Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

The new asbestos

Well, I finally caved in, I am now finally the owner of a mobile phone. I can stand tall with my head held high as I was the last of my friends (in the UK) to get one. A defiance that became impractical when I returned to these shores. Y'see it's almost impossible to function without a mobile here; you become a pariah, people look at you funny when you say you don't have one. It is so deeply entwined within the culture that there's no escaping it. It has managed to add an extra stage to dating; you now send flirty text messages to each other, getting away with stuff that you couldn't on the phone or face to face.

It was nowhere near as bad as this in Canada where, refreshingly, you were rarely interrupted or bothered by the little blips of received messages and, amazingly, people still led normal lives, and were able to meet up without having to text each other every 5 mins - sthg, few people here understand anymore! However, in the time I was there, there did appear to be an upswing in the take-up of this technology and so I give it... ooooh.... another 12 months before there will be few people without them.

Interestingly, the government just produced a report on the health risks which said that, there is no proof of a direct link, but there are effects (the brain is heated by the radiation) and thus young children whose brains are still developing and who have thinner skulls than adults, should use them sparingly. As Doug constantly says: "They're the new asbestos" and it could all come back to bite us in the brain in 10 yrs when we all start developing hideous tumours.