Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two Strategies For Deflecting Cellphone Loudmouths

1: The Big Shot

A guy next to me in an airport waiting area was doing Lots of Really Important Business on his cellphone. Moving twenty million units over here, billing a hundred grand over there. Very important. Big business. Big big big. Lotsa calls, without end.

Finally, while he was on the phone with Chicago, instructing them to move 50,000 units, I picked up my cellphone, pretended to dial, and calmly said into the phone (just loud enough for him to hear, and timed for one of his pauses), "Uh, yeah, I have information that they're moving 50,000 units."

He immediately got up and walked away. I never saw him again.

2: The Random Boob

I was sitting in my gym, collapsed into a perspirated lump as always after my Tasmanian Devil-ish three hour workouts. I'm too old for such exertion, but one way I handle it is to slump into a lovely ten minute catatonic rest period before showering and dressing. It makes all the difference. I really look forward to it.

But last week, a burly dude was pacing the area in which I was resting. He was arguing with someone over his cell, so immersed in his conversation that he failed to register my presence. Back and forth he paced, the volume rising and falling as he strode back and forth, back and forth. When he passed my chair, where I sat, gaunt and panting, the racket was ear-splitting. Such testosterone was invested in his call that I was positive that if I interrupted to ask him to continue elsewhere, he'd explode and take a swipe at me.

So as one of his pacing cycles started to bring him back toward me, I raised my hand to my ear as if there were a small cellphone in my palm. And I bellowed, into my empty hand, "Hello?!? STU?!? HEY, man!!! What's GOING ON?? YEAH!!! I'm at the GYM!!!"

The guy instinctively fled to another room, completely unaware of the manipulation, just out of the pure reflexive need to escape the noise.

1 comment:

Big Fella said...

Beautiful, Jim, both improvisations, executed with perfect timing.

Of the experiences I have had with cell phone users in public, the most surprising to me, was the guy who walked in to a rest room while in a conversation on his cell, walked up to the urinal, unzipped his pants, and did his business, all while carrying on a cell conversation, while I did my business at the adjacent urinal.

On another occasion we were at the pet cemetary, and this woman pulls in to the parking lot while using her cell, continues the conversation for about 10 minutes, gets out of the car, opens the trunk, and carries some items to a grave and starts tidying up the grave for 10 or 15 minutes, goes back to the car, gets in and drives away, all the time with a cell phone jammed in her ear, yammering away.

What is it with these people?

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