Yeah, yeah, yeah, youíve heard it all before, but Iím telling you, in the same way that the Romans went loony-tunes from the lead in their water pipes, cellular phones are going to destroy our own civilization.

Nuclear war, global warming, pandemics, have nothing on cellular phones. Their little microwave signals are affecting our brains, changing the double-helix of our DNA into something more resembling a plumbing job by the Three Stooges.

Problem is, weíve gotten so accustomed (thatís a polite way of saying dense) that we donít even realize it.

I notice this around the office: Someoneís sitting there at their desk. Their cell phone rings. They talk for a second but then get up and go outside to get better reception.

There is, you understand, a perfectly good telephone sitting on their desk, with far superior audio quality and it gets great reception, being hard-wired and all. Itís also a dangsight more comfortable to tuck between youíre shoulder and ear and keep typing.

By the same token, Iím at home, reading, working on the house, whateverÖand my cell phone rings. I have a fully operational house phone right next to me, but I have to go find my cell phone and answer it. I know where my house phone is, despite the fact that itís cordless it usually is sitting in its cradle. Cell phone? Could be in the kitchen, the laundry room, the shop, the truck, next to the dogís food bowl in the back yard or at the boat landing I last went fishing from.

I think there should be a law that before you call anyone, you should become informed whether they prefer to receive calls on their cell phone or their real phone. Then, if you donít get the party you wish to speak to on their real phone, you are automatically authorized to try their cell phone on the notion that they might be away. More than likely, in my case, I just donít want to talk to anyone. Itís nothing personal. I just get hermit-like and reclusive, and I wouldnít answer the phone for anyone, except maybe Jim Croce. But heíd have to promise to play Operator for me.

Those little energy waves have taken a lot of the common sense out of us, I think. Understand, those petite undulations of high frequencies arenít just blank patterns of energy. Theyíre also carrying information. Your voice has been digitized, along with the text messages youíre sending and receiving, e-mails, web browsers on your phone, ring tones youíre downloading, all those things are riding along like a California surfer dude on those signals. Itís a virtual landslide of digitized, homogenized, pasteurized and pulverized electrons, neutrons and such.

So what do we do with these streaming Martian rays of sporadic, spastic destructive energy?

We pick up the transmitting device of this overburdened stream of particlized death-ray and hold it up against the side of our head!

Recalling that your brain is located in your skull Ė in normal gene pools, anyway Ė does anyone really think this is very bright?

"It makes no sense to have a house phone anymore," some folks say. "A cell phone is all you need."

That may be true, but I really think it depends on whether or not you prefer your gray matter sautéed, simmered or stewed.

I had an old great-uncle, Uncle Luther, who suffered from printerís hip. In the days of old lead-type printing, the printer would use his hip to operate the press in some form or another. Uncle Luther walked with a decided outward jut on the left at his midsection joinery.

Our generation will be quite the spectacle in our old age. Weíll be there in our warm, cozy homes, retirement facilities or whatever, our hands held up, thumbs crooked at odd angles and knuckles arthritic from all the text-messaging. Everytime we hear "Redneck Woman" or some absurd quote from Larry the Cable Guy our hands will reflexively snap to our ears and weíll say, "What?"

Donít get me wrong, theyíre handy little devices, cell phones. I carry one, particularly and almost exclusively to be in touch if thereíre issues involving my dear old mom. Otherwise, unless Iím on call for work, I wouldnít have it near me. I might not even own one. At some point in my life, I hope to own neither house phone or cell phone.

Regardless, I use it sparingly, hopeful in the theory that any brain cells (see, thatís why they call them cell phones, you know) slightly braised by the occasional use will recover before the next time I lift my cell phone to my ear again. Everything in moderation.

Thereís a theory out there that cell phones are affecting the bee population with those strangely diuretic and disproportionately geometric signals.

If we understand the natural order of things, we know that crops by-and-large canít be polinated without bees. Bees are absolutely necessary for many of the things we rely on for food for ourselves and our animals. No bees, very little food. Civilization collapses. Just like Rome. Weíll have to go back to cave-paintings and writing on deer hides with otter blood.

How you people will text message on a deer hide is beyond me, but Iím sure some of you will figure out a way using smoke signals or something.

And of course, Iíll still be writing this column, on whatever medium is available, and griping that, "So you want to tell your wife youíll be late from work, and you use that lung-clogging, nasal cavity asphyxiating smoky fire when youíve got a perfectly good deer hide sitting right there next to you!"

All of which proves, I guess, that the more things change the more they stay the same.