Monday, October 22, 2007

Why is everyone talking to themselves? The disturbing era of Bluetooth.

I wasn’t sure what was happening so many months ago when I started seeing an increased number of people talking to themselves in public; at least that’s what I thought they were doing. Suddenly I was in this alternate universe where I was hearing what seemed to be one-sided conversations inside other people’s heads and it worried me. Why were so many people wandering the streets alone; their jaws flapping like pancakes? It was strange.

Alas, it is now the era of Bluetooth. The thing that I find highly annoying is that they tend to talk as though they are announcing a baseball game so that we can hear their conversations from a block away. Frankly, I don’t care about their business or personal lives and I feel like they are involving me against my will.

I am forced to listen to their conversations in public, but these are the same people who have outlawed smoking because it offends them and damages their health. Ironically, I feel offended and it occurs to me that my health is being damaged, as my blood pressure goes up every time I see/hear one of these Bluetooth people.

These are just a few of the Bluetooth moments I’ve had this week.

Business Man at Café

I’m sitting outside with a friend, trying to have a nice lunch, and this guy in his Armani suit at the table next to us sips on an espresso and talks to himself about business. The Bluetooth must be on the other side of his head because all I can see is this man shouting out numbers and instructions to whomever it is on the other end of his conversation. Apparently these things do not have very good reception because he is shouting. I am trying to eat. I light up a cigarette to piss him off. It works. He accosts me with his eyes, throws down a few dollars and leaves. I’ve offended him.

Beautiful Woman with Dog

Sounds like a famous painting but alas, it’s just another annoying person talking to herself. I’m sitting at a stoplight and she is across the street with the dog pulling at her in one hand and what appears to be a cell phone about a foot from her chest in the other. It has a wire attached to it that leads to her ear. I thought these things were hands-free, but now, “the fashionable” like to ensure that we all know that they can afford the technology by showing off their wire. How can it be “hands-free” if you are HOLDING something? What is the point? She is practically barking. I hear, “OH MY GAHD! I TOTALLY TELL HIM THAT I LOVE HIM ALL THE TIME AND HE GIVES ME NOTHING BACK….YES, I EVEN WALK HIS DAMN DOG THREE TIMES A DAY AND THERE HE IS AT WORK DOING WHO KNOWS WHAT AND I HAVE ALL OF THIS WORK TO DO AT HOME... MY MAID CAN’T EVEN GET HERE UNTIL NOON TODAY AND THERE ARE ALL OF THESE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DUSTED, I’M SICK OF IT.” I want to yell out the window, “Honey, he’s probably cheating, but don’t worry, you’ll get half!”

Woman at Bar

I carry up a case of wine and notice that there is someone new at the bar. I set it down on the cooler and walk in her direction. As I approach her to ask what she would like to drink she holds up a hand to stop me. She is talking to herself. I don’t know if she’s a crazy drunk or it’s Bluetooth. It takes me a second to figure it out, but apparently THERE IS SOME REALLY INTERESTING REAL ESTATE THING GOING DOWN AND SHE NEEDS THIS FAXED AND THAT FAXED AND A MEETING SET UP WITH SOMEONE NAMED BOB AND HE’S PROBABLY IN THE HAMPTONS. She tosses her beautiful head back and laughs. She holds up a finger and gestures for me to approach without ever looking in my direction. She says loudly to the air, JUST A SECOND. Turning to me she says, “I’m going to need a glass of Sterling Cabernet and some bread. I also need a glass of water with two lemon wedges, NO ice!” She stares back at the mirror behind the bar and goes back to shouting. This is her way of dismissing me. She starts to light up a cigarette and I’m pleased to inform her that there is no smoking in our restaurant. She rolls her eyes and I smile.

Dude on Street Corner

I’m waiting to cross the street and I hear this guy next to me talking to himself. He’s got long hair, painter pants and a “Mr. Bubble” t-shirt. He’s actually kind of hot. I’m standing there playing it cool, when I hear, “Yeah, baby, you know you’re sexy.” I giggle and turn to him. Oh my God! Bluetooth! He’s talking to someone else. I pray that he didn’t see me smile and snap my head around. I light up a cigarette and he crosses the street. I follow a few feet behind feeling rejected and used. I mean, I’m married, but it’s still nice when someone notices you once in a while, even if it does sound a bit crass. He turns around and asks me for a cigarette. I point to myself, raising my eyebrows and say, “Sure.” “Thanks dude,” he replies and goes on talking to himself about what he’s going to do to someone later. He called me, “Dude.” Asshole!

Old Man on Bench

I’m sitting at the train station and the old man sitting next too me keeps laughing. He’s wearing a wrinkled polyester leisure suit; the pants up to his chest, a brightly striped cotton shirt and wide tie. He has one hand on his thigh and the other is holding a Styrofoam cup. His leg is shaking. Every once in a while he makes a statement about the weather or talks about an ailment and then giggles. He stares straight ahead. I feel sorry for him. The train is coming and I stand up and stick a couple of dollars in his cup as I walk toward the tracks. He yells, “Hold on! WHY the HELL did you put MONEY in my COFFEE?” Everyone turns and stares at us. Bluetooth strikes again. I can’t win.


Janna said...

I've been trying to find an old friend of mine from a few decades ago. Her name was Stephanie Brooks. She lived in Cheboygan, MI. I met her in the mid-1980's during a creative writers' group. After that, we corresponded for many years, but eventually lost touch after high school. I graduated in 1988... I think she did too.
Is there any chance this is you?
Does the name Jannafer Franklin ring a bell?

Snoop Doggy Dog said...

Janna, I'm not the right Stephanie Brooks, but keep working on it..we're all out there somewhere.