The Manhole Simply Jumped Right Out In Front of Me

I text a lot. And I mean a lot. Whether you consider my text count, my Twitter feed from various Tweeters, or my AIM messages that I send from my phone, I text a lot. I average around 10,000 to 15,000 a month. And I work a full time job so I am not texting Monday through Friday 9-5. I text when I get up. I text when I get ready to take a shower. I text when I am driving. I even text when I am laying down to go to sleep. I am what you would call an avid texter. (Why does my dictionary consider that an incorrect spelling?)

But when I am texting, whether walking, talking, sleeping or driving I always have one eye on the keyboard and one eye in front of me. But that is not the same for everyone. For instance, one of the latest applications to hit the iPhone app store is an app that, while texting, will activate your camera so you can see where you are walking. And I will admit, when I have my head phones on, strolling through the grocery store, and not paying attention to anything but the beats in my ears and the words on my fingers I run into stuff. Now it is not like I run into big displays of cheese or anything, but I have hit a box or two in my time. But nothing will compare to the 15 year old girl, from Staten Island, who fell into a manhole. You heard it right, she was texting and fell into an open manhole in New York City. And guess what; her parents are pissed.

So this girl is walking, texting, and next thing she knows she is knee deep in sewage. She was upset, more embarrassed than anything I imagine, but her parents are taking action. Her folks are suing. But who are they going to sue? The construction company? (By the way, they have admitted to leaving the manhole cover open but were in the process of getting signs to warn the foot traffic of the open cover. Maybe next time they will think to get the signs before taking the manhole cover off.) Or are they going to sue the city of New York? Of course, how could you sue the city? “That’s a bad city, New York. How dare you let her walk into that manhole while texting her friends. Shame on you.” Make sure to slap the city on the hands for that one.

But as her parents take a time out to decide who to sue, I want to tell you who I think they should sue. Mom and Dad should sit down together, draw up some paperwork, and sue none other than themselves. Why you may ask? Well, let me tell you why. First off, it is not the cities fault for removing the manhole cover. It is not the construction crew’s fault for not placing signs (OK that is their fault but not the fault of the girl falling in the hole) and it not the girl’s fault for texting as she obviously does so a lot if she is doing it while walking across the street. But how could it be the parents fault?

It is the parents fault because they are the ones paying for that cell phone bill. They are the ones that bought her that phone for more than likely “emergencies only.” And they are the ones that have allowed her access to the text messaging that caused this “disaster.” This brings me back to the story that I wrote a while ago about the father that received a HUGE cell phone bill due to his daughters text message plan. He had paid for X amount of texts, not being on an unlimited plan (which is stupid if you ask me) and then when he got the bill he got mad. Well, hello Dad, that is your own damn fault. You are the one that did not pay the extra ten bucks a month for unlimited texts while now you are stuck with a bill that racks up over four thousand big ones.

So to this Staten Island family take a step back and look at the true victim here. Sure, your daughter fell into a man hole. She even lost a shoe in the feces that runs underneath this city that never sleeps. But when it comes time to decide who the fault of this tragedy is the fingers will be pointing right back at you.

(For the people out there that are worried about her safety, she is fine. The girl lost nothing more than an afternoon and a shoe by falling into said manhole. So you can sleep easy tonight.)