This January, here in Oregon, a new law passed which makes texting or talking on the phone while driving a crime. So now when I switch music tracks on my iPhone or tap the screen to view my GPS location or click on the "next" button for Google Map directions, I run the risk of being pulled over for texting. Apparently they'd prefer that I go back to the old-fashioned method of buying giant paper 4' x 6' maps of all the cities I drive in so I can unfold it in front of my face while doing 75 on the Interstate. Yes, an unlit map that covers the entire windshield is much safer. But I digress...
Texting is illegal. And talking on your cell phone without a hands-free contraption is illegal. But you know what isn't illegal while driving? Eating breakfast. And putting on your makeup. And opening your mail. And changing music tracks on your car stereo. And...reading a book. I'm pretty sure there's no specific law against reading a book while driving. So I came up with an an ingenious way to fool the police officers trying to enforce this new law. Hide my cell phone in a book! I call it The Phone Book.
I used a Dremel tool to cut a hole in this book, 130 pages deep, so that my cell phone fits snugly inside of it. Now when I pass an officer, nose buried in a book, he'll just think I'm engrossed in a gripping horror story and not actually breaking any laws by texting my BFF Jill. Here are a few pictures of the construction of this amazing project.
remake of all his other stories.
The only downside to this project is that it's slightly harder to control my car when driving 75 MPH around town since I have to use one hand to hold the book and the other to actually type the messages to my friends and then mostly my knee to try and keep the steering wheel straight. I've nearly lost control a few times, but I think it's very unlikely that I'll be noticed by the police. And if they do pull me over for any other offenses, my cell phone will be hidden safely in my book where he won't even notice it.
"Were you by any chance texting while swerving all over the place back there?" he'll ask me.
"Why no officer. Do you see a cell phone in my car?" I'll reply.
You can click here to find out if texting and/or talking on a cell phone is illegal in your state. If it is, you just may want to invest in a Dremel and make yourself a Phone Book too. As an added bonus, you'll have a few pages of something to read while you're impatiently waiting for that text message back from your friend while driving.
UPDATE AND DISCLAIMER: Joseph from Kansas City emailed me this morning and informed me that carving a secret compartment into your Amazon Kindle version of Cell does not work and should not be attempted. Apparently this will completely ruin your Kindle! I'm unsure if other brands of ebooks will have similar consequences, but it's probably best not to try if you're not familiar with electronics. It's also unknown if this hack will work on other paper books besides Stephen King's Cell. I've only tried it on Cell, so if you ruin your copy of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer with this, don't blame me because I only guarantee that it works on the paperback version of Cell.