While strolling through the park, Fleegle observes that everyone we’ve passed, including people being walked by their dogs, have been absorbed in their phones.
“Who do you think they’re talking to?” he asks. “The voices on the other end sound like chipmunks. Why do so many people need to talk to chipmunks? The squirrels aren’t going to be happy about chipmunks messing with their breeding project.” He stops to sniff a weed, thinking. “Are chipmunks in charge of the psychic hotline as seen on TV? Are people looking to them for hope and meaning?”
“Or maybe they’re just talking to their friends or family, or simply twiddling with their phone’s apps.”
“You mean they have apps to give your life hope and meaning?” Fleegle shakes his head. “I don’t think they’re talking to anyone but themselves.”
“But what about the chipmunks you hear on the other end?”
“Echoes of their own voices coming back at them.”
“So everyone is walking around talking to themselves? That sounds a little coo-coo to me.”
“Yes, but you of all people know that people are coo-coo. No sane species talks so much that they never let their brains rest. Last night you were even talking in your sleep. You kept saying, Hello? Hello? Can you hear me now?”
Fleegle stops to pee on a garbage can. “I’m putting phones on my list, right next to television remotes, leaf blowers and lawn mowers.”
A woman passes by, staring into her phone like she’s following a map on its screen.
“Ooo, did you see that?” Fleegle asks. “She has her nails painted to match her phone. Maybe you should paint your nails to match your dog. Do you think you can find such a beautiful shade of chocolate? If you can’t, you can always use the real thing.”
“You mean smear chocolate on my nails?”
“Oh, that’s a good idea. I was thinking you could tape the fur I shed to your nails.”