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SUNDAY, MAY 28, 2006
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TOM WRIGHT

From gold teeth to Bluetooth

Nobody in my family ever had a gold tooth up front and I always wished someone did.

Gold teeth fascinated youngsters. They grabbed attention, like the tattoos of sailors returning from World War II commanded from my generation.

To us, a gold tooth meant stature, worldliness, adventure to places far outside rural Blount County. We never thought of it as someone saying, "Hey I had a tooth go bad and had to have it fixed."

The gold tooth was a celebration. People with one always smiled. But why have a gold tooth if you didn't smile?

Using that logic, why have a Bluetooth if you're not going to talk?

So Bluetoothers talk.

We now have one at our house that we bought along with Regina's new pink Razr cell phone.

And she talks. Gone is the old ear bud that attached to her phone with a flimsy cord that stayed tangled most of the time.

In its place is a compact, travel-anywhere charger that keeps the Bluetooth hot. In case you are a late bloomer, too, Bluetooth is a cordless radio frequency device that looks like the hearing aid that my old friend George Royer wears these days. (He jokes that he got it off a dead man.)

Once you bond Bluetooth with your cell phone by pressing the menu button and jumping through hoops to enter a code, you talk hands free.

But first comes the trial test. In our case, Regina was in the living room and I was in the sun room when I called her cell phone. Bluetooth worked.

"But I can't turn it off. I can still hear you talking," she said, after I ended the test call.

"That's because I'm in the next room and I'm talking to you," I replied.

"Oh," she said, and dialed her mother to announce she has a Bluetooth now.

And Granny didn't get that new Razr phone stuff, either. But she did remember when giving a gold-colored razor for a Father's Day present made sense.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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