The first time when I heard about the expression `Cell Phone’, I thought it’s meant for use between people who are doing time. My analogy was that of Car Phone and bingo; it seemed to make sense – the only sense.
I was rudely corrected the next day when I saw my colleague walking in with a black brick with buttons having a stick on top. The first Motorola looked more of a fashionable paper weight with a blinker. Soon I realized the immensity of the insult I had meted out to the more utilitarian (and a lot quieter) paper weight.
But its ubiquity was deafening. Phone conversations till then restricted to phone booths and cozy indoors started filling all outdoors as holding the gadget became a status symbol. Even libraries and court rooms were not spared of ring tone shrills. Even as talk time was costing a bomb (initially), people never stopped talking. Then tariffs were lowered and all hell broke loose. If you loved peace and quiet, you simply had nowhere to go.
Last week I had the worst experience. I was waiting to board the Mumbai flight at Bangalore airport when the passenger just behind me was screaming over the phone cockily about some deal that he’d just closed. He was asking the guy at the other end to take down his number and report back in a while. He rattled out his number so loudly, over and over that made several heads turn. Annoyed at the noise riot within my earshot, I stepped aside briefly to salvage my eardrum – his number still ringing in my ears.
After making sure he had finished his conversation, I resumed. As if by rote, he took out his phone again and I feared for my life. Resolving to deal with it than escaping it, I quietly texted a message to his number – “This is your Cell Phone Operator. We just found out you’re too dumb to use your phone, so please put it on ground and start jumping on it. Thank you.”
That worked. The jerk never used his phone and we had a safe touch down !