Friday, December 30, 2011



Cell phones are my pet peeve, but I confess some of that is envy.
If only they had been invented back when any reporter wasted precious hours trying to find a way to get the story back to the office.
If only too many cell phone users didn't abuse them.
The way they bellow, they must scare the livestock on the other side of the planet.
The way they use them in the middle of civilized conversations is a legal excuse, I submit, to throttle them.
It's distracting to have even the kids reading and texting when you are paying a visit. And at the movies or in the theatre, it makes me so mad that I can't hear for them and the steam coming out of my ears.
There's a side street feeding into Royal York Rd. just north of the bridge over the Gardiner. As you try to head north, you have to guard against speeding vehicles suddenly appearing on the bridge when you try to catch any gap in traffic. I have waited and cursed southbound TTC buses when they slow and wander and screw up the  flow because the drivers are on cell phones.
The latest law against distracted driving by drivers on their cell phone doesn't seem to have made much of an impression on the chuckleheads. It should be easy for cops to spot the offenders. All slow meandering vehicles are driven by people on their cell phones, although there may be a few who bought their licences from ethnic driving schools in a scam that the transportation ministry was slow to quash.
The cell phone in the hands of walkers who haven't talked to their buddies for at least five minutes, or  shoppers befuddled by the choices, or careening cyclists, or pedestrians strolling through a traffic signal, are annoying when they aren't irritating or dangerous.
One memorable stormy afternoon, I was walking the giant beach at Treasure Island in Florida and was ecstatic at being all alone. Just the wind and the rain and the foamy waves. A true retreat from life! If only I could have bottled the experience. Then a man appeared, bellowing into his phone. As he passed, he didn't even seem surprised when I cursed him for his noisy intrusion into my solitude.
There's a time and a place when cell phones are a wonderful convenience. I carry one but I never turn it on unless I want to use it. That's my protection against the idiots who get drunk on communicating.
If only more people did the same.
We have technological overload these days.  It's confusing. People wonder why the microwave doesn't work after they entered their password. It's so easy to buy gadgets that free your hands while driving, which makes it legal but it still hurts your concentration.
There are couples boasting on the Internet how they have adopted a policy of using cell phones only in emergency or important situations.
Wouldn't  it be more peaceful on hikes or highways or even street corners if more took such a pledge.

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