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December 11, 2008

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When I was a kid, my dad took me along to his Chicago office one day. Walking to lunch, we encountered a man with wild hair, wearing a suit, apparently oblivious to his surroundings, and talking to an unseen someone.

"Poor guy," my dad said. "He's been hitting the bottle too hard. Probably got that suit from the Salvation Army."

Last summer, I drove my dad to his doctor in Madison. Walking to lunch, we encountered a man with wild hair, wearing a suit, apparently oblivious to his surroundings, and talking to an unseen someone.

"Poor guy," my dad said.

"Yeah," I replied. "He got that bluetooth headset, and he's chained to his office 24-7. Nice Lord and Taylor suit, though."

Jonathan...You've got that right. These days, with everyone standing around talking to themselves in public place, loudly and oblivious, it does get harder and harder to tell the narcissist from the mentally ill.

I think it's even worse when it's the cashier/grocery clerk who's on the phone while doing business!

As a librarian, you can probably guess where cell phone use is my pet peeve. I've been known to get snippy with repeat abuse patrons and tell them, "When the first words out of your mouth are, "I'm in the library," that should probably be your cue to take your call outside in the lobby." And then I smile, just so that I can't be accused of being rude.
I don't know when people began to think the library, of all places, was an okay place to have your AC/DC ringtone up at deafening levels and then to answer and shout "WHAT?!? I'M IN THE LIBRARY!"
And I'm one of "those" who has my cell phone on at all times. But mine is always on vibrate.

I can't stand televisions in public places. Can't we live without it for a while? Bring a book, magazine or newspaper people! And this was at a hospital!

You're right! My dentist has a TV (which only plays commercials), the doctor's office has one, the pharmacy at our local grocery store has one, too! Yikes!

I love those few restaurants designated cell free. I hope within a few years they all are!

Boy, Terri, I am with you. Last Christmas, I went to a nice restaurant for lunch with some friends and there was a guy at the bar on the phone the whole time. But worse than that was a couple years ago when my book group went to the Harvard Faculty Club for a holiday lunch. We were seated next to a table of Harvard bigwigs, and one of them must have taken--loudly and proudly-- at least five phone calls during lunch. I wanted to dump my plate over his head or--even better--send HIM our bill.

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