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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cell Phone Burnettiquette

OK, so I was doing another train-to-work day and I had an epiphany: The most evil inventions/technological advances of the past three years are cell phones with stereo-like ringer capabilities, and the availability of stereo quality ring-tones.

Two teens sitting in the seat across the aisle from me spent about 25 minutes tinkering with one of their new phones. They blasted song after song. A young woman a couple of seats behind them seemed to want in on the concert so each time her phone rang - and it rang every few seconds - she'd let it ring (or should I say let it play) till the very last second before picking up.

The elderly guy in the seat directly in front of me, in between swigs from a bottle of whiskey, even had a high tech cellie, on which he was playing an old-school video game with the sound turned waaaaay up. I couldn't see which game, but I sort of recognized the background music. I think it might've been Frogger, possibly Donkey Kong.

Anyway, the result was a discombobulated concert of whiney alt-rock, Southern hip-hop, and video game sound tracks. I seriously contemplated kicking out the emergency glass panel and jumping onto the tracks. It would have sounded better underneath the train.

Also, a colleague wants me to remind folks that good cell phone manners in theaters and concert venues doesn't just involve turning the ringers off and not talking on your phone during the show, but also not text-messaging during the show.

The bright green or blue or white back-lights can still be a silent distraction too to the folks sitting around you, he points out.

BTW, in case you missed it in yesterday's paper I really do write when I'm not updating this blog. Here's a link to my last article. More on the way:
My weekly Q&A, Unbuttoned, was most recently with Dr. Diane Walder, dermatologist to the rich and famous:


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