Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Off My Chest

I read in the paper the other day that Cheyenne, Wyoming, has outlawed the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Of course, there's an uproar. "We have the right to bear a cell phone," one angry citizen protested. "If I'm driving down the road, minding my own business and talking on my cell phone, leave me alone," said another. There were lots of versions of "Nobody has the right to tell me what to do." One man claimed he needed to use his cell phone to keep track of his five children. Maybe he should have thought of that before . . . Never mind.

I'm not against cell phone use. I've got one myself, and I use it regularly. But I can totally understand why the idea of passing a law like this might be attractive to some people. I don't know how many times I've sat behind a vehicle at an intersection waiting, waiting, waiting for the driver to notice that the light's turned green while he or she has been talking away on a cell phone. The other day, my husband was driving down Beebe-Capps when a woman in a big SUV in the lane next to him (going the same direction) came half-way over into his lane, forcing him onto the shoulder. She was talking on her cell phone and never even noticed. Several years ago, my daughter was rear-ended while stopped at a red light by a girl who was speeding and, you guessed it, also talking on her cell phone.

Now I'm on a roll. I also get tired of overhearing personal conversations in public places--especially in restrooms where the conversation echoes . . . echoes . . . echoes . . . I really don't want to hear about how you can't decide if you should get your tubes tied or not. Or how drunk you got last weekend. Or what a bum your ex is. I don't want to stand behind you in the checkout line when you can't even place your items onto the conveyor belt because your phone conversation is taking all your attention. I find it extremely frustrating to wait behind you at the counter when you don't even realize it's your turn to place your lunch order because you can't hang up your phone for five minutes. One restaurant in Oxford had a sign at the counter: "If you're on your phone, you're not in line." Thank you, management. We've even gone out to dinner at nice restaurants and been unable to carry on a conversation because we couldn't hear over the guy yelling into his phone at the next table. Please, people, pay attention! And show some courtesy!

Whew. I feel better now.


Mark Elrod said...

What she said.

I make it a point to never bore people with my phone conversations and I never use my phone on my bike.

I was in a convenience store in town yesterday and the *the clerk* was on her cell the entire time I was checking out. I thought that was pretty rude too.

Heather Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather Mac said...

Let me tell you a story about people talking on their cell phones.

Early tonight, Becca and I hitched a ride with a girl from my Italian class to go see an opera. She is not the best driver to begin with. This was exacerbated by constant texts/phone calls with her fiance, including a fight - she even took off her ring, blasted screaming music, and sped up about 20 mph. So we got to experience terrible driving and terrible conversations/ranting all at once (remember the rain from last night? Yeah, in that). At this point I'm all for banning cell phones completely from the universe.

Stephanie said...

That's scary. Maybe one of you should have offered to drive so she could devote herself fully to her cell phone. I hate being put in a position like that. Driving that route in the rain with all those 18-wheelers is bad enough without throwing cell phone rants & texts into the mix.