As a kid, I loved when my mother talked on the phone. It meant I could misbehave, and she wouldn’t be able to discipline me because her attention was diverted.
Fast-forward a few decades and my love affair with the telephone has long since ended. I despise being on the phone for more than five minutes, and I don’t own a cell phone.
* Collective gasp * “You don’t own a cell phone, but why not?” you ask.
Well … let me preface by saying that a conversation between two people is not meant to be public. There’s a reason we call it public transit, public restrooms, public spaces—there is no privacy and we should behave with consideration for others around us. So…why am I forced to listen to annoying private conversations at every turn?
Case in point. I was on a bus last week after a concert, still reveling in the memory of the amazing Jeff Beck’s performance only to listen to a man talking loudly on his cell phone:
“Yeah, great trip in Sweden … blah blah blah. It was an awesome film to work on, and the director was wonderful! I’m starving now, gotta get something to eat … thinking of pizza … maybe some chicken, and blah blah blah.”
You get my drift. “Indoor voice” was not in his vocabulary.
The next time I’m on a bus and someone annoys me while talking too loudly on their phone—my phone will start ringing too.
“Brrrrring … brrrrring! Brrrrring … brrrrring!”
I’ll look around, appearing confused as I continue. “Brrrrring … brrrrring! Brrrrring … brrrrring!”
Only after passengers stare at me dumbfounded will I say, “Oh! It must be me!” I’ll pull out my phone, pick up the receiver, and say “Hello!”
Of course, I’ll speak in my loudest, most animated voice. “Yes, hi, Martin! How the heck are you? I had a great trip in London, yeah … met the Queen, and we went out for tea. She’s amazing!”
Pause to let my imaginary friend respond.
“I met Prince Charles too! He’s taller than I thought and much more handsome in person!”
Pause, nod like a bobblehead, guffaw.
“Yes! I saw Sir Paul too! What a pleasant fellow he is, blah blah blah, and blah blah blah.”
I suspect by this point passengers will start moving away from me. Why? Is it because I’m talking too loudly, being obnoxious, or … is it remotely possible they just don’t want to hear what I’m saying?
I’ve run this idea by a couple of people, and they think I’ve gone off the deep end.
I consider it quite brilliant, don’t you? 😉