The ageless art of Shut Up!

October 16, 2006 at 10:30 pm (Uncategorized)


0743554329.jpgPardon me. I didn’t mean to subject you to a private conversation in which you have absolutely no interest. Only a cad would insinuate the mundane vagaries of his private life upon a complete stranger.

I’m not cad. I’m only trying to make a point after a half dozen store clerks or so grabbed me, shook me and insisted I write about this new form of inconsideration.

It’s the cellphone people and you already know the ones I’m talking about. They walk through the stores having loud conversations and ignoring the immediate world around them. These people laugh a lot and talk with animation because they want you, the annoyed bystander, to see how popular and important they are.

A very urgent note to the public cellphone yappers: people hate you. This is not my opinion. I offer that observation only after long discussions with store clerks and others in the field of public service. When you approach them while yacking on your phone, they have lurid fantasies where both you and your cellphone are busted up into a hundred pieces, set on fire and then hurled off bridges.

Some of them have more vicious fantasies but I’ll skip those for now.
“They saunter up to the counter, talking loudly on their phones, and then act like I’m the rude one because I’ve interupted them,” said one store clerk.

“The most pompous, annoying people on the planet,” said one from an office supply store.
“I want to shove the cell phone down their throat and pull the antennae out through a nostril,” offered yet another clerk.

Okay. I made that last one up. But loathing of the cell phone people is hot and ubiquitous. The store clerks despise the phone people because they are rude and difficult to deal with. Other store patrons are disgusted because they want to shop, get what they need and cash out. They do not want to hear all about the self-important guy’s dating life or the loud-mouthed woman’s woeful romantic situation.

I have a strong feeling that Stephen King dislikes you, too, cell phone people. Have you read his new novel “The Cell?” It’s all about you. In the book, a strong signal from space ruins the minds of everyone who is talking on a cell phone at a precise moment on a precise day. And since you are on the cell phone even when you are visiting the restroom, attending a funeral or sleeping, Mouthy McMouth, you are most certainly toast.

And good riddance to you. We have never been fooled into believing you are important or impressive or enviable. We’ve always thought you annoying and inconsiderate beyond repair. 

You want us to believe that the phone pressed to your head is an automatic avatar of success and importance. But a ten year old with a paper route can afford a cell phone these days, Mr. Pay Attention To Me Because I Am Important. And most ten year olds have better sense than to yack on a phone while standing in line at a public place, because they understand on an instinctive level that people who do so are obnoxious and worthy of the scorn that follows them around like cellular signals from space.

What does this mean for you? It means that you irritate 99 percent of the population, including ten year old children and Stephen King.

I firmly believe that an overwhelming majority of the people are inherently nice. They seldom have fantasies about maiming their fellow man. Then one of you phone people steps into traffic with a phone pressed to your ear. You do not look right. You do not look left. You simply step into traffic as if the very nature of your phone call is so compelling, it will serve as a gigantic airbag cushioning you from the impact of a car coming along at 40 mph.

It won’t. Step in front of my car and find out.

Your phone call is not that important. Nobody is fooled. You are not negotiating a stock transfer worth a hundred million dollars. You are not buying the Red Sox. You are not lining up a date with a super model and your caller is not inviting you to the Oscars. Even if you were, we wouldn’t care. We would think you’re annoying and pretensious and superficial.

You are talking to your best friend Tony about the party you plan to attend. Or you are babbling with five times the octaves necessary for the conversation to your sister Beverly who just broke up with her boyfriend. And you want the rest of us to believe that the drama in your life is worth this disruption to ours. And we’re not buying it. I know this because everybody I ask about it will drop everything they are doing to adequately express how they feel about you public cell phone people.

“They… make… me… so… mad!” said one woman, who had a different hand gesture for each word spoken on the matter. “They…are… the… most… arrogant…”

At which point, both words and gestures became too obscene for me to describe here. And so I’m passing it on, lest you wonder how you are perceived by the world engulfed by the cloud of your cell phone conversations. You are despised. You are loathed.

And Stephen King thinks you suck.



  1. Linda said,

    Great diatribe, and not one bit too harsh. You nailed it!

    It’s probably bad blog manners to go off topic with the first comment but I was just outside and saw the oddest thing in the sky to the west. A bright light, too big and fast to be a shooting star, beginning about 45 degrees over the horizon and plummeting down. it vanished suddenly with a sort of fuzzy blob. Is everyone still here? Maybe it was the mother ship picking up some of those cell phone dumbasses. We can only hope.

  2. Mainetarr said,

    Cell phones do suck. But you know what I find even more annoying? Those people with the earpiece thingy talking on the phone while they walk around. Do they not realize they look like a bunch of morons talking to themselves? NO ONE, let me repeat, NO ONE is that important that they need to wear a phone on their ear. You are a LOSER!!! That’s right, a LOSER. Hang up the phone and pay attention.

    Last time I was at the hairdressers, one of the stylists had a woman in the chair who kept answering her cell phone and gabbing. Finally, she had enough and told her if she didn’t get off the phone, she’d slap the color out of her hair. Needless to say, the moron got it and hung up the phone. Me and my stylist had to turn my chair around we were laughing so hard. Asshat.

  3. K2 said,

    Mark, I love you, man. Great job.

  4. Bobbie said,

    The bank that I frequent finally had enough of people on the phone while trying to do a transaction that they put a sign up requesting that the people not use their cell phones while conducting business. Having people do that drives them crazy because they too are treated like the rude person for interrupting the other person on the phone-who can blame the person trying to do their job when you have an ever growing line behind the person on the phone who cares less about the line? It’s bad when you think that someone is talking to you and you answer, only to find that the other person is talking to someone on their cell phone.

    I will admit to owning and using a cell phone. I picked it up when I made a trip earlier this year because I didn’t want to be stuck somewhere without a way to call for help. Very few people have that number and I intend to keep it that way. I do keep it with me on a daily basis because I have an elderly MIL who has already had one heart attack and who has already had one fall that required surgery to fix her wrist. I use it when I have to make a call away from home, but I try to get away from everyone else while I do it. The last thing that I want is someone hearing my end of the conversation. The biggest offender that calls my cell is the hubby because he calls just to “chat”-I can understand a call saying that I need to go to the hospital, but it bugs the hell out of me when he calls just to find out what’s for supper that night. When he does that, I get even with him and tell him that he needs to fix his own supper that night.

  5. K2 said,

    “If your daddy’s cell number has nothing to do with a phone, you might be a red neck.”

  6. Mandy, the obit writer said,

    I’m traveling to work using my normal route. The speed limit is 55 mph. I’m traveling down the road when all of a sudden I find myself behind a car going about 25 mph slower than the posted limit. I have enough time to safely slow down and still maintain an adequate distance from this driver. They slow down even more and I brake again, wondering if this is a driver who is either looking for a specific place or are unsure of the speed limit. Then the driver turns their head and I catch a glimpse of a cell phone perched between their shoulder and ear. The damn idiot is more concerned about their call than their driving.
    Even though I’m also a cell phone owner, I keep my phone off and put away while I’m driving, and I was so tempted to honk loudly at the driver and give them a lesson in courtesy.

  7. Linda said,

    One of my sisters used to work in Lewiston. One day she was driving home from work about 7 pm, and she made or took a call while she was at the red light on Center St by the Auburn Mall. After a while she realized that the light had turned green and then red again and she’d sat thru it talking on the phone, while people honked and drove around her. She was tired and the call was important, but still .. it scared her enough that now she never ever talks on the phone while she’s driving.

  8. Bobbie said,

    Maybe if everyone drove a standard, we’d see less cell phone usage while people are driving. Automatics make it way too easy to use a cell phone some days.

    Way off subject here, but how do you stop a dog from snoring? When Trouble and Ed both get going at the same time, you’d swear that someone was cutting the house apart. Add hubby to the mix and you can understand why I’m on the computer at 2 AM.

  9. AO said,

    Ha..Mouthy McMouth..good one.

  10. Linda said,

    Bobbie, even with an automatic transmission, there is only one free hand and I’d rather save my free hand for coffee.

    Snoring dogs? What about distance and isolation — can you make them a bed out of earshot? That’s all I’ve got to offer.

  11. AO said,

    Buy them some Breathe Right strips. Maybe they make them in doggy size.

  12. AO said,

    Hey, K2, maybe you should move to Nevada. Not that I’d want you to go but, it sounds like it could be your kind of place.

  13. Linda said,

    I think I’ve seen a photo of her dogs, and no, I don’t think they make them in that size. LOL. Good thinking though. what about some of those menthol things you plug into an outlet? (Just kidding — that’s another thing I hate, but that’s not important right now)

  14. Linda said,

    I’m guessing marginally NSFW, I’ll wait until I am home later to check out the Nevada link.

  15. AO said,

    Sorry. It may not be. But, it is just a news article.

  16. Mainetarr said,

    Bobbie, I promptly called my vet for you and posed your question. He said the number one reason a dog snores is because it’s overweight. Sometimes, if a dog sleeps on or with a pillow (like Bailey) it could be obstructing their airway, causing snoring. If it’s neither reason causing the snoring, he told me to tell you to try a kennel, far away from where you sleep. With a chuckle, he said it sometimes works on husbands too. I hope this helps. Both of my boys snore like freight trains. Bailey is a soft, consistant snore and Milo will just let one big snore rip about every 15-20 minutes. It’s hysterical!!

  17. Linda said,

    What could be worse than a plain, boring phone? This one is SFW as long as you don’t mind gagging with disgust in front of your workmates

  18. K2 said,

    Until the Feds see it otherwise, AO, all the state mandates are emasculated. Isn’t it ironic that our conservative government is supposedly all about state rights, until states actually do stuff the Fed doesn’t like.

    As I’ve always said, some laws deserve to be broken. *bubbling sound, cough*

  19. K2 said,

    And Linda, how about that guy in the beginning of the article, which I read this morning, who says that all he cares about is the way his cell phone looks. Could you imagine the vacuum in that man’s brain?

  20. Linda said,

    This is my fave part, at the end, where a woman is quoted:

    “We have a lot more leisure time and our kids are older, our houses are already decorated, our gardens are already done, and now we’re taking care of ourselves and focusing on health and exercise and fashion,” she said.

    She didn’t specifically mention a fancy phone, but I guess that must be fashion, cause I can’t see how it’s health or exercise.

  21. K2 said,

    Well, if e-mail is fashionable, I once again have it — after a 28 hour Adelphia outage. Fucking telecoms suck ass.

  22. AO said,

    I just read in Redbook magazine that 7 million cell phones a year are accidentally dropped into toilets. Huh, I wonder just how many are really “accidentally” dropped.

  23. Bobbie said,

    K2, hopefully you ask for a credit for the outage. They have to give you one after being without services for 24+ hours.

    Thanks for calling the vet, MT. Ed is about 40 pounds underweight (when we got him, he was underweight from being dropped off and probably wasn’t fed properly by his previous owners either) and he occasionally sleeps with his head on a cushion if he’s on the couch (yes, I let my dogs on the couch), but he doesn’t snore then. Trouble could stand to lose a few pounds, but they think she’s got a thyroid problem. It’s only when they sleep on their sides that this happens and it’s not a regular thing, either. The kennel wouldn’t work for either of them because they like to sleep on the side of the bed (they’d get in bed if I let them, but I’d have to fight for space with 3 bodies instead of 1 like I do now LOL). Ed has become very attached to me and if I’m out of sight for longer than a few minutes, he comes to find me. I would hate to see what he would do to a kennel if I started putting him in that at night. Thanks again, MT.

  24. jarheaddoc said,

    I pretty much shot my wad last night about cel-phones and technology. I can’t tell you anything about snoring dogs, just ones that get into the trash and shit in the house all the time. We finally got ours house broke and she goes in the crate at night. Now the kids toys and the trash aren’t messed with anymore.

  25. Linda said,

    Either my dog or my husband sleeps on the couch until I go to bed, then follows me upstairs. They don’t both fit on the couch together so they work it out between them.

  26. AO said,

    I need to get a dog.

  27. Linda said,

    Better not — being allergic and all

  28. jarheaddoc said,

    Buy a stuffed one with a poseable frame: No vet bills, it never dies, it never shits in the house, and you don’t have to feed it. And you could have it tailored made, too. It’s all just a few clicks away on the Internet, I’m sure.

  29. Linda said,

    A stuffed dog. This from a man who bakes bread from scratch. Amazing.

  30. jarheaddoc said,

    Yes, in the vein of 101 things to do with a dead squirrel. I’m sure AO could really sink her teeth into that.

  31. Mainetarr said,

    Hey, Flamer has a stuffed dog. And, it’s not Bulldog, either.

  32. LaFlamme said,

    Hey, here I art. Better late than never, huh?
    I DO have a stuffed dog. Mean bastard, too.

  33. K2 said,

    Wait till you guys hear this one: my friend told me a story last night at Fast Breaks about a crazy cell-phone incident at Augusta CC. The club’s board, to their credit (and I’m sure most of them have excellent credit) enacted a no-cell-phones-in-the-clubhouse policy awhile back, and shit went down three weeks ago. I’ll have to use all the wishy-washy adverbs here so as not to slander, but anyway, a 30-year-old state trooper, a guest, was at the bar, talking away on his phone, when he was approached by an 82-year-old, well-respected conservative member, who asked him to please respect the club’s rules. The elder fellow returned to his cadre at their table, and the man continued to talk away. So, alledgedly, the old man goes back to the guy to tell him to be quiet of leave — and the the young trooper supposedly cold-cocked him in the face, apparently knocking him down and breaking his hip and shoulder. Nice fella, huh?

    And get this, supposedly, three days later, the trooper was back at the club, eating dinner there. They let the asshole back in!!! I still can’t believe it, but my source is very reliable. Decking an old man?!? Then returning for dinner? Wow.

    (Now Richie, do what you do so well and defend the cop.)

  34. jarheaddoc said,

    I don’t beleive that story for a second, K2. Why didn’t we hear about it in the news? A state cop just up and decking some old guy in a public place? Sorry, no way, no how.

  35. K2 said,

    Well, when I can coroborate it, I will.

  36. jarheaddoc said,

    O-Tay, buttwheat!

  37. K2 said,

    Darla was hot, but such a tease.

  38. Linda said,

    The two yahoos from Augusta who got lost in Grafton Notch — bad luck they had no wet weather gear or provisions — or a fucking clue between them for that matter — but wasn’t it lucky they had a cell phone!! (**ducking for cover now**)

  39. jarheaddoc said,

    The Law of Random Chance, oft wrongly referred to as the Law o Averages, clearly states that even someone as FOS as I can be, will be right at some point in time.

    Which is a logn winded way o saying ‘Told you that shit happens, LInda!”

  40. Linda said,

    I’m humbled by the proof of your prognostication.

  41. jarheaddoc said,

    It would probably make a lot more sense if the keys on this board were not sticking

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