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Gadget for Rich Kids

December 31, 1987

If you have a compulsive need to phone home, no matter where you are or who you're with, then the transportable cellular phone is made for you.

This electronic toy, however, is for poor little rich boys and girls only; the equipment costs $2,000, and the monthly fee is $45. Every call you make costs $45 a minute during peak hours, 27 cents a minute the rest of the time.

"It's for business or for pleasure," says Rosemary Dealba, of the A T & T phone store in Studio City. "If it's strictly for pleasure. . .," she demurs, "well, I guess you'd have to be rather well off."

According to Dealba, this portable phone and its own portable battery pack and charger is popular with busy studio executive types and movie-production personnel "because they're always going on location." Dealba herself recently attended a football game and saw four of the phones in use in the bleachers. "At those big events, who can find a pay phone?" she asks. "And, even if you can, there's always a line."

Yet, some people think this portable hand set can get a little out of hand. One young screenwriter reported having lunch at a cafe when "this guy comes in and plunks his phone down right on the table. . . . I felt sorry for him. He couldn't even get away from his phone long enough to eat a sandwich."

That's show biz.

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