Saturday, May 7, 2011

Don't Cell Yourself Short

Now that we have the bin Laden matter wrapped up satisfactorily, there are other concerns plaguing the nation, and we should discuss them, if you have a minute.

I don't think there is a more pressing concern than cell phone etiquette.  Take ringtones. Currently, people within one hundred yards of me get to hear "Roll Tide Roll," as performed by the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band when someone calls.  I can also switch over to that bell sound from the beginning of AC/DC's "Hells' Bells" or the theme songs to TV favorites "The Price Is Right" or "Human Target," or one of those cartoon sound effects: hapless pedestrian slips on banana peel, guy gets clomped on melon by frying pan.  I like to mix it up.

It's for you
But please don't use some soppy love ballad with intensely personal lyrics if you want to avoid the stankeye when you're in line at Pete Ceria's and someone calls you and everyone else waiting hears "Crazy" by Patsy Cline, or "Blue" by LeAnn Rimes, or "The World is a Horrible Place Full of Pain and Misery and I Don't Know How Much Longer I Can Possibly Hold onto my Sanity or my Position" by Tori Amos. Also, you want to be careful where you are and what your posture is, should you get an incoming ring-a-ling and your ringtone is that "I Love Big Butts" song.  

And clearly, I don't know what goes on in ladies' rooms, and perhaps it's best that I don't.  But guys in stalls on cell phones?  Really, men! Nothing will weird your afternoon quite like ankling up to the porcelain and hearing this from the stall:

"Really good know I'm your man..."


"It makes that rrrr-rrrr-rrrrrr noise every time I turn it on..."


"You got papers on me? I got papers on YOU!"

or, perhaps worst of all:

"Hi there!"

There needs to be a signal, some sort of way to let those not in the stall know that the person in the stall just has to be on the phone right now, so his remarks, although tender or humorous or just plain weird, are not meant for you.  In college, a necktie hanging on a doorknob is an indication that the person within is getting with the hibbidy-dibbidy, and barging in would not be appreciated.  In business, a white placard in the front window is a signal for the FedEx man to stop.  Two palms upraised by a third-base coach let a ballplayer know not to try to go past third.  Similarly, two hands upraised by Dick Cheney's friends mean "Stop! Don't Shoot!"

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign.  

And of course, the ultimate rude cell behavior - taking a phone call OUT LOUD during a movie, concert, play or bris. The last three are great examples of live performances in which the performers really need to concentrate on their craft. My buddy Dennis down in Prince Frederick points out that we should assume that anyone who brings a live cell phone to such events must be on the waiting list for a vital organ. If the phone should ring, it's The Uvula Center, calling about their replacement part.

Just take your seat, and we'll come and get you when that call comes in!

No comments: