God, I love cell-phones. They allow you to behave like an asshole with almost absolute impunity.
We had staked out a spot at the Kaboom concert (Attendance: 200,000?) in SF yesterday. Chris and Tom had arrived with their characteristic punctuality: late.
“Where are you?”
“By the porta-potties at the back (there were 200 of them), near the WaMu banner (there were 6 of them),” Joe shouted back into the cell-phone.
I confiscated the cell phone from Joe and finally walked my way over to meet them at the one-and-only Toyota tent, while orienting landmarks to them.
With my attention focused on giving directions on the phone, I stepped on countless toes “Hey, watch it lady!”; and walked up the down-only stairs, completing ignoring the burly security guard who was there to enforce direction. I guess when they saw me yakking on the cell-phone, they cut me some slack, since a person walking and talking into a cell phone is a most-self-absorbed, thick-skinned entity, beyond redemption until she hangs up.
(I’m still a self-professed untethered Luddite. But I think I’ll find a dead cell-phone to carry from now on. It’s a fantastically useful prop.)
Better yet, Joe mentioned that someone in his firm and programmed some feature where if he was stuck in a meeting and wanted to escape; he could text-message himself, set the phone to ring, and leave the meeting, claiming an ‘important’ phone call.
It’s so difficult to talk/hear cell phone conversations in noisy venues like a rock concert; texting would have been a much better option. In fact in Asia, texting is more common than talking on the cell phone, opposite of here, I think. I was discussing this with a friend of mine; see his blog entry about his theory.