Cellphone Hell Is … Other People

Another Technical Innovation That Has Overstayed Its Welcome

Another Technical Innovation That Has Overstayed Its Welcome

We’ve all seen it. That shit-eating grin and the walkie-talkie walk that says, “I have somebody with whom to carry on a meaningless conversation—and you don’t!” And now the FAA and FCC have okayed the use of mobile phones on planes. Is this a good thing? For every call that actually has to be made, there will be half a thousand stating “We’re in the air over Kansas right now” and “We’ve just landed at ORD and are taxiing to our gate.”

Then there will be the fake business calls just to make the caller look important. I can just imagine the guy at the other end, “What are you saying, Jason? You don’t own any stock, and last I heard you were in bankruptcy proceedings.” Of course, we never hear the tired, slighty pissed off voice at the other end of the line, just the mock triumphalism of the caller.

There are several ways of fighting these self-important a-holes who force you to listed to their bloviating:

  1. Sneeze all over them without covering your mouth.
  2. Spill part of your drink on them and offer to pay their dry-cleaning bill, giving them a false name, address, and telephone number.
  3. Read out loud from your book, making occasional significant gestures in their direction, as if it were all for their benefit.

In the end, I suspect this will not become a major problem, if only because most people are virulently against it. In today’s news, two airlines have come out against allowing cell calls on flights: Delta and JetBlue. If any other airlines join them, I may well vote with my feet, choosing only airlines that place restrictions on the nefarious habit.

It would be nice we could do something about that other noise-making nuisance on long flights: crying babies and whining small children. But on humanitarian grounds, I think I’ll just shut up for now.