Our Neighborhood Watch program in Atlanta partners with the local police department to scare away the bad guys in a handful of our neighboring zip codes. Every few weeks we get a newsletter with a chilling update on the local shenanigans and I’m like Navin R. Johnson with the phone book when I see that newsletter pop up on email! I view it as an opportunity to network with “The Man”, hob knob with the men in blue, rub shoulders with the Old Guard. See I have evidence of holes in our country’s rules of government – areas where we can improve civility and mutual respect – and I aim to howl like a banshee for the “Laws that SHOULD be if Congress had the Good Sense to LIsten to Me”
But I digress. Back to the newsletter. This week’s most disturbing incident took place at a doctor’s office of all places. Despite the sign that clearly read “Please turn cell phones off”, some yahoo takes a call and turns up the volume on his outside voice disturbing the other patients in the waiting room. It must have seemed like it was happening in slow motion like in the movies. A man with a deadly glare rises from the shadows in the corner, hand in pocket, sprinting across the great divide of the waiting
room, jacket tails fluttering in the wind. He slowly draws his hand from the pocket and points his weapon of choice maliciously at the offender squirting him squarely in the eye with hand sanitizer! The authorities are called for crowd control. The squirter is forced to hug the loud talker. Not really but he did have to apologize.
My favorite part of the story is the officer’s moral; “Remember, it’s all fun and games until someone gets sanitized in the eye.” Brilliant.
Here’s my problem with that incident. I’m on the side of the squirter. You see, I aspire to be the squirter and, frankly, I’m disappointed that I didn’t think of it in the first place. Have you ever calculated how much time you lose in a day due to the rudeness of other people who are on their cell phones in heated discussions about today’s tennis match, the tacky dress Sue Ann wore to the PTA meeting, the neighbors who are having an affair, the dog that pooped on someone’s property? Interestingly, those aren’t conversations that most men have, are they? Well now you’re getting my point.
In one week, I was delayed at the grocery, missed a turn light, missed several green lights, was nearly rear-ended at a stop sign, had my bag knocked off my arm and the contents spilled, had to wait on a bathroom stall while someone finished a conversation IN the stall . . . . . . all by women who couldn’t put down their freaking cell phones long enough to live life. I calculated that, if I could have had all the time back that was stolen from me by these women, I could have had a pedicure, cooked dinner, had a client meeting, taken a hot bubble bath or walked the dogs, all things that I had to squeeze into an already overcrowded day.
Now, my friends will tell you that I’m the absolute worst at answering my rate of call returns is even more dismal. But honestly it’s just because I’m so darn polite. Actually I just hate to talk on the phone in public so I leave the phone in the car or bury it in the bottom of my bag. I make a mental note that someone has called and am enthusiastic about returning the call later when I’m not juggling files and car keys. Unfortunately as my day progresses and I lose more and more time to foolish public cell phone gossip, I’ve lost any free time to return calls to my own friends.
So, if Congress had the good sense to listen to me, i would institute Laws that Should Be #01 as follows:
Women who are not working shall have limited rights to public use of cell phones. Said rights apply to the following situations:
- A kid misses the bus, needs a ride, gets in trouble with the law
- Emergency situations
- Receiving life altering medical reports from a doctor
- The interior designer needs an answer to a question
- When running late to an appointment
- Husband or significant other misses the bus needs a ride, gets in trouble with the law
Women who are not working shall not be permitted public use of cell phones to discuss tennis, neighbors, poor taste in another’s clothing/home/car, the OTHER neighbors’ kids, parties, lunches, casseroles, babies, botox, plastic surgery, hair styles, makeup, sunglasses, shoes,
Any person of male descent who exhibits behaviors as described in above narrative will be considered a woman who is not working and subject to Articles I and II above.
Women who are not working and found guilty of violating Articles I and II above will be subject to suspension of all cell phone privileges public or private, required to perform 50 hours of community service defined as running errands for those who have been victimized by their rudity, and sentenced to the dreaded Hand Sanitizer Punishment. And yes, that is a word . . .now.
Now that’s the kind of law that makes a President a hero!