Eight Reasons You Haven’t Spotted Me On the Citizen’s Band

1. The indispensability of C.B. radio is greatly overblown. Off the top of my head, I know that my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents don’t have handles, and neither does anyone at school (the kid who calls himself the Purple Turtle is such a liar). To reach any of these people, I just have to dial the phone, as long I keep the calls to just a couple of minutes, unless it’s a weekend. None of these people seem to be unduly suffering as a result.

2. My social networks fit into fairly distinct compartments. There are close family, not-so-close family, soccer friends, choir friends, beer can collecting friends, neighbors. Replacing them with a anonymous group of truck drivers would be completely incoherent. (If there are ways to use different frequencies so that what you say is audible to some kinds of friends and not others, then this may not be an issue. But I have not heard any reference to this feature).

3. The thought of being contacted by someone who did time for coke possession in the 1960s holds no appeal whatsoever.

4. 95% of the conversations are just about traffic tickets.

5. People are saying that pretty soon everyone will be a C.B.er, and that it is the greatest technological innovation of our time. But with so little bandwidth, how can this be?

6. A friend of my parents was telling me about her C.B. radio experience – how she connected with an old college friend who broadcasts frequent and detailed updates of, among other things, her 20, but how it would be rude to 10-7 her.

7. It may seem otherwise right now, but Breaker! Breaker!, Convoy, and Citizen’s Band will never be regarded as cinematic classics.

8. My school day entails fair amounts of talking, laughing, shouting, and bickering. When I get home, I seek out – even crave – activities that do not involve the use of my vocal cords.

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