If the bad food, endless lines at security, and crowded seats aren’t reason enough to avoid traveling by air, here’s the best one – cell phones on airplanes.

Yes, the powers that be (and that would be Senators McCain and Kennedy) have decided that we haven’t suffered through enough. We are now to be subjected to even more one-sided, loud and inappropriate conversation, only this time we get to be a captive audience.

It would be different if these conversations were short, quiet and unobtrusive. But anyone who has stood within ten feet of a cell phone user knows that there is a volume problem–the user, who can’t hear the caller, raises his voice in order to compensate for his own lack of hearing. Those having been subjected to these users also know that the conversations held in public are often the same conversations people would hold behind closed doors away from the earshot of anyone. And these conversations go on and on and on…. I was waiting for a table at a restaurant once when the young woman next to me made a call. For forty-five minutes, I listened to her berate her parents’ behavior to the listener on the other end. This was no teenager, yet I was left with the impression that she was a spoiled child. At one or two points in her conversation, she looked at me and gave me a glaring look because I was listening. Tough! If you start a cell phone conversation in public, you’re foolish to expect that conversation to be private.

Another time I was lying by a hotel pool, enjoying myself. The man two lounge chairs over, a Brit, called a friend. During that conversation, I learned he’d been sleeping around with three women in town, one of which he’d apparently told he was much more interested in than he really was. He seemed quite pleased to share that information with the guests lounging nearby, including the young children of the guests sitting nearby.

So that’s my gripe. If you’re unable to carry on a G-rated conversation in an appropriate tone in public, then turn off your phone. The rest of us really don’t want to hear it. And if this bill makes it through Congress and the President doesn’t veto it, I predict a surge in violence on airplanes. Who wants to listen to that midair? Where can you hide from an obnoxious cell phone user if not at 30,000 feet? It’s bad enough that these users have their phones turned on and they’re talking as the plane is taxiing to the gate–please don’t make us listen to how important they think they are by allowing these dolts to dial during flights.

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  • Barb March 29, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    It would be one thing if the caller used a normal tone of voice… but that’s too much to hope for. I wonder what they’d say if we put our finger in our ears and just started saying “La la la la la!” loud enough to drown them out? Would they get the message??

  • Lori March 29, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    I think “quack quack quack” would be a much more interesting response. :))