by Elizabeth Bussey
to tell you, but it is true, that I do not shrink from salty language. I have
a great fondness for big, chunky, earthy Anglo-Saxon words. I donít know why,
or how I developed this unattractive trait. I blame my parents, really. Not because
they are at fault so much as that they are convenient. Sorry, Mom. My point in
making this confession is that if you, like me, donít mind the occasional expletive
you can insert any of them that you know just about anywhere in the text of the
following diatribe with confidence that it will be just what I am thinking.|
And what I am thinking about is cell phones. I hate them, hate them, hate them.
I just got home from the post office where some fella named Bob was in line behind
me. "Hey there Jerry!" he bellowed, "This hereís Bob! Yes Siree Bob! Thatís me!
Thatís cuz I am a Can Do Man! Need it done, call me, Bob! Yes Siree Bob!" I was
screaming internally by this time. I was dizzy with the effort it took not to
turn around and fling the little package I was mailing at Yes Siree Bobís head.
I smiled a tight-lipped smile at the man behind the counter. He looked concerned.
Either that or he wanted to fling something at Yes Siree Bobís head too.
Bob moved past me to the next clerk. His cell phone conversation continued and
he made me hate him even more when I saw him look at me from the corner of his
eye, smirking. He was wondering, I am sure, if I thought he was a big shot, hot
shot, king oí comedy, salesman tycoon. He was imagining, I betcha, that I was
fascinated, riveted, hypnotized by his booming banter. "No," I squeaked, "no stamps
today," and I fled.
I hate cell phones! In the days before cell phones
you might see a beautiful face in the grocery store and imagine a whole life for
that person. She had been unlucky in business, but lucky in love. She had a faraway
look in her eyes because she was dreaming of her sweet darling who waited for
her across the sea in his familyís ancestral castle. Or that stooped old lady
over there might be a once famous poet and beauty. That man might be a secret
agent and that one a genius chemist. But not anymore. No! Now you can be privy
to anyone and everyoneís private telephone conversations and, AND, you will be
disabused of any fantasy of glamour and mystery because of it.
beauty with the hooded, limpid eyes and the graceful, delicate movements will
dial that cell phone with fingers that remind you of ancient Chinese porcelain
and then will open her mouth and utter the most banal, irritating drivel in a
voice that sounds like it needs a big olí shot of WD-40. The old woman will answer
her phone and you will sigh to hear her kind, gentle voice. You will long to hear
this voice next time you have a fever and will consider asking her for her number
so that you can call her the next time you have one and be soothed. Until she
says, "Well, I donít know hon. Shoot him in the head, I guess, and throw him out
in that ditch back there." Eee-yew! That cannot be a happy situation!
The secret agent will be heard to say, "Wait a minute. Wait. Tell me again. What
was that. Wait. I donít get it." And the supposed genius chemist will be heard
to call his wife an ugly name right there in the express line.
have cell phones pretty thoroughly destroyed my fantasy life but I am no longer
able to tell who is insane. It used to be that you could tell who to avoid because
they would be muttering, or conversing, or shouting at nobody. With the advent
of the little tiny phone that hooks to your ear, well, forget it. Either everybody
is insane or nobody is, but it is all certainly driving me that way.
those little tiny phones have caused me a huge embarrassment and I hate to be
embarrassed. I saw a person at work the other day who I had not seen for some
months. I was thrilled to see her and began to chat. A little while into the conversation
and I began to get worried. Her side of the conversation did not seem to make
much sense. I was busying about doing some things and she was sitting at the desk
while we chatted, using the computer. I thought she might be a little distracted
because she was busy looking something up. But really, her remarks seemed completely
random to me. I am pretty quick though and struggled to keep up as we bounced
from one subject to a completely different one. Then I noticed that she was holding
up her hand to tell me to wait, while she asked a question and waited for the
answer. And there it was, the little tiny phone hooked to her ear. She had been
talking to somebody else that whole time while I had been buzzing around her like
an agitated gnat. I gave her my post office smile and left the room so she could
finish her conversation in private. I hate cell phones.