this is said both from the point of view of someone who owns one and someone who's surrounded constantly by people who do.

all our operators are busy at the moment. please remain on the line and your prayer will be answered shortly.let's talk about MY mobile phone first, shall we? okay. so you're probably wondering, if this kid hates cellphones so much, then why in tarnations does he have one? the answer to that's fairly simple...i am never at home. well, hardly ever anyway. sometimes, when i'm not home, i'm at work, but other times, i'm just out wandering the streets. i greatly dislike being in one place for too long but i DO have responsibilities, and emergencies DO arise. and so every so often, i need to make an emergency phonecall or be reached asap by someone else. in addition to all that, i drive, and i happen to be one of those paranoid people who believes every vehicle should have a phone in it in the outside chance it gets hijacked or stuck in quicksand or somethin' treacherous like that. luckily for me, i have yet to experience a crisis in which my mobile phone saved my ass. NOT as luckily, the thing serves daily as an annoyance to me and anyone else who happens to be around me at the time. see, just like a home phone number, a mobile number has really amazing ways of being picked up by people who should not have it. some of these are folks i know, but a lot of 'em...well, rougly half of 'em are wrong numbers. my phone rings (currently to the tune of "stan"...previously to the irish national anthem), if i am stupid enough to leave the ringer on, approximately 100 times a day, about 50 of these calls being wrong numbers, 30 being people i am going out of my way to avoid, 15 being otherwise okay people who want me to do them favours, and maybe 5 being actual, legitimate phonecalls. among these as well are often telemarketers(is there ANY way to avoid these people?), my particularly bothersome ex-girlfriend (who upon moving stateside acquired all my contact information before even securing a place to live), prank calls, and now and again one of my idiot cousins asking for money. the phone is ringing constantly. to hear it you'd think i was the most important, most popular lad on the face of the earth. i can't say i really mind y'all thinking that, but i DO mind very much how the calls are timed. i swear to GOD there's someone someplace transmitting signals to all my annoyance callers telling them the LEAST OPPORTUNE time to ring me and then COMPELLING them to do it at that very moment. people love to call me when i'm –

1. eating in a fancy restaurant
2. in the jacks
3. at a wedding/graduation/communion/funeral or one of the other many varied occasions on which i find myself in church
4. driving, riding on buses, or about to go into a subway station
5. about to say something of the utmost importance, which of course i forget after taking the call

and you think all THAT blows? wait till you hear what happens on the rare occasions when my phone ISN'T ringing...SOMEONE ELSE'S IS! i suppose i should thank my lucky stars my girlfriend doesn't have a mobile yet (no, she takes her calls on MINE ;P...why the feck not, eh?)...else we'd've probably still not gotten to second base yet for all the interruptions.

my friends all have cellphones, though. down the pub these days it sounds like a meeting of the fortune 500's for all the ringing and the interjections of, "is that your phone or mine" and "excuse me whilst i take this call"...BOLLOCKS! this is a pack of contractors and barmen we're talking about here, roughly a quarter of them less than legal. how important could they possibly be? a lot of 'em don't even have cars to get stuck in quicksand WITH. so what's the deal?
but STILL...are they any less important than 16-year-old girls? oh, i hate to go back to this again, but REALLY...the only thing more freakin' irritating than a teenage chica yattering away and giggling with her mates is that same chica yattering away and giggling with her mates...ON A MOBILE PHONE AT THE TABLE NEXT TO YOU IN STARBUCKS AS YOU'RE TRYING TO SQUEEZE 15 MINUTES OF SILENT WRITING TIME INTO YOUR OWN PHONECALL-FRAUGHT DAY! but...then again...is SHE really any more annoying than the ARROGANT BOLLOCKS on the other side of you blabbing a blue streak to HIS friend abot his week-end in the hamptons with his fuckin' MISTRESS? way to keep it a secret, you decrepit old fossil. announce it to a café full of people...WHO DON'T REALLY GIVE A TOSS ANYWAY! all you're accomplishing is disturbance of the peace and forcibly making all of us here picture your dried-out waspy ass in a speedo on a beach in east moriches, a visual most of us could do very well without. IS THIS NOT A CONVERSATION THAT COULD BE CARRIED ON IN THE PRIVACY OF YOUR OWN HOME? i think it is. so take it there please, and leave us in peace.

new york city is positively brimming over with self-righteous prats who honestly seem to believe other people give a fuck about their INTERESTING lives...their business, their kids, their sex lives...so much so they actually think they're doing you a SERVICE by forcing you to listen to their phone convos...EVERYWHERE. on buses. on subway platforms. in supermarkets, theatres, and restaurants. my uncle, who's lived in new york since around 1960 says there was a time in this city when you'd be chucked out of certain culinary establishments for having a freakin' SNEEZING FIT. i don't doubt this at all, but despite never having been around to see it, how i long for the good old days.

i currently work in two industries in which phone-talking on the part of the customer is particularly maddening, one being the theatre and the other being the hotel bar/restaurant. the last thing anyone wants to hear as they're trying to recall a 4-page monologue in a dublin accent is the sound of a mobile ringing the william tell overture followed by, "ohhh....hiiiiii! y'know, this is a sorta bad time for me..." ARRRRGGGHHH! a bad time for YOU? how the hell do you think I feel? what? were you not listening when the all-powerful voice of god (i.e., the pa system) told the load of you fuckers to SILENCE ALL PHONES AND PAGERS? or do you simply think you're too good to follow the freakin' rules like everyone else? AAARRRRGGGHHH! the penalty for this offence should be death...death at the hands of the actors and all audience members who had to miss a 15-minute chunk of play cos mary margaret trust-fund needed to freakin' socialise. can you tell how much this irritates me? if not, i shall tell you. a lot. it irritates me A LOT...

now, ANOTHER thing you don't particularly want to hear is copious complaints from guests when you're playing maitre d' at an admittedly overpriced restaurant. overall, being maitre d' sucks royally, as everyone automatically assumes if you're maitre d', you must own the entire place. the fact i'm a freakin' KID does not seem to deter anyone from thinking this. (nobody ever assumes i have ANY clout atall when i'm behind the bar. hell, some of 'em don't even realise i WORK THERE) anyway, when people think you own the place, they also naturally assume you control the actions of everyone within the boundaries of the building's four walls. so they will regularly complain to me about the noisy phone convos of the patrons around them. i can't blame them for being irritated...they are not paying our exorbitant prices to be given a migraine by some prat from aib who does all his business deals from a booth in the corner. but I am also not being paid nearly enough to be verbally abused by said prat when i go over to him and ask him as politely as possible to shove his phone up his ass. i wouldn't mind at all if i had the title of bouncer and was not only allowed but EXPECTED to pitch disobedient guests out onto the streets, but i don't. i am a fucking HOST and must therefore be bloody freakin' feckin' fuckin' CIVIL at all times, which makes tasks like this next-to-impossible. SO it usually goes something like this...someone complains, i trot my ridiculously juvenile-lookin' self over to the defendant and announce in my most pseudopolite, well-bred, west-brit voice, "i hate to bother you, sir, but your telephone conversation seems to be disturbing your fellow diners", to which the bollocks in question nine times out of ten replies, "fuck off, you", and i, being not at liberty to do much else, do, leaving no-one happy but the asshole on the phone.

hmm...that's all i have to say for now, i think, but i'm pretty sure my next rant is going to have something to do with what a shite job being a maitre d' is...

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