Shaken, Not Stirred. The cell phone rant — you knew it was coming.

July 17, 2016
Jim Bond

Jim Bond

#ShakenNotStirred #MasonCountyPress

Shaken, Not Stirred. A blog by Jim Bond.

Cell phones. Oh, you knew I’d get to this one…

Symbiosis, according to dictionary.com: [sim-bee-oh-sis] 

2. psychiatry. a relationship between two people in which each person is dependent upon and receives reinforcement, whether beneficial or detrimental, from the other.

OK, so why did I use the second definition, dealing with psychiatry to illustrate my point? Because cell phones are driving some of us CRAZY!

My first episode of insanity and imbalance pertaining to cell phone usage occurred in Dallas, about 1999. I was there on business and enjoying a lunch, alone, in a popular restaurant near the SMU (Southern Methodist University) campus. At that point, cell phones were in their infancy, reserved for the few who were important…or fashioned themselves to be.

Across the aisle was a man, perhaps late 30s, dressed in a business suit, with a young lady of, maybe mid-20s. People watcher that I am, I assumed she was his secretary or an associate of some fashion. Perhaps though, this was a frustrated mid-level executive trying to woo a younger woman to bolster his crumbling ego.

Whatever it was, I was stunned at his behavior. The entire time this couple dined, this man was talking on his cell phone, to the exclusion of his lunch partner. Not once did he engage her in conversation. Not once did he tilt the phone away and apologize to his lunchtime companion. Never.

Maybe I jumped to an inaccurate conclusion since I couldn’t hear the conversation. Perhaps this man was consoling his wife on the call about their sick child and couldn’t bear the thought that his family was dealing with a crisis in his absence. Maybe an important conversation with a colleague had been eclipsed by a family matter which must be solved immediately. In his absence. Oh, the humanity!

Perhaps.

Naw.

This was probably some self-absorbed, trembling middle manager, trying to impress someone with his own delusional image of himself.

This conclusion has been reinforced over the past 17 years. By people in check-out lines at the grocery store…by those allegedly watching their children in martial arts class or some other extra-curricular activity…while in line at the post office wanting to buy stamps (I’m sorry about your 13 year-old son being investigated by the police for spray painting graffiti on a neighbor’s car [perhaps if you’d get off your ‘device’ and actually parent this boy, you both wouldn’t be in this pickle])

A few years ago I was having dinner with a colleague and her boyfriend (another colleague) at a popular Grand Haven restaurant. For the first 10 minutes we were there we couldn’t order an adult beverage because she was on her phone, making phone calls and texting.

I reached across the table at the conclusion of her latest ‘conversation’, took the phone out of her hand and placed it under a napkin on my side of the booth.

We’re no longer ‘friends’ on Facebook. Or in life. I think she actually ‘blocked’ me on Facebook. I happened to see her a year later at a farewell party for a friend moving to Seattle. She was in the corner. Texting.

And he ended up marrying another woman. Wonder of all wonders. They seem to be happy. I’m expecting a birth announcement any day now. You see, they have more important matters to attend to than their cell phones.

I detest cell phones. I took out my landline years ago so I’m dependent on the cell, Facebook, Mason/Oceana/Manistee Country Press, et al for my connection to the world.

But I do detest cell phones. I seldom talk to people anymore. Coverage is bad in this part of the country so the delay in response leads to me and my caller interrupting each other, or…

“Jus…drppng…ut…compltly…so…can’t…hr…you…a…al…ju…stubbed…my…o…on…a stump…”

“What?! Didn’t get that”, I shout…”what did you say about Trump?”

As if shouting is going to instantly correct the connection.

In a way, it reminds me of the old joke about two older men (hard of hearing) on a bus.

“Windy today.”

“No, it’s Thursday.”

“Yeah, I’m thirsty too. Wanna get a beer?”

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