Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mouth-Free Cell Phone Law Goes Into Effect

Although California's new law requiring motorists to use only hands-free mobile devices will not go into effect until July 2008, cell phone talkers in the Golden State have another restriction facing them starting today.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the state's new "mouth-free" cell phone law last week, and the ban is effective immediately.

Said Schwarzenegger after signing the bill into law, "Your right to speak on your cell phone with your mouth has been... wait for it... wait for it... TERMINATED!" The witty remark, apparently a take-off of some sort on an obscure 1980s movie featuring Schwarzenegger, elicited hearty laughter from all in attendance at the bill-signing ceremony.

The governor then added, "I'll be back! And when I return, I will not be speaking on my cell phone!"

The new law is expected to eliminate the nuisance of loud-mouthed cell phone users yammering away in public places, seemingly oblivious of their surroundings.

"It is a new day in etiquette for Kaw-lee-four-nee-uh," said Schwarzenegger, mangling the state's name in his trademark fashion. "Never again will the people have the loud talking behind them at the movie or during the restaurant eating time."

The law will force cell phone users to communicate psychically rather than verbally as they had before. The new restriction is expected to be a windfall for Verizon Wireless, the only major cellular provider to already have a network in place that will accommodate the new mode of communication.

Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam spoke to reporters following the bill's signing.

"We're the only game in town," said McAdam. "Our new Telepathic Cellular Network, or TCN for short, will introduce many state-of-the-art features that you just can't get with the other providers. With Verizon Wireless TCN, you can say goodbye to VoiceMail and say hello to ThoughtMail. Or should I say, think hello to ThoughtMail!"

Verizon Wireless has also announced that it will re-brand its service in California as Verizon Speechless. New television commercials are expected to begin airing Monday featuring the "Can You Hear Me Now?" guy walking around from spot to spot in a field while holding a cell phone up to his head and not saying anything.

Later next week, Apple is expected to announce the new iMute.

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