Monday, July 10, 2006

Shut the f**k up already!

Don't even get me started on the subject of cell phones. . .especially in the hands of drivers of moving vehicles. If smokers pay higher health premiums, it would seem to me that drivers using cell phones (responsible for seven percent of all auto accidents) should have to register and pay higher insurance rates. Why should I have to bear the brunt? Or better yet, just ban them in moving vehicles altogether. And that includes hands-free. When a friend phones me and I detect that they're driving, I refuse to conclude the conversation: "Call me back when. . .."

I suppose I would like to have one of the hell-ish things in case of (as the cliche goes) EMERGENCIES, but I'll be damned if I will contribute one red cent to the godforsaken cell phone industry. I'd rather walk a mile in a driving rainstorm.

I simply cannot believe that people are so rude as to, as is their wont, go up to a cashier in Trader Joe's---a hotbed for the use of these agents of the devil here in L.A.---and continue their obviously inane and pointless cell conversations without so much as a "Boy Howdy" to the actual person standing in front of them. But you see it all the time. In my local p.o. there are big signs at every window stating "Please conclude all cell phone conversations before approaching window." You can't miss 'em. And yet! Whatever happened to "Be here now"?

If they just didn't talk soooo loud, or took their private affairs elsewhere. Standing in a public space and talking to someone who isn't there used to be the domain exclusively of the village idiot. And as for Blackberries, REALLY "don't even get me started."

The inarguable scientific evidence that cell phones cause brain cancer is growing at an exponential rate. You can't miss it. And still. . . they keep on yammering all the while their cerebral cortex is turning to silly putty!
What is so fersluggenah [sp.] important that someone has to plant themselves smack in the middle of an aisle of a public place and palaver on at length about it? If you ask me it's mostly about public spectacularization of the self. And also a hedge against organization of your day. Instead of planning ahead and building in a time buffer against contingencies, it's apparently so much easier to just "Hello, Murray. You simply wouldn't believe the traffic on the 405." Well, yes I would.

I once overheard someone making a call in Trader Joe's: "Should I buy one can or two," they inquired of the person at the other end. The absurdity of which is that a can of anything could not possibly be as expensive as the cell phone call itself. And no one could have THAT serious a storage problem. I was tempted to get right up in their face and say: "Get two." Another time, I overheard someone make a cell phone call, only to utter to the party on the other end: "I forget why I called." They then hung up. I feel reasonably certain that 99 % of the cell phone calls made can't obtain to much more substance than that. Yesterday I was in a supermarket and thought I heard someone behind me having a public meltdown. I turned around to see what was happening, but it was merely a case of the shouter experiencing bad cell phone reception. Take it outside!

To make a long story short, I beg of you, when you're with/around me, puh-leeeeze don't whip IT out. Sometimes I just feel like walking up to the offending parties in question with a lightweight styrofoam phone booth and dropping it over them. Or better yet, this:

Back to the Beeper!

(Coming soon: my other major bete noir: SUV's)


Davei said...

I agree with you whole-heartedly. I think the cellphone is the modern pacifier, and is contributing to a decline in public civility.

I suspect that it is decreasing the tolerance for solitude. The media have already contributed to this, but I see it as a trend. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that you must be able to spend time alone in order to do a lots of very important things, such as writing, composing, creating in general, and thinking.

Terri said...

I'm so with you. What I find amazing is that people have conversations that should be kept private Right In the Middle of Target, or wherever they happen to be standing. Do they think we can't hear them? Or do they not care? Either way it's not civil. I was shopping alone recently and Every Person I met was on the phone with someone. One person was yelling into her phone "Did you have the hearing test, Dad? I SAID, DID YOU HAVE THE HEARING TEST YET?"

Makes you wish for good old-fashioned phone booths.