feature your own personal ringtone, of course. You can customize them to have different ringtones for different people. If you're a teenager, for example, this comes in very handy. For your girlfriend, boyfriend, secret crush, or stalkee, you might select their favourite song. For your dad, you might get him to ask "What do you mean you totalled the car?" and loop it over and over as his customized ringtone. For your mom, you can ask her to say the word nag, and loop that so that when she's calling you, you'll hear your phone chirp up, "Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag."
I don't have a cell phone. If I did, would I go with a ring tone? Hard to say. If I wanted it, what would it be?
Me being me, it would have to be something like this:
The Imperial March
Norma and I got to talking about inappropriate ringtones. She mentioned a Sunday School teacher whose cell phone interrupted the service. The ringtone? Is this appropriate for church? I think not!
A marriage counsellor would have to be careful about their particular choice for that matter. Somehow an appreciation for this Sara Evans song might be the wrong choice when it goes off during a session with a couple whose marriage is on the rocks.
Funeral directors need to be mindful of this sort of thing too. This song might tend to upset mourners trying to grieve for loved ones if their cell phone buzzes during a visitation. Come to think of it, that song would probably annoy anyone with musical taste.
How about a high-end escort who prizes discretion with her clients? Well, as much as I love Old Blue Eyes singing it, The Lady Is A Tramp coming from her cell phone while Elliot Spitzer is accompanied by a lady of the evening just can't end well, can it?
Psychologists need to be mindful of this too. Yes, Doctor, you might love Cocoapuff cereal, but the Coocoo For Cocoapuffs jingle won't inspire your patients if they hear that from your cell phone during their therapy. Neither will this classic. Come to think of it, avoid using this one too. Not just because it's a Madonna song. That's reason enough, sure.
If you're a serial killer, you might want to avoid this one as your ringtone. It'll lead to no end of trouble, believe me.
And if you're an accountant who's a skinny, small sort of person who has a problem staying on your feet in a good stiff wind, well, I'm sorry, but this is off limits. Stop running up those steps to mimic Stallone too. It just looks silly.
Finally, here's one that's inappropriate in almost every setting. Unless you work in a shop catering to certain adult entertainment clientele:
Yes, Meg Ryan at her best.
Imagine being in church, the PTA meeting, court, or anywhere else, and hearing Meg Ryan faking an orgasm.