California goes “hands-free” today!

Hands on the wheel, Californios! As of today, chatty, a-hole drivers everywhere will have to comply with Senate Bill 1613 — more commonly known as the hands-free cell phone bill — or face ever increasing fines.

I say, right on! Who in L.A. (or anywhere for that matter) has not almost been side-swiped, suddenly cut off or otherwise had their life endangered by some cell-phone-mad soccer mom in a speeding minivan? Nothing against soccer moms, or minivans — our friend’s Nic and Dan’s rocking minivan is so big, you could do laps in that thing! — but no matter what you drive, this bill was a long time coming in my book, so, yeah!

Christine and I have been fervent headset users for years — it didn’t hurt that we used to know someone in “the biz” who kept us knee-deep in new headsets! — so this new law is really just sanctioning something we already do on a daily basis. But for millions of California drivers, I think hands-free chatting is gonna take some serious getting used to.

I’m sure you’ve seen the non-stop print ads with Bluetooth this, hands-free that, I mean, every other kiosk at the mall nowadays is shilling headsets. So, seeing as one of our old standby headsets just recently bit the dust, I set out last week in search of a new one.

And when I heard they were even selling headsets at the 99-Cent Store, well, I had to check that shit out! So, I headed on over, plopped down my dollar and tried that thing out…and…drumroll please, the headset (pictured above) was so cheap that it actually broke in my car in the parking lot!

I’m not kidding, the speaker cover tore when I opened the package and without it, the headset sounds — in the words of my sister-in-law, Laura — like I am talking to you from a thousand fathoms below or something.

Honestly, I didn’t think that thing was gonna have like, Bluetooth quality sound or anything, but, wow…I didn’t expect it to fall apart on the drive home either! Yikes…99-cents was way too much to pay for that crap…

So, if you’re struggling to get hands-free-compliant today and looking for a last-minute headset…I suggest you try someplace other than the 99-Cent Store. Just an idea…

10 Comments

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10 responses to “California goes “hands-free” today!

  1. becauseweloveit

    This is a great law–I wish it would come to the Nati. Every time I swerve out of the way of a driver doing something crazy, I pass them (for glaring and the occasional finger posturing) and see them talking on the phone, blissfully unaware of the thirty car pile-up that they almost caused. May you have safe travels.

  2. yeti9000

    I hear ya, brother! I am all for the new law…now if I could just get my new rubber band headset from slipping off my head, I’d be all set! 🙂

  3. Normally I’m against these nanny-like laws that these elected bureaucrat idiots needlessly push instead of working to actually improve things (i.e. the lapdog-while-driving law, banning mylar balloons, or your cause célèbre from last month, the over-the-top regulation of taco trucks).

    But I’ve been endangered too many times by many real housewives or Orange County who clearly devote too much of their already-limited brain power on their phone conversations instead of their driving safety. (And don’t even get me started on driving in Garbage Grove!)

    So I’m all for it this time.

  4. Ginger

    99-Cent store, eh? Have you been to the one in Watsonville? I went there last weekend to look for some inexpensive decorations for my sister-in-law’s baby shower, and it was more like “99-Cents plus a few dollars more” store. Yikes! There were very few things for only 99 cents at that store. Maybe a candle or two, but that was it.

    However, on a happier note, I also discover the Dollar Tree store in Watsonville, where, I am very excited to report, everything REALLY was only a dollar. One dollar. A pack of 220 flexible straws – one dollar. A beach ball with the Junior Mints logo on it was only one buck. Picture frames…guess how much? Yup – one whole dollar. Greeting cards were a steal at 50 cents each. Awesome.

    Maybe you should have purchased your headset at the Dollar Tree store instead – it might have lasted longer. 😉

  5. Melissa

    Ginger, I know that Dollar Tree well. I’ve even bought books there! Books for $1…for an addict like me, that’s pretty cool. Not the world’s greatest collection, but when you’re waiting for your clothes to dry at the laundromat next door, it’s Dollar Tree or Salvation Army (where I got my $6 chairs).

  6. yeti9000

    Oh, man…I gotta hit that Dollar Tree next time I’m in Santa Cruz! Don’t know that I need more books or even a pack of 220 flexible straws, but, wow…might just buy them for that price! Awesome!!

  7. Wow … 220 flexible straws for one dollar? That averages out to $0.0045 per straw.

    Kind of makes me wonder how much cheaper it would be if they sold regular straws instead of the flexible variety. Of course, if you’re going to buy straws for use at home, why not just splurge and get the flexible kind. That’s a lot of fun for less than half-a-cent a piece.

  8. Wan

    T, pleeeeaaaase tell me you kept the rubber band. And took a picture.

  9. Jenn

    How has nobody commented on the fact that this 99 cent store is open 9 (NINE) days a week??

  10. yeti9000

    Ha! Hilarious! I never noticed that. Unfortunately, I usually do my shopping on that pesky tenth day when they’re closed… 😦

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