Thursday, November 20, 2008

Silence is Golden

    How many times have I stood in a check-out line or window-shopped in a writer's reverie and had the spell broken suddenly by some person loudly yapping a mile a minute to their other self- only to see that they have a cell phone plastered to their head or one of those blue tooth contraptions? More times than I care to think about.
     What is the rudeness level on this bit of nonsense? On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd estimate about an 8 ! I hardly think my right to think quietly in peace should be violated by a cell phone speaker. Who's to say what's more important anyway? I don't care whether they remembered to buy razorblades to shave off that awful beard even if the person on the other end of the conversation does, to tell you the truth. I'm concerned about my next novel, article or story and I don't think it's fair for Mr. Whatshisface to break my concentration.
     Remember what life was like without cell phones? Well, I do and it was better and I mean that most sincerely. Quite a few years ago I worked, briefly, as a lobby teller in a bank and one regular customer would come in always yakking away on that thing and he never stopped talking for more than a few seconds at a time. You could barely converse with him about his transactions and it was especially annoying to have several transactions messed up and to have to re-do them because he said things to people on the phone that actually sounded like instructions to the teller! Not a single teller wanted to wait on him including myself. Being treated like a non-person was bad enough without the complications of having more problems than was necessary. He was complained about constantly to the head teller. Are you surprised ?
     I believe people are becoming increasingly annoyed by the constant chatterer on wireless devices. I've had dinners in restaurants messed up by such people. I've also had legitimate one on one conversations interrupted by sudden ringing and loud banter by a person close by who hasn't the decency to take the phone someplace private. I've been driven out of public libraries, seen people driving erratically around me trying to talk on a cell phone and have you tried to get the attention of  teenagers who do just about  everything while texting each other ?
     Remember that song Silence is Golden ? I'm thinking of singing this song the next time someone cuts me off in a supermarket with their basket and talking to the air- or is there really someone else on the other end? Who knows? Who cares? These people are not nice anyway, usually. Once you actually do have their attention- assuming that can actually happen- they stare blankly at you like they're watching TV. Yes. I am a real person standing here waiting for you to pay and move along so I can finish and go home too!
     The most dangerous cell phone users are those who insist on driving and talking or even texting ! With all the horrific accidents that have already occurred because of cell phones you would think people would wise up and stop that lunacy. Instead, I see an increase of them and they almost always drive erratically. Here is where we must draw the line and it should be enforced more rigidly than traffic violations because it's actually the most serious violation of all. It's worse than not buckling your safety belt and they've already passed a law on that in Colorado.
      If they get a cell phone law passed I'd like to go one better and maybe write a book on cell phone etiquette. I think we all need one.
 Back atcha! The Castle Lady

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