Ok, so I'm no dummy. Unlike a lot of people I know, I've not been a huge cell phone user. Probably because I work at home. I've had 2 cell phones my entire life.

A few months back I bit the bullet and got a cell just for myself. That way when I travelled my wife could keep "her" cell and I'd have my own. Being the slave to fashion that I am, I picked up the black RAZR. I love this phone. I can't describe how cool it is. It literally feels and looks like something out of Tron. If you pay for the software, you can even make your own ring tones. Not only does the software let you move media off and on the phone, it lets you crop an mp3 to use for your ring tone. It's perfect.

But I've found the phone's main weakness. It is so small - and sleek - and black - it might as well be cloaked. I lost it about 8 days ago. I waited a few days and reported it lost. I'm convinced it's in my office somewhere, but I can't find it. I don't think it's stolen since Cingular's online site showed no activity since the last day I saw it.

I decided to just give up today and go down to the Cingular store. I knew I wasn't going to get the same deal as before (99 dollars for a two year contract). Little did I know how right I was. First off - the sales guy said I didn't even want to look at prices today. He said they were all dropping on the 27th. That's only ten days away so I wasn't too concerned.... until I saw the prices.

350 (before a 50 dollar rebate) for just the hardware. 250 if I extend my contract six more months. Unbelievable. I guess I can see giving people a really good deal when they first sign up, but what about a deal for those of us who are already customers? Do I really need to pay what must be full price, or close to it?

I'd change carriers but to cancel my current contract would cost an arm and a leg, and let's be honest. All carriers would probably screw me over. Cingular has been - in general - good so far. The coverage was iffy when I first got it, but this was after effects of Rita. (Folks, do not believe that just because there was a Mardi Gras that things are 'all better', they aren't, even way out here in Lafayette.)

So I have ten days to tear apart this house or I'll be paying the "Dummy Tax" as I'm calling it. This is the first time I've really lost a phone, so I'm definitely feeling quite bad. My wife said I should pick up the Pink one said it would be harder to lose. I'm very close to actually going down that route. I mean, can you imagine how cool a pink RAZR would be with my ring tone - the Imperial March?