BHB drew mildly irritating pink hanky to my castrated bull’s attention.
Which reminds me: Any of you aspiring writers out there, in need to improve your prose, please read Hemingway, particularly “Death in the afternoon” (yes, on bullfighting). Forget the gore, imbibe the prose.
The curse of the cell phone: Called a mobile in the UK, and a handy in German speaking countries. Which tells you all there is to know about the United Nations. What the French call it I only hazard to guess but I dare say they have enough sense to keep them turned off most the time – by necessity if they want to salvage any of their own and their country’s reputation.
I rarely get steamed up involuntarily but the handy cell phone of the averagely mobile has an edge.
For a while I wondered why people were talking to themselves walking down the road.
What can be so urgent, important as to stem the flow of a conversation with the person sitting next, opposite to you, just because the phone rings? Why does a cell phone take precedence over your self being physically present? Why do we always have to be available (even, see Ramana’s recent contribution, on the loo)? How did we survive in pre cell times? How did we make it to the year 2011 when all we started off with were smoke signals in some Teutonian woodland? Not expecting an answer till the next boomerang hit us between the brows – like months later? Has self importance, a poor bedfellow to urgency, become our master? Are we incapable of making a decision down aisle 23 whether to buy fusilli or penne (pasta shapes) without confering with whoever has sent us shopping/does the cooking? Keep the noise down, will you? I have my own decisions to make – without participating in your domestics.
Then there is the vacant look. The vacant look is when – right in the middle of some face to face communication – the other will get a call and lose track of what we were talking about. Sure, no probs. Let’s start again wasting my time (and yours, as it happens). Talk about manners. Atrocious comes to mind. I sometimes wonder what they would have made of it in your average 19th/early twentieth setting of a novel: Can you imagine Mr Darcy emerging from the pond, brooding stare, dark locks dripping, damp shirt clinging to his broad chest and then the tune of I don’t know, say, Adam Ant giving him the jingles: “Sorry, Jane. Just need to take this.” Yes, fuck you too. Doesn’t work.
There is only one person (apart from his friends in need to contact me should the shit ever hit the fan when they are out and about) who has my mobile number, and that is my son. For him I will always be contactable (what a word). Everyone else can wait till I am home in the sweet vicinity of my landline.
I won’t go into texting. I don’t text. Texting is a poor excuse for spelling shite. Apple of my eye texts me – spelling immaculate; but that’s only to humour me. And because he knows that otherwise I will not know what he is talking about; which in turn will yield zero result. Which is why he prefers to call me rather than waste thumb power.
So yes, as you might have gathered, I am not of this handy cell world, particularly when mobile.