Life is Like a Cell Phone. To Make it Understandable, You Have to Hit at Least Five Bars.


Politics. The economy. World unrest. Life is complex, and does not readily yield any meaning. Yet, it consistently offers us clues through everyday symbols, if only we would be open to receiving them.

So many of us have suffered the frustration and indignity of losing a cell phone signal right in the middle of a call. That unmistakable sound of hearing your friend's digitally-converted voice -uddenly break--- up and knowing that same friend is hear--- the -ame th--g on -eir end.


That's why it is very reassuring to be in an unfamiliar area and see your phone showing a good amount of bars. In that one brief moment, things are fully possible, and you can be confident that whatever communication in which you are about to engage will at least be understandable.

Not so with life. But, I am very excited to test this new metaphor for our existence that has, indeed, revealed itself to me through an everyday symbol. You see, life, like the reception on a cell phone, really only makes any kind of clear sense after hitting five bars.

Below is the bar-to-bar diary I recorded last night, in order to document my research on this deceptively simple bit of guidance from the universe.

So, let's go!

The State of Life's Meaning at One Bar: It's pretty noisy in here, but it's EDM, so there's a steadiness to the pulsing that makes it a little easier to communicate. I only have to yell at a few decibels above normal to be heard by my friends, and man, are we getting into some deep stuff and not just because of the alcohol, I swear. Like, one of my buddies put it out there that we create our own realities, and so we really got going on that. I challenged that viewpoint by taking a selfie and asking everyone if it was, indeed, an accurate depiction of reality and, if so, how could we have created it, then? Heavy stuff, but at this stage in the game NO REAL ANSWERS.

The State of Life's Meaning at Two Bars: This one is a sports bar, and all those television screens really impede clear thinking on the meaning of existence. But then, after the third beer, there was something so graceful about the sheer athleticism of the teams playing on the screen that we were all swept up in the unlimited potential of the human spirit. But why should one person be so dedicated and gifted to a sport, while others simply waste their days away? And why is winning so important, anyway? NO ANSWERS YET.

The State of Life's Meaning at Three Bars: Dusky, red velvet-appointed place in an old downtown hotel. They're showing just the picture--no sound--from grindhouse movies on the walls, and now we've got a bunch of other people joining us in sending "what is the meaning of life?" text messages across the bar. One woman suggested the radical idea that there is no meaning to life, and that what meaning there is can only be realized by accepting that there is no meaning. This made a certain amount of sense, but by the time we plerothafeoerethta.......what? Whoa, sorry, lost the power of speech for a moment, there. I'm okay, though.

The State of Life's Meaning at Four Bars: Woo-hoo! Irish bar. Live Celtic music cranking! Get over here, person I've never met before! I LOVE YOU! Do you hear me? THIS is all that matters! THIS MOMENT, right now! And THAT, right? Wait, which bar is this? What's supposed to happ, happ, happen at the fifth one? Wasn't something supposed to happen? Bllrrrbbbb, blaahhhhh, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

The State of Life's Meaning at Five Bars: Bllrrrbbb, blaahhhh, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. But I GET IT! YES! IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW! It's so BEAUTIFUL! My mind just expanded! I sure hope I remember this tomorrow! Get over here, Walter, I LOVE YOU MAN! Bllrrrbbb, blaahhhh, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Okay, so I've had a look at the results of my little experiment, and I believe I have proven my theory that life makes a lot more sense after you hit five bars. Sadly, I don't recall any of the specific insights that resulted from the improved reception.

Still, you may be in need of some kind of answer. What I can tell you is....oh, wait, what's that? I can't hear you. You're breaking up.

More of James Napoli's comedy content for the Web can be found here.