Sunday, November 04, 2007

Help! I'm talking and can't shut up!

Here, let me help you with that.


andante said...

I know there's a good reason the jammers are illegal, but on the other hand you can't blame some for using them anyway - particularly the group therapist. In his case, I would certainly START the session by requesting everyone to take out their cell phone, hold them up, and let me see them turn them OFF.

If I need to hold a (rare) conversation, I go off in a corner or something where I can have the illusion of privacy. Nobody wants to hear me discuss whether I should get the ground beef or chicken with Mr. Andante.

My favorite cell phone intrusion story was during a Quaker funeral - during the 'open worship' time, a lady rose to eulogize the deceased. She had barely started when her cell rang. She quickly turned it off and started again - but apparently she didn't turn it off correctly. It rang AGAIN.

And it didn't only ring - she had a distinctive ring tone - "Tequila".

The deceased was a neat lady - she would have loved it.

hipparchia said...


i wouldn't mind having a cell phone play that one at my funeral, i think.

i think the therapist is justified too, and that it should be done openly, rather than sureptitiously. except of course that it's illegal to have one of these things, so he can't be seen breaking the law.

confession: i love eavesdropping on cell phone conversations when i'm in the grocery store.

Steve Bates said...

"... but on the other hand you can't blame some for using them anyway..." - andante

I damned surely CAN blame them. And if I discover someone is jamming one of my relatively rare cell phone conversations, I'll fucking goddamned murder them. Those who self-righteously jam: you have been warned. Any questions? (OK, I doubt I'll murder anybody. But I'll damned surely destroy your device on the spot, and return to you the tiny fragments... perhaps into your most exposed orifice.)

Where does it end? When will we have technological solutions to the problem of loud, annoying, obnoxious in-person conversations as well? Obnoxious speakers have been around since the dawn of time. That doesn't give anyone the right to quash their speech in public, apart from emergency situations.

I don't use my cell phone much at all. When I do use it, I have a good reason. I am generally sensitive to the context in which I use it. Granted, not everyone is considerate about their calls. But the cell phone system has become a basic necessity of personal, business and emergency communications in today's world. I perceive cell-phone jamming as the moral equivalent of, say, disabling a city's light rail system: it's a systemic solution to an individual problem... a kind of terrorism.

hipparchia said...

steve, i would buy tickets to that performance! i'm with you, i got a cell phone just to have in case of emergencies, and i could be in real trouble if someone prevented me from using it.

yes, loud annoying obnoxious people have been around ever since people have been around, which is why i am hermit with a blog. :)

disrupting everybody's calls because of one or a few boors is unconscionable. in fact disrupting the boors themselves is bad manners.

otoh, i'd really like to have some kind of remote control device that i could use on those booming stereos in the cars around me when i'm sitting at stoplights.

andante said...

I do concede the point, Steve. Jamming cell service in general is a slippery slope. Amazing BushCo hasn't made it SOP. Maybe they already have.

The irritated subway-riding fellow cited as an example (see link) should get an iPod or something with good earphones. The therapist should make it clear BEFORE beginning a session that cell phone usage is not tolerated and follow it up as with adolescents - confiscation.

Hipparchia, I guess I shop at the wrong places - I haven't heard anything juicier than a wife asking her hubby whether they should get the kind 'ribbed for pleasure' or not. Funny, but more than I wanted to know.

Now, if we just had an effective way to deal with intrusive conversations in public places or when lousy drivers are even lousier when preoccupied with their chit-chat....

Steve Bates said...

hipparchia, I'll make sure you get a pair of comp's in the front row. (If it were a concert, I'd get you prime Orchestra seats or loges, but for a device demolition, the front row is probably better.)

andante, addressing your last issue first, I've run across one study (can't find it at the moment) that hints strongly that in-person conversations distract a driver every bit as much as cell phone conversations. (I presume the comparison was done with hands-free headsets; obviously, anything a driver holds is a distraction.)

But really, andante... you don't want to know all about your neighbors' sex lives? What kind of American are you? :) If you would only tune in to such conversations, you could tell your own spouse about them on your cell phone while driving your Plymouth Voyeur...

hipparchia said...


i'm jealous. nobody, nobody, has ever said anything that salacious into their cell when i've been listening. obviously, i'm the one who's shopping in all the wrong places. but maybe that's a good thing.


front row seats would be perfect. thanks.

i've seen that same study [or studies]. it's the actual conversation, not the juggling of objects, or the impaired hearing [from earphones], that is the biggest distraction.

i know everybody hates anecdotal evidence, but i'm living proof. it's safe to ride in the car with if i'm driving and eating or drinking, but don't talk to me. or rather, you can talk if i don't have to listen to you or answer you.

andante said...

Steve, you obviously don't know my neighbors. Ewwwwww. They all have produced biological offspring - that's proof enough for me.

I overheard that particular conversational gem - as did about a dozen others aged maybe 7 years to 100+, in a Wal Mart pharmacy section. Several, including me, had to scrape ourselves off the floor from laughing so hard.

The yakker in question gave us all looks like WE were intruding on HER privacy. The best part, though, was the elderly gentleman who wondered if he could get his Fleet enema "ribbed for pleasure".

hipparchia said...

rofl! kudos to that elderly gentleman!

[and thank you, andante, for the story]

Steve Bates said...

ROFL as well! andante, I think the woman who made the call should be "ribbed for pleasure" ... teased mercilessly, for our pleasure.

Everyone needs to remember that s/he has no expectation of privacy when using a cell phone in public... none!