chickenshoot (chickenshoot) wrote,

Cellphone Megaphone


I remember when cell phones first started being available to your average person, and I was walking to a store behind a guy who loudly announced his every move along the walk, picking out items in the store, paying, and leaving. I really wanted to ask if it made him feel important delivering this play-by-play of mundane activity.

"I'm at the game! There are players on the field! One is wearing a red jacket! The lady in front of me has curly hair! My underwear is riding up. Jesus, the sun is hot!"

I didn't have a phone yet at the time, and I was thinking how this portable phone was gonna become a plague. Then I thought, no, the novelty will wear off, and then some manners/rules will fall into place. People will be bored of the play-by-play, and they'll learn not to deliver or receive them. Eventually everyone will realize the world around them can hear their conversation, and they'll whisper. People will have so much instant access to everyone that eventually they will be all caught up with each other and it will die down a bit.

"Hey, I'm looking at fruit in the grocery store! Next I'm gonna walk over to the milk..."

But obviously this isn't so. Not only do we still get to hear everyone's business (I can tell you all the goings-on of the nearby yuppie neighborhood after
waiting in line at the post office), the phone is there at the ear for all car maneuvers. Wandering above/below the speed limit, weaving, cutting people off, pulling out of a parking spot at a bad time --- these people are chatting away with a smile and vacant eyes like a special force is protecting their car...and yours.

"Hi...oh, nothing. I'm just driving, talking to you, and putting on lipstick. No, don't worry --- my car has magical auto-pilot features that know to take over when I'm not paying attention."

I was walking around a drugstore yesterday behind a fellow who was delivering a huge confession via cellphone at the top of his voice. While wandering the aisles, he revealed that he's had enough. He has to look out for himself. He's spent too much time taking care of everyone else and taking on their problems. This time in life is about him. He's got to look out for his health and find some peace. He's done a lot of thinking about this, and he just has to do it.

"Hey, I'm like totally graduating right now... No, why should I enjoy the moment when I can be relaying it to you?"

I could hear him no matter where I was in the store. At some point I had to make my way by him, and I said, "Gosh, I hope you'll be okay."

Why can't ya whisper or hash out your problems at home? Enjoy some privacy. I promise you aren't important loudly announcing your personal business to the world
on that cellphone --- having a cellphone has become as common as having an asshole, and being one.

"Hey, what's up? I think I'm gonna get a divorce."
"Really, that's too bad. What are you doing right now?"

"I'm at Walgreen's buying some tampons. Where are you?"
"I think I'm standing right behind you. I'm checking out some salves for a raging crotch problem."
"Aha, gotcha. Yeah, I think after I buy these tampons I'm gonna go home and put my head in the oven."
Sounds good.  Whoa, hold on --- think I'm getting another call..."


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