I don’t know if cellular phones cause cancer or not, but I can share with you an experience I had many years ago with my BLACK Motorola StarTac cellular phone.

When I had my cellular phone problem — in the early 90’s — Motorola was the king of phones.  There was no better purchase you could make that would give you greater sound, resonance and connectivity.

The hallmark of being a tough guy, a well-connected fellow, and a forward-thinking man… was having a BLACK Motorola StarTac.

The “regular folk” were regulated to the grey version of the StarTac that they could buy at any cellular reseller.

You could only get the BLACK StarTac by ordering it directly from Motorola — and it cost you three times what the “regular folk” were paying.

You were also required to sign up for Motorola’s incredibly exorbitant monthly fee for MCSI “Motorola Cellular Service Incorporated” — which, in New York City, was really just a re-branded Bell Atlantic cellular connection.  Bell Atlantic was the “B-Side” cellular carrier and then later became NYNEX and, finally, Verizon.

Bell Atlantic’s cellular performance in New York City at that time was dynamic.  It was clear.  There was no echo.  You could carry on a conversation as if you were on a hardwire phone — but the cellular technology at that time was also insecure.

You could use a scanner to listen to the unencrypted cellular phone calls flying through the air in and around New York City.  Your scanner cawed with an ongoing cacophony of conversations that overwhelmed your ear and delighted your mind.

When my first BLACK Motorola StarTac arrived, I was in a hoary heaven.  It was sleek.  It was thin.  I was the man.  Soon, after an hour of calling, my new phone became incredibly hot while in use.  I had burned my fingertips a bit and the side of my head was throbbing.

The next day, I had blisters on the knuckles of the hand that held the StarTac.  My head hurt right behind my ear where the Motorola antenna stuck out of the StarTac during the previous day’s calls.  I also felt queasy and weak.

I called my Motorola representative — at that time, because you were paying so much for so little, you had your very own Motorola hand-holder to make you feel less like a goof — and I told him of my experience with my very new, very hot, BLACK Motorola StarTac.

My rep sounded horrified and he said he’d swap out a new cellular phone for me that day, right then, as soon as I could meet him.

20 minutes later he was at my front door and I swapped him my “burning phone” for a new BLACK StarTac.

Later that night, I made a few test calls on my replacement StarTac.  The phone did not get hot.  The sound was even better then before.  My head did not throb.  I was delighted!

It was only later — years later — when I began to realize it was not a good thing my BLACK Motorola StarTac had burned my head and hand.

Cellular phones, at that time, would get really hot if you were far away from a tower, but they were never supposed to get hot enough to burn your skin.

After my StarTac burning, I decided to switch hands and ears for every phone call I made — landline or cellular — and it was a bit of a steep learning curve in making that change because you never realize you favor one ear over the other until you’re forced to switch.

Making that switch re-shaped my hearing and focused my mind more than ever during call phone calls.

Did my Motorola StarTac hurt me beyond the burn?

I suppose only time and tide will tell — but today when I read new stories about cellular phones and brain tumors, I am always propelled back to a time when your cellular phone became you, and you felt like a beauty to be held… until you
were burned and blistered by your BLACK beloved.