Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Oh Come All Ye Cell Phones

I note with some concern that the FCC is considering lifting the cell phone ban on airplanes. Where I always felt the ban was a bit odd (supposedly the phone interfered with navigational equipment) I loved it for another reason -- relative peace and quiet despite the cranky children and chatty seatmates.

I travel a lot by plane. Not as much as some of the million milers, but my butt is in an airplane on a regular basis. Hence I have the opportunity to observe a lot of silly human behavior. A lot of this ends up being fodder for my books (you know who you are!) but most of it falls into two categories -- benign and annoying. Cell phones fall into the latter variety if the phone's owner isn't using all those gray cells they were supposedly born with.

I wouldn't mind having cell phones midflight if I didn't have to listen to my seatmates chatting about (and yes, I've heard all of this at one time or another):
1) A child's bowel habits (or lack thereof)
2) An elderly parents' bowel habits (or the lack thereof)
3) Why the woman's soon-to-be ex-boyfriend (or husband -- it was never clear)was such a dick and how she refused to listen to all his crap. This conversation went on for fifteen minutes so obviously she WAS listening to all his crap (or vice versa.)
4) Copious outpourings of numbers, figures, orders and ultimatums as delivered by various business persons (note I use the generic term here as women are just as bad.) Was the contract faxed in time? What was the response? Is Alfred in Albania and Beatrice in Boston? No, that meeting time isn't good. Does everyone understand that this HAS to happen? (This sort of stuff just makes me flashback to my own time in the corporate maw and conjures up a nasty case of indigestion.)

In short, using cell phones during flight would be grand if people weren't attached to them. I have no desire listening to intimate discussions, business meetings or other nonsense at 30,000 feet when I don't have the option to chuck the offender out the nearest door.

Please, FCC, leave 'em banned in flight. It's bad enough I have to avoid the crazies in their cars with their phones pressed to their ear and their brains in neutral. Hours in the air with these folks could easily cause 'air rage.'

Later folks....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What really grinds my grits are those people who act as if I'm some kind of mutant freak when they ask me for my cell phone number and I tell them I don't own a cell phone.

"Then how do people get in touch with you?" They ask.

"They call my home number and leave a message on my answering machine and I call them back. I'm old-fashioned that way." I answer.

"But what if it's a emergency?" They persist.

"Then they should call 911 and not me." I reply.

Don't get me wrong, cell phones have their uses and I thnak God my wife had hers the time she was stuck on The Jackie Robinson Parkway 10PM at night when her car broke down but the level of cell phone abuse is mindboggling to me.