The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Polyphonic ring tones

I couldn't help myself. I've succumbed. After moaning about the fact that my new mobile phone which I bought a few months ago had no plain and simple 'ring ring' tone in an earlier column, I've fallen prey to the phenomenon of polyphonic ringtones. I lay the blame partly at the feet of a friend in the UK who emailed me a website called ringtones2go.

Out of curiosity and a desire to be knowledgeable about modern-day culture, I had a surf. It was like taking a recovering junkie to a crack house - the temptation was just too much. If there had just been current top 10 pop songs, I could have resisted, no problem. Not even Blondie classics Atomic and Heart of Glass were enough to push me over the edge and into upgrading to a new mobile that could accept these musical riffs. No, there was more. The theme tune to TV shows Dallas, Cagney & Lacey, Dr Who and Hawaii Five-O, for example, which got me feeling rather too excited, but I bit my lip and resisted. When I discovered 'We're Off to See the Wizard' from The Wizard of Oz, I could feel my inner sensible person crumbling and began to bite my nails anxiously. Black Beauty, Basil Brush and Magic Roundabout caused me to hyperventilate, until finally I stumbled upon the straw that would break the camel's back - the theme song from Rupert the Bear.

As I played the sample, my inner child immediately started singing the words at the top of her voice: "Rupert, Rupert the bear, everyone sing his name; Rupert, Rupert the Bear, everyone come and join in all of his games". Images of Rupert's friends, Tiger Lilly and Badger Bill having adventures in Nutwood darted through my mind like acid flashbacks and sealed my fate into the dangerous and addictive world of polyphonics. I was high on nostalgia, logic nowhere to be seen, as I rushed to the shops in a state of euphoria to get my new phone which would be capable of delivering these melodies whenever I wanted them.

Impulse buying, my girlfriend called it, before mumbling something about mortgages, bills and spending more money than I make. I smiled sweetly and promised not to buy anything else for a while (except for NYE party and Blondie concert tickets and a pair of platform boots from an online store in Texas). Days later and I'm getting sideways looks and smirks from fellow bus and train passengers whenever my phone rings. I look at it as fostering a brief sense of community and bonding - with younger people in that I am 'with it' by having polyphonics at all, and with the 30-somethings who at one time in their lives, also lost themselves in the fantasy world of a little bear who wore tartan. Ooh, I can hear Barbra…"Mammaries…light the corners of my mind…misty water-coloured maaaaamaries." Hmmm, wonder if that comes in polyphonics?


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