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Ann Cannon: What does your ring tone say about you?

Published February 26, 2011 7:54 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I love St. George, so I try to head south as often as possible. The scenery is unbeatable, plus there's this place off Bluff Street called Croshaw's that makes the best rhubarb pie EVER.

That's why we spent the recent Presidents Day holiday in St. George — to eat pie and visit my parents who own a condo on the outskirts of town. And also to eat pie.

OK. Whenever we get together as an extended family, we usually play cards. For a long time we played this game called Peanuts, a variation of Solitaire in which many, many, many people who are related to you can participate at the same time. I know. Irony.

Now we play something called "Nickel's Up," and that's where this story begins.

So there we all were (full of pie), sitting around a table when suddenly this ha-yooooge NOISE went off. It sounded like a car alarm or possibly a rape horn, and it filled the entire room. My husband shot out of his seat, my dad dropped his cards, and I choked on a piece of rhubarb.

What was happening? Were we under attack? Should we drop to the ground and take cover under our desks like they told us to in the second grade in case the Communists started dropping bombs on Utah County?

Come on! Somebody, please tell us! What should we do?

And then my mom let out an airy laugh and went, "Oh! That's my phone!"

So yeah. My mother's new ring tone sounds exactly like an air raid siren.

Anyway, I've spent a little time this week wondering if ring tones say something about the people who choose them, and I think the answer is probably "yes."

What does my mother's ring tone say about her? That she has a sense of humor? Clearly. That she likes to be prepared for emergencies? Yes. That she thinks emergencies are likely to happen? Sometimes — although in this regard she can't touch my friend's mother who saw potential disasters looming everywhere. "Don't get too close to the propeller," my friend's mother told us when we went boating with boys. "You might chip your teeth."

I would also add that my mother's ring tone says she enjoys a bit of drama now and then, although she herself is no drama queen. Still.

Who doesn't occasionally enjoy feeling like it's the Battle of Britain all over again? Especially when the most exciting thing you've done all day long is to buy a rhubarb pie at Croshaw's?

My dad's ring tone is also telling. Whenever his phone rings we're treated to a snatch of "King of the Road"— an excellent choice for a guy who wanted to be a trucker when he grew up. I can still remember the first time he told me that. We were driving along U.S. 89 in Pleasant Grove — windows down, radio blaring, summer sun sinking slowly into Utah Lake — and he said there was no freer feeling in the world than the one you get when a wide road stretches before you.

As for my ring tone? Well. It's standard. Generic. I think it came with the phone. It's the kind of ring tone that says, "I don't give a crap about bells and whistles. And yeah. It's true. I still don't know how to turn on the new TV downstairs."

What does your ring tone say about you?

Ann Cannon can be reached at acannon@sltrib.com.






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