I had a disturbing little crystal ball moment on our delayed flight home. We were on the tarmac, waiting to take off, but stalled because a weather front was moving through. The pilot informed us that it would be 20 or 30 minutes, so we should feel free to use our cell phones.
Okay, anyone on the planet who is in favor of cell phone usage in flight should be treated to Viet Cong POW torture techniques. Or forced to sit on the plane I was on. I can’t decide which is worse. Just as blogs have given voice to far too many people with nothing to say (guilty!) cell phones in tight confines are criminal.
You wouldn’t believe the banality of the things that people actually burn minutes on, not to mention the incredibly personal details that emerge, shared with several hundred strangers. My dear Gardog has the absolute best retort for these people. He figures “If I can hear them, then I must be part of the conversation,” and he adds commentary.
The looks he gets from the people on the phones is priceless. They look mortally offended and affronted, until they realize that HE wasn’t eavesdropping. They were forcing his unwitting participation, so why not have fun with it.
It’s part of a bigger issue I see with contemporary humans. Everywhere I go, I see people who are completely unaware of their surroundings, or the people nearby. Or in the case of the snack lady at the movies, they obviously just don’t care. After buying three of everything at the concession stand, she turns, with her mountain of sugar and barks, “Outta my way!” to the people in the next line. Oh my.
Was she kidding? I hope so. But it didn’t sound like it.
Or the guy in the parking lot of the taco place. I’m parked next to him. As I’m getting out of my driver’s side, he’s leaning into his passenger side and rips a series of joyful noises in my general direction. WTF? Welcome to Taco Shack, may I take your order?
Or the guy who rear-ended me (not in a good way) on the Houston freeway last week. There was no damage, so he just waved and drove on, even though I had pulled to the side. This in traffic that had been stop and go for miles. I got his license number and called the police, who were singularly unhelpful, didn’t really care, pretty much told me so. Great.
I fear that we have become a population of individualists. Fuck my neighbor. What about MY needs? If my behavior troubles you, that’s YOUR problem.
Whatever happened to the golden rule? Do unto others? I guess people find it harder than they think to bend over backwards.