I got on a rant with some friends over at Backwash about rude, intrusive people with cell phones. Here’s an expanded and cleaned-up version of what I had to say.

I carry a phone 24/7, but I’m about as obtrusive with it as I was with the .45 I used to carry as an off-duty cop. I won’t talk if it’s going to inconvenience or annoy anyone else, except for a few seconds in an emergency, and I won’t talk at all when I’m driving. My friends and family know that and – you know what? – they understand, and they like it fine.

I use caller ID and voice mail the way they’re meant to be used… for my convenience, not yours. Don’t bother to call me if you’re not going to leave a message, and I’d have a root canal before I’d call someone back from caller ID. If they can’t be bothered to let me know what it’s about, it’s not important enough to take up my time.

I don’t want to listen to your choice of music. If you have that option on your phone, don’t expect me to stay on the line until you decide to rescue me from it. I don’t force you to listen to Mozart, and you can show me equal courtesy if you want to connect.

I would love to see a law that prohibits using the damned things in public at all. Let people leave the room and not inflict their inane lives on others. Places could have little phone rooms, where phone jerks could go to make those terribly important calls, and bore and annoy the hell out of each other instead of everyone else. (We used to have them. They were called “phone booths.” Phone withdrawal is not physically harmful, and frankly I don’t want listen while you feed your addiction to connection. It is an addiction, you know, or else a total lack of class. You don’t have to make that call right here, right now.

Item three. YOU DON’T NEED TO SHOUT! (Maybe this should be #1.) You have one of the culminations of modern science at the end of your arm, and it’s quite capable of picking up a whisper. The only reason for shouting is to impress other people with your sphincterly conversation. All it does is make me wonder how that culmination would impress your… ah well…

Anyone who has an auto crash while talking on the phone should go directly to jail after they get out of the ER. I’m not saying don’t talk while you’re driving – although I frankly think that should be a crime too – but if you have a crash… tough. The phone is prima facie evidence of reckless driving.

Oh yes, by the way… your bloody phone has a silent mode. Use it when you’re in places where educated, cultured people don’t make noise, like restaurants, movie theaters, any kind of line, and airplanes. (See public places, above.)

Intruding on other people’s lives IS NOT YOUR RIGHT, and I’m not interested in your self-serving excuses for your execrable manners. If your momma didn’t raise you right, I shouldn’t have to put up with the results. If you have to communicate around innocent people, learn to read and write, then get a BlackBerry.

Next, let’s talk about cars with 500-watt amps and motorcycles with loud pipes.

Dirty Harry would have known what to do.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

[tags]cell,annoying,phone manners,phone etiquette,rude,phone driving,convenience[/tags]