Thursday, December 14, 2006

Everybody's Talking

Cell phone use in public has become so acceptable that these two Pacific Heights ladies lunching on a rainy Tuesday afternoon on Fillmore Street didn't even bother talking to each other. Instead, they jabbered away on their phones next to us for a good hour.

If you want to hear other people's phone conversations, another good place is the 47 Van Ness bus line, which seems to have more lunatics per capita than any other public conveyance in San Francisco.

Winning the December award for most self-absorbed public monologue is the young woman below who let the entire front of the bus know all know about her creative funk.

"I have to do another painting for Independent Study, and I just don't know how I can, since I'm completely wrung out creatively," she was saying. I wanted to reply, "we all know the feeling, dear, now take that phone out from your ear, sit down, shut up, and meditate."


Anonymous said...

Agreed on the phone in public, whatever happened to the idea of phone booths?

A couple of years ago I was on a train going from Manhattan to New Jersey, someone jabbering on and on into their telephone. The conductor, God bless him, told the man to keep it down. When the man didn't keep it down, he told him to turn off the phone. When the man didn't, at the next stop two conductors escorted the man off the train. Oh, if things were only like this everywhere, even while I know this could never be.

As an added annoyance, I can say that as a bicycle rider nine times out of ten the person that almost creams you is, every time, talking on their telephone while driving, completely oblivous.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bus driver and I will ask passengers to keep it down when they are shouting into their cell phones. If that doesn't work, I will stop the bus, walk back to the phone shouter and say, "It's a telephone. You don't have to yell. You only need to yell when you don't have a phone." It sounds stupid, but I usually get a laugh and the shouter usually looks sheepish and shuts up.
Other times I'll use the PA and say, "You know, we all know way too much about you. That's more personal information than I would care to share with a busload of strangers."
They both sound kind of dumb. But in practice, they really work. Also, dumb is not a bad strategy on buses.

Anonymous said...

sf mike,
love it, the painter should just shut up about and listen to her little ipod (pictured on her left ear )instead....or maybe she sshould just quit and work for walmart ahahah
merry xmas
P, K, little S and H the cat

Anonymous said...

Even funnier are the Bluetooth thingies that hang on earlobes like some Borg jewelry. My favorite image was of a black guy with a gold tooth grill and a Bluetooth headset. Gold tooth, blue tooth. Chris O

Beth Spotswood said...

I think the painter is wrung out creatively because she's wearing the most hideous jacket in all of San Francisco. A little lip gloss never killed anyone, you know...

Civic Center said...

Dear Mathias: I live at the corner of McAllister and Franklin where lots of Marin County ladies in huge SUVs tend to be taking right turns with cell phones in their ears, completely oblivious to the world around them, and they are constantly running over my neighbors and unlucky bicyclists.

Dear Jon: I wish I could ride your bus. Dumb and effective is my all-time favorite.

Dear Spots: As usual, you get right to the important heart of the matter. That jacket really is hideous.