Tuesday, January 12, 2010

People make me sick - purging my inner curmudgeon

People that talk loudly into their cell phones in public make me sick - and that includes those ridiculous blue tooth thingies

Okay, okay, no I do not find all people sickening. In fact, most people rarely induce more than a slight stomach twitch when I am forced to deal with them. Actually, quite enough people are delightful enough to make me into the inveterate chatter than my friends all know me to be.

But, nonetheless, some people make me sick and it is my intention to write a brief tome describing said people and their various behaviors. The hope and intention is to, by putting it in writing, to purge myself of these debilitating annoyances and cast them to the ether of the cyberworld. Hopefully, thereby, removing them from my life and allowing me to become a happier more positive person.

So, the first of these "people" to be consigned to paper and oblivion is............
People using blue tooth phones in public.

Yes, out of benign courtesy, I am sure that the people in your life are fascinated to learn that you are out of cigarettes, your kid has a runny nose, or you found hamburger helper on sale at Walmart. THOSE people are interested, but the world in general, and I in particular, are not. Most clearly, decidedly and unequivocally- are not.
I understand that some use of the phone in public is to be accepted. But, cannot these people walk outside, go to a corner or at least lower their voices? It seems to me that phone usage right in your face is simply an intrusion into my personal space. It is rude and commonly rises to the level of passive aggressive behavior. They cackle on without restraint, purpose or limit and they dare you to object to their inalienable right to chat.
They express their rights loudly and openly, while ignoring our rights to privacy. Why do they think the world needs to hear their innanities? - we do not. But no, regardless of our lack of need to hear them, despite our heart felt desire not to hear them, hear them we must. They prattle on in full voice regardless of where they are and whatever affairs others may be attempting to accomplish. Their connection to the world of gossip and minutiae must be maintained at any cost. No amount of subtle glances or feigned coughs will break through their vocalizations. I say vocalization because I am unwilling to label most of what I hear as conversation or even communication. On most levels it barely exceeds the grooming grunts of monkeys as they preen lice out of each other's hair or the mewing sounds of herd animals clodding from one point to another.

The most remarkable thing is the sanctity and intensity with which they conduct their chat. In the presence of these people, one would think that they surgeons responding to an urgent call from the operating room. Or perhaps, the trance of saints hearing the distant and divine call of martyrdom, may resemble their belief in the self obvious sanctity of their voice.

With the intense surety that their conversation is critical and must supersede any other need, they speak at above casual levels in libraries, waiting rooms, anywhere the wireless revolution can reach. You will test that surety at your own peril. If you have ever attempted to get one of these people to realize how intrusive they were being, you know how risky that can be. I think I would be better received tossing a lit match into their lap than asking them to be a little quiet. Any thing less direct will be ignored totally and a positive plea for common courtesy is likely to be seen as an affront to their very dignity and rights as a human being. Believe me, I have tried countless approaches, from subtle wordless clues to outright asking them to shut up. All provoke anger and disbelief, most if not all also fail. The usual response is to huff and glare then turn their back to you while interrupted their comments on unified field theory to inform the other party that "some fool just...."
If you really want to invoke their sanctimonious wrath - try this. Sometimes, while some person is jabbering away: "whatcha doin?" "nuthin" "what you doin?" "chillen". As I am pondering what life in prison for manslaughter would be like, I reconsider. Perhaps what they need is a firm reminder of how annoying this is. Yes, of course that will return to the path that 30 centuries of western civilization are pointing them to. So, as they stand in the middle of the grocery store aisle discoursing on the subtleties involved in picking the ultimate brand of generic cigarettes. As they pontificate on how drunk they were last night or how much their kid kicked some other kid's butt - I begin the lesson. I begin to speak aloud - to no one and into nothing. I speak as loud and articulately as possible. What I say has varied from the recitation of poetry to asking my imaginary listener to speak louder: "Cause I can't hear you - some lady is standing here talking on the phone".
Now really, I leave it to your imagination how well that went down. The responses have ranged from huffing indignation to threats that made my testicles recede. Suffice it to say that these people do not choose to return to the golden path of civilization and are quite happy trouncing down the path to barbarism and chaos.

Yes, the idea of public quiet in certain areas may not rank with the writ of Habeus Corpus, but it was a fine and cordial supplement to civilization while it lasted. As surely as the atom bomb ended isolationism, blue tooth technology has ended this fragment of civility.
Yes, you people make me sick.

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