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Calling On the Run

It amazes me how some people can't live without their gadgets -- phone, MP3 player, GPS, whatever.

A disturbingly high number of guys can't even let a call go to voicemail when they're in a public bathroom.

(Note to the Apple publicist who tried calling my cell phone last Thursday: No rudeness intended -- I didn't pick up because I was answering the call of nature at the time.)

I saw this phenomenon demonstrated over and over again yesterday during the Marine Corps Marathon. Not only did a huge chunk of the runners around me have MP3 players and headphones on (forbidden by the course rules), some also carried their cellphones.

And they weren't just carrying them in case of emergency. They were talking to people from the course! The first time I heard that, I started laughing, and the runner next to me speculated about what kind of call could be important enough to make during a 26.2-mile run: "Did you remember to feed the cat?"

Not only is the phone in danger of short-circuiting after getting soaked by water, sports drinks or sweat, what are you going to talk about in the middle of a marathon, anyway? I suppose it might help you let spectators know when you'll be reaching their position (some friends complained about getting inaccurate reports from the MCM's online runner-tracking system on Sunday). I just hope nobody was checking their work voicemail!

What's the least likely place you've seen somebody break out a phone and start chattering away?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  October 29, 2007; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  Digital culture  
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