Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm on the phone.

Today's bucolic family scene comes courtesy of the local supermarket: A father with his two sons in tow - dad clueless, babbling on his cell phone - one hand on the cart the other hand holding the phone. Son number one (8 years old?) playing with his own cell phone while son number two (younger) admiringly watches, knowing his day with his own $100 a month play toy is coming.
My question: Why does a grade-school kid need a cell phone - with a QWERTY keyboard no less? He probably can't even spell Qwerty. I'm sure it's mom and/or dad taking advantage of some "family plan" offered by the phone company, but really ...
It's pretty much all I see anymore. Teenagers (and now, kids) and adults fiddling with phones in public. I wonder to whom they're talking. I see drivers leaving their driveways talking on the phone. Couldn't you have called them before you left? We must have had this insatiable desire to talk on the phone that was unsatisfied before the portable device was invented. Life must have been so frustrating: "My God, I'm driving and I don't have anyone to speak to. I wish I had a telephone without a wire that I could use to incessantly babble on while I drive." [ding] Problem solved. Thank you, Nokia!
I found myself next door at the liquor store (drawn like a kite to a string). At the counter, the bagger wants to earn his salary and reaches for a paper bag, even as my canvas one is coming out from under my arm...
ME: You can put it in here [opening the canvas bag]
CASHIER: He's green.
ME: And the bags are, too. [funny, eh?]
BAGGER: I keep wanting to get some of these, but I never do it.
ME: They sell them next door.
BAGGER: [sheepishly] Thanks for making me seem even more lazy than I actually am.
Bad grammar aside, sometimes it takes a tough love approach to bring these kids around. These are the kinds of things I have to deal with on a daily basis.


susan said...

Anthony, this is so astute. I didn't notice children having real cell phones until this weekend. I got my nephew (2) a Sesame Street plastic cell phone- you can call Cookie Monster, Elmo, Big Bird, etc.

He played with it a bit, put it down and came up to me with an iphone. I told him to bring it back to his daddy, and he said MINE!

Yep- his dad in Sept bought 3 iphones- one for dad, one for mom and one for baby.

I have a cell phone. I use it in dire emergencies. Up to August 2001 I worked between NJ and NYC offices. After 9/11 I decided I needed a cell if the building I was working in - 58 stories- got hit and I wanted to spend the last minute I had on earth calling my mother to tell her I love her. As is I use the cell less than 5 min a month.

Don't get me wrong, the iphone is a thing of beauty but I cannot see the use for it for most people. Certainly not a child.On one hand you look at how far computers have come since I had Cobol in college- and now- but ....

You sad it brilliantly.

Anthony said...

So far, I haven't found the need to have Internet access on the toilet, so the iPhone is going to be a spectator sport for me.

I started noticing the public use about 6 months ago and I'd like to be able to ask people what they're doing. Maybe someday. In one of my Larry David moments: "Excuse me, mind if I ask ... what are you doing?"

And for the record, I don't want an 8-year old on the Internet, either.

Sparky Duck said...

For petes sake, half the stores sell there own! I barely know what a qwerty keyboard is!

love the new design BTW

Anonymous said...

Those canvas bags they sell for a buck or two in the supermarkets are way bigger & stronger than the crappy plastic or paper ones!

I have been MUCH happier carrying my bags into my home since I got them.

Anthony said...

On my way over, (walking) I saw a shopper with a cart-load of those yellow plastic bags. Literally, over the edge of the cart.
I don't see many more disgusting images than that. Animal porn is second.

I wonder what they do with them when they get home.

kimmyk said...

I bought my children cell phones when we moved here and they were away from home. Only because I have this overwhelming fear that someone will take my children (hence the chip in it that let me track them online). I think they were 13 at the time. I would hope in some way that the parents of the 8 year old boy in the supermarket-that too was their thinking, but mostly likely probably not. I'm not sure.

I have a cell phone and I hardly talk on it and GOD forbid if I text a message because my kids have it set up where it recognizes the beginning of words and inserts the word and half the time i write shit and send it and i have no idea what i'm talkin about.

imagine that.

Kate Michele said...

around here freaking six year olds have them. parents are to damn lazy to watch their own kids anymore, they just call them to see where they're at. ummm its the ghetto, no way i'm letting my children walk around house to house and rely on a cell phone as my eyes. idiots. i swear they grow in population yearly.

who are 'we' talking to or typing to in stores? ummm usually its YOU. :-P