I have a co-worker who has his phone set to go “Quack, quack, quack” everytime his wife calls. It never loses its comedic novelty. Another one has the theme song that plays when the Wicked Witch of the East appears.
In a way, our ringtones define us. Even by not selecting a ringtone, that defines you too. Like the lyrics from Rush: If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. If that default tone goes off, everybody within earshot knows that you’re either lazy or a brand-new mobile phone user.
I leave my phone on vibrate almost all the time. It’s a gentle, barely-audible bzzt, bzzt. I’m the type who tends to forget to toggle the ringer off, so this is my way of avoiding blasting out whichever weird ringtone I’ve selected during meetings at work or at church.
One day I left it on for some reason, and I heard voices coming from my pocket during a meeting with executives. I quickly did the mad-scramble-thing to mute it, and then I remembered that I somehow talked Diva Girlfriend recording the phrase: “Excuse me sir, would you like to motorboat me?”
The little bzzt, bzzt that my phone makes is also the same (silenced) notification for all manners of other things… home emails, work emails, ESPN sports alerts, facebook notifications, you name it. Altogether I get about 100-150 of them a day, one kind or another. I inevitably get a big blast of those going off right after I go to sleep, often a big string of email advertisements, reminding me that they’re having a special one-day sale that is completely different than yesterday’s special one-day sale.
Occasionally, a groggy Diva Girlfriend will hear the bzzt, bzzt and go “Who is texting you this late?!” to which I will answer something random, based on my mood. Recent answers have included “That’s my urination reminder alarm — it’s reminding me to Shake Hands with the Man,” and “I can’t get a break from these bitches… Always some big-booty hos, wantin’ some of this,” and “Oh weird, Pauly Shore died today.”
On a similar note, I’ve found it surprisingly effective to avoiding constant questioning by my Mom, perpetually asking what I’ve been doing today, by always answering that question with “I just pooped. It was enormous.”
I don’t judge people by their ringtones, but I do find it funny when an otherwise-wallflowery coworker has her phone go off and it’s blaring LET ME SEE THAT BOOTY SHAKE, BOOTY SHAKE, BOOTY SHAKE.
My mom’s phone went off during her brother’s funeral. I had even grabbed her phone in advance and turned off the ringer to avoid this from happening. But she had turned it back on just in case she had any last-minute calls, even though literally every human she knows was within 50 feet of her at the time. On the bright side, it did add a moment of levity to the otherwise-sad proceedings to hear her phone interrupt the funeral and belt out the Country song: God is great, beer is good… people are crazy….