Do you complain about people talking on cell phones while driving? I hope not, because that’s yesterday’s rant. I’ve just discovered the most annoying thing—people yabbing away on cell phones when I’m trying to read in a coffee shop. Several aggravating factors: 1) they’re not just receiving calls, they’re placing them. “Hey Bob, is Sue in? [pause] Well what about Liz? [pause] Well what about Sarah? Can I talk to Sarah? [pause: initiate sigh of relief] She’s not there? Well how’s things with you? [Aggghhh]” 2) they shout into the phone like they’re on the other side of the planet, a planet seven times the size of our own. What makes these people talk so loud?
Hearing loss can be achieved through repeated exposure to tiny cellphone waves.
Or it might have something to do with them and their friends shouting at each other all the time! 3) they talk of personal stuff I don’t want to (and shouldn’t have to) hear...of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings." This “paradoxically antisocial” behavior is on the rise. It’s getting so I can’t even leave my house anymore! And don’t give me that tripe about “if you want quiet, then why are you going to a coffee shop?” Let me tell you something. People have enjoyed the low background chatter in coffee shops for three million years. I’m a card-carrying (curd-cutting) proponent of low background chatter (cheddar). But this cell phone Wheel of Unfortune is getting out of hand. It’s the beginning of the end. Paleolithic.
Addendum: In 2008, no one will complain about people talking on cell phones. They’ll be too busy objecting to the holograms. The Pembletons will get pissed when they’ve had to wait two hours for a table while watching Joe and Chris, two solid guys, and their hologram dates, Doris and Janie Everglow. There will be signs outside restaurants. “No holograms. We don’t want them.” There will be fisticuffs.
Addendum II: I just got one.