Until about a decade ago you never really knew if the person standing next to you on a public street was nice, naughty, smart, friendly, mean, intelligent or even spoke english. You just sort of smiled, waited for the light to change and walked on as if the bird in the far off tree was the most important thing you would ever see, thus was the sort of communication people engaged in before cellphones.
Then dumb people got smartphones.
Until the advent of portable phones no one knew I was a babbling idiot. I kept it a secret. I could hide all my personal drama, all to myself. Sure, when I got home I would call my friend LoShonda and I would just rant and rave about my latest craziness and we would scream and yell about this or that in almost obscene amounts of details, but since it was just me and LaShonda sharing, no one knew about me and my shallow existence, except LaShonda, she seemed more than willing to keep my secrets.
Then I bought me one of those cellphones and so did every other imbecile this side of a Chinese slave labor camp and now you can not stand on any street corner in any street in this world anymore without hearing the dirtiest of very dirty laundry from some of the stupidest of the most incredibly stupid people who inhabit this world. For decades we walked the highways and byways of this country without questioning that our fellow travelers were at least bright eyed and somewhat intelligent, until they started to share their most intimate details of their dates, their hookups and their most private lives, everywhere, from subways to fast food lines.
I was at a doctors waiting room this last week and the diabetic extra large woman sitting across from me was wheezing into her phone about her rotten children in a voice loud enough to guide ships into a fog shrouded coastal community. I heard everything from her pot smoking teenage daughter to her bully prone son who hates autistic children with a neanderthal passion. Of course there was not much this out of touch mom could do but shovel in another donut and wonder where the no longer interested father went wrong.
I should not know anything about her life, but I know way to much, because she has a cellphone and no sense of pride. I am only bringing this up because my last vestige of privacy from these monsters of over-sharing may have finally found me. Apparently airlines are about to allow these loud and proud idiots to use their phones on airplanes. The one place left on the planet where I could sit quietly and read, an airplane in flight, will probably no longer exist. Within months, airlines will allow people to make phone calls while in flight.
I’ll be honest with you, lately I fly solely for the quiet privacy. I fly from here to there and back again just to be around people not talking on cellphones. I like to be around adults who read or talk or even play games on electronic devices without babbling incoherently into electronic devices about nothing at all in a language so unintelligent it has to make Shakespeare spin wildly in his grave.
So, soon enough anyone on a plane will be met with the same super sized people I recently sat near in that doctors waiting room, over sharing personal information with the world at large, except on a plane, they will be yelling to be heard. When you add in the ambient noise that planes make, you only have to imagine those banal morons yelling into their phones, “no honey, I’m on a plane, so anyway, last night was amazing, a foursome, I swear…”