From Pine View Farm

More Driving Adventures 2

Yesterday, as I was coming to a stop at a light, I saw her in my rearview mirror–she was flicking ashes from her cigarette out the window with one hand and holding a cell phone to her ear with the other.

I don’t know what she was driving with, but, whatever it was, it was not connected to her brain.

Back when cell phones were new (and were called “car phones”), I was at 29th and Market in Philadelphia waiting to cross to 30th Street Station to catch my train home. I saw this guy come around the turn from Market to 29th. He was eating a hamburger with one hand and holding a car phone with another. I think I knew what he was driving with: the head with no brains.

And I see this type of stuff a lot. I have been in two near-collisions with cell phone users (both men) who did not notice that the road was going around a curve and they were not. I’ve curtailed my own cell phone use when I’m driving–I will answer calls from my son and my brother, and that’s about it. And, if it looks like a long call, I pull off the road.

New Jersey, where I work, has outlawed hand-held cell phones for drivers. You can’t tell it from the drivers on the road.

One behavior I see frequently seems to be a predominantly female behavior. I see it leaving work, leaving the mall, leaving the market. Women get in their cars and stick phones in their ears before they have even gotten the key in the ignition. They seem to view their cars as phone booths from which to conduct their lives. Don’t they have lives that aren’t inside that gadget?

Men seem to be more likely to use headsets. I see many men (and some women) driving down the road with headsets ready, even though they may not be talking at the time. And the fancier the headset, the more men seem to fall for them. I think some men like dressing up like Jet Jackson, Space Commando.

In a way, I can understand–not approve, but understand–sales persons, consultants, lawyers, real estate agents, and the like, whose time definitely is money, letting themselves be sucked into the cell phone jungle. What a great way to rack up billable hours or turn suspects into prospects–turning your driving time, which used to be downtime, into income.

Oh, yeah, and these wireless headsets. People walking around with blinking light things stuck in their ears. Shades of the Matrix. They are turning themselves into R2D2, but without the intelligence level. I saw a fellow yesterday who couldn’t take the darn thing off his ear long enough to have breakfast with his wife. Then, again, he and his wife did look like they had been married a long time, so maybe he didn’t want to listen to her any more.

But I like my life. It’s not much, but it’s the only one I have, and I wish these people would hang the heck up and look where they are going.

Oh, yeah. Get your bumper sticker here. All it costs is two first class stamps.



  1. Opie

    September 7, 2005 at 7:04 pm

    I was sitting outdoors at a coffee shop with a friend a few weeks ago when three college-age girls sat down at the next table. They appeared to me to be out for a coffee and a little chat. After about 5 minutes, one of them pulled out a cell phone and called someone! I started thinking: if the person she was talking to had joined the group for coffee, who would she call then? It’s like wherever people are these days, they want to be somewhere else, so they call there. I’d rather be satisfied with where I’m at.

  2. Frank

    September 8, 2005 at 8:50 pm

    It does seem that persons are unable to be alone with themselves or with their friends any more.

    I wonder what they are so afraid of?