Gizmo Guy and I went into Toronto today on a top secret mission. (Yes, it even involved men with guns and metal detectors!) Being conscious of the environment we took the Go Train in (it’s a commuter train that runs along Lake Ontario gathering riders in the Golden Horseshoe.) All right, I confess, it was just simpler to take the train than to drive in the Big Smog. Plus frankly, although it cost us nearly $32 bucks for the tickets, it was probably still cheaper than a tank of gas and the parking it would have cost us.

On the way in, Gizmo Guy started sniffling and sneezing. Why? Because the lady who sat across the aisle from him had apparently bathed in cologne. Now, I love perfume – my favorite is L’Air du Temp and Chanel #5 but only on special occasions because most of the places I go ask me NOT to wear anything scented – including scented shampoos and hairsprays. Gizmo Guy wears cologne as well. (Halston Z14, if anyone’s interested. He puts that on, he doesn’t get out the door!) But we don’t apply it until a sulphurous cloud surrounds us wherever we go! So before you reach for that perfume jar (or jug as was her case), think of those around you. Remember – a little dab on your pulse spots (behind your ears, on your wrist or the inside of your elbow) will do you. You don’t need anything more than that. Trust me when I tell you that just because you’ve killed your sense of smell by drenching yourself in your favorite scent, others around you may not be so fond of Eau de Stink.

For my own rant, on the way back, we had to get up and change seats after a couple of stops because a lady two seats up was talking on her iPhone. Loudly.

Now my family does own a cell phone. One. Between three people. (Gizmo carries a Berry which is provided for him by his workplace as he’s on call. But that’s the only thing it’s used for. I confess there are nights when I’m ready to grab that thing with its little green blinking light that flashes and keeps me awake and flush it down the toilet). I carry our family phone with me on long trips (although not today as I wasn’t allowed to take electronics where I was going.) I was thrilled to have it along when I got a flat tire a few years back, and again when my car died – how ironic – in the middle of a cemetery after a funeral. I was p*ssed off when my car broke down and I was out of signal range — in the middle of the city, by the way, thanks very much Telus — and had to rely upon the kindness of strangers (thank goodness a lady I knew from the boys’ school passed by and stopped to help.) I like knowing my sons have it along when they’re out late at night or venturing into TO in case they need it in an emergency. But on average, we use it no more than three times a month. A MONTH, not a day. Because I am not egocentric enough to think that people need to know what I’m doing every frickin’ minute of every frickin’ day.

A typical conversation on my cell phone goes like this:

“Hey, it’s me, can you pick me up?”
“Sure, where are you?”
“At the centre by the CIBC/Train Station/Bus Station/Friends’ house. See you in about ten?”,
“Yup. See you then. Bye.”

Short and to the point. Identify who it is, state the problem/question, confirm your point, end call. We don’t need hour long conversations about what’s on television, or blow by blows about your date last night – YES, heard those conversations too, and it did involve BJs! Talk about TMI! So I really didn’t need to listen to this woman describe (in an incredibly loud grating voice) to her unseen listener every screen that was shown on the new televisions they’d installed on the train, displaying a local news broadcast. She even took pictures! I didn’t need to know that her husbands/boyfriend’s/significant other’s sister was coming for a visit, or where that sister lived – yes, I know exactly how to find that other person’s home and exactly when it would be empty while she was visiting. Good thing I’m not a thief, lady! Thank the good Lord above that she wasn’t describing some godawful surgery or scar she had. Yes, I’ve been subjected to those conversations, too. I’ve heard horror stories of lawyers and doctors discussing confidential information (including the patient’s name and address or what the person has been charged with or is worth) on crowded subways, for pete’s sake.

States, provinces and cities are trying to ban the use of cell phones while you drive. Schools are banning cell phones (not only for interruptions because they can be used to cheat nowadays). But since you can’t ban the use of them in public places, I can’t see that cell phones are going to go away.

Cell phone users need to learn some etiquette (as in talk quietly, especially in public places where others can hear you/be annoyed by you) *snort – yeah, like THAT’s going to happen!* So either we need to get the Cone of Silence working or I need to get Gizmo Guy to invent a universal remote control to zap all cell phones preventing any communications from taking place within my hearing.

Hmm, from the other rants I’ve found by googling on this topic, I’d bet that would “cell” 😀

Where’s Emily Post when you need her?
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2 thoughts on “Where’s Emily Post when you need her?

  • July 30, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    cone of silence *snicker* … wouldn’t it be nice. *sigh*

  • August 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Try to tie the average American family down to one family phone or teach anyone about considerate phone etiquette. They’d look at you like you’re nuts!

    I’m seriously considering turning one of our in and using a prepaid for the few months we need two. The cell phone companies are notorious over billers. Twice I’ve called and said, what’s this $200 charge on my credit card and I got, “Oh, I’m sorry, you were billed incorrectly, you’ll see the credit next month.” What would have happened if I hadn’t called? They would NOT have caught it.

    Hey, that train looks like a great place to ride and write.

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