Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Driving Me Insane

You can spot them from a quarter mile away.  They move at a snails pace, unaware of other cars around them, not noticing that they've slipped into another lane, not caring if the light's turned green, and never, ever under any circumstance using turn signals.

Who are they?

Older drivers?  Nah, Hubby's Granny got around fine until she lost her license at age 97.  She was slow, but she was cautious and knew how to use that d&%* turn signal.

Foreign drivers?  Nah, you should see my next door neighbor from India.  She makes my lead foot look light as a feather.  I respect drivers who know how to leave dust.

These people are the cell phone talkers.  

Not just cell phone users, these are "talkers."  They have one hand permanently attached to their ear while their mouths move at lightening speed.  I passed a woman going 35 mph on Hwy 64 the other day and her mouth practically got her a speeding ticket.

There are two kinds of people who use cell phones in their car, in a store, and in a restaurant.  Those who have informational conversations, and those who just talk.

I wonder who they're talking to?  I wonder if the other person is listening?  Maybe they're doing a crossword, or their taxes, or watching TV.

I used to do that with my mother.  I'd play computer Scrabble or watch TV with closed captioning and half listen.  I had to half listen because sometimes she'd check to make sure I was listening.

Mom, "blah, blah, met her for lunch."
Me, "that's nice, Ma."
Mom, "blah, blah, played tennis."
Me, "that's nice, Ma."
Mom, "blah, blah, she died."
Me, "that's nice, Ma."  
Ooops.  I didn't let that happen again.

My mother was a talker.  I could never get a word in edgewise.  I don't think she had a two-way conversation in her life.  Just, blah, blah, blah.  If she wasn't on the phone (just landlines back then), she was out in the driveway, or a parking lot, or wherever she could nab someone...and make me wait while she told the same sh&% over and over again.

I think I stopped talking about the age of 7.  I was the youngest, and there was no use trying to compete with very limited air space.  I found books and I found my escape.

Maybe I equate all cell phone "talkers" with my mom and so I'm projecting my disdain of my mother's quirk onto them.  Who knows?  Who cares?  They slow down traffic and make me do the thinking for them by playing defense.  They pollute my lovely and quiet shopping excursions sans kids with endless "blah, blah, blah" in the aisles.  And, to top it off, they invade my dining experience.  If I'm gonna shell out for a place that offers me a menu without pictures and has a wine list longer than four whites, five reds, and a blush, then the menu better say, "Cell phone use prohibited in the dining room.  Thank you."  No, thank YOU!

I'd love to put that sticker on my car that says, "Hang up and drive."  But, I think you can't ever use a cell phone in your car with that on the back.  It would SEEM hypocritical.  It's not at all, of course, because they really are different animals, these cell phone talkers and cell phone users.  So, to prevent "seeming" hypocritical (because image is everything--ha), then I will forgo the sticker and stick to the muttering.

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