Friday, May 11, 2018


Do you own a cell phone?

Yea, of course you do.

Do you take it with you when you go out?


Do you bring it into a store when you're shopping?

Sure. Why not? 

Okay. Now here's my BIG question:

Do you talk incessantly on the phone while you're shopping - and, if so -

WHO the bloody hell are you talking to??????
WHO??? WHO??????

Please wait a moment while I try to calm down and compose myself. 

Okay. Let's continue.

I was shopping in Walmart yesterday (the most posh place in town). The number of customers in there talking on cell phones was astounding. It looked like a bookie convention.

I'm trying to look at cat food and litter, but there's a big-assed Hoochie Mama comfortably ensconced in the aisle, with her shopping cart blocking my way. She's completely immersed in a cell phone conversation and won't move an inch to let my skinny ass go by.

As I'm trying to make my way to a different part of the store, my navigation is impeded by an old man talking on a cell phone while he's walking.
And when I say old, I mean biblically ancient. Hell, I'm old, but this guy could be my great-grandfather.

He's shuffling so slowly that I'm surprised he's still able to stay in a vertical position.
I hear him say:
"I'm headed for the parking lot. I'll be home soon."

Problem is - the ol' geezer is heading towards the back of the store. He's nowhere NEAR the parking lot.

I suppress the temptation to grab the phone and yell "Grampa will be home in about fifteen years. Don't wait up."

I sure as hell hope he's not driving.

The worst cell phone aficionado is parked in the toilet paper aisle. She's a young babe with a couple of blabbering kids in the shopping cart.
She chats away on her cell phone without even attempting to move out of the way. She's in a conversational trance - - oblivious to the world.

I rudely reach around her to grab a four-roll pack of toilet paper.

"Double-ply", I say aloud, with the slight indication of a smirk. "I'll need it."

This is only a small sample of the Walmart cell phone addicts that I encountered. 

And I'm thinking:
This is rural Tennessee. I'm in the middle of frickin' nowhere. Half of these people probably haven't seen indoor plumbing.

Who the hell are they talking to? Their agents?? Their stockbrokers?? Their analysts???

I can't figure it out.

Watch it, Jon - you're starting to sound condescending and snooty.

Hey, Pancho - if my apt observations offend you - - go to the Disney Channel. I ain't here to make friends. 

I'm assuming that most of these Bozos use cell phones in public merely to look important.

I'm going to regress and take you back (whether you like it or not) to a time when I was a "kid" in Hollywood.

I occasionally enjoyed hanging out at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel. Things have changed now, but at that time the Polo Lounge was the place to be seen. It was also where big Hollywood deals were often made.

Actors would sit around and gossip while waiting for calls from their agents. Producers and directors would make important calls while eating lunch.

This was long before cell phones were popular. The tables at the Polo Lounge were equipped with private landline phones.

 I mostly used to sit at the bar, on the left-hand side of the photo.

So, Jon - what does the Polo Lounge have to do with cell phone users in a Tennessee Walmart?

Absolutely nothing. I was merely harking back to better days - when cell phones were non-existent...and public telephone use had a purpose.

By the way -
have you ever tried to reactivate an old cell phone? I did it last night and the entire harrowing, nail-biting process took about two hours. It's the closest I came to having a complete mental breakdown.


  1. The same behavior is spreading across the country, we may be to late to stop it. I have no idea who the woman at the dry cleaners talks to, but she never stops.

    1. I have a cell phone but I don't know who to call....and I have nothing to say (except on my blog, of course)

  2. I'm just as annoyed with you about people blabbing on their cellphones and poking away at it to send whatever "vital messages" they simply MUST send "right now"... no matter where they are. When we were at our older son's house at Christmas, he, our daughter-in-law and her sister were all in the same room with us and some of the kids... and all of them were poking on their phones. They even sent messages to each other rather than, oh I don't know... actually talking to each other?

    Personally, I don't own a cellphone, and I don't want one. If that makes me an old fuddy-duddy, sobeit.

    1. You don't have a cell phone?? Good for you!!! I always knew you were an independent thinker.

      I have a cell phone, but seldom use it except for occasions texts. I mostly have it in case of emergencies out here in the wilderness.

  3. The ones that mystify me are the people sitting on the toilet inside the stall of the ladies room and carry on a conversation. I also wonder who they are talking to and does that person know they are on the john.

    1. I haven't personally encountered that (not YET, anyway) but it's a frightening thought.

      I heard that President Johnson used conduct calls on a landline phone while he was on the toilet - - but don't know if it's true.

  4. How cool would it be to print and post copies of this post on Wal-Mart's bulletin board ... even their bathrooms! (If the shoe fits ....)

    I've not (yet) witnessed anyone yakking on their devices over here. Suppose there's no-one on the other end? ... And they're pretending to talk to avoid any Real Life interaction?
    Those who hog the whole aisle? Yep. Arizona was full of them. Then they look at you like a wounded animal if you ask them to step aside.

    PS - One of the biggest disappointments in my life was going for drinks at the Polo Lounge (ca. 1980?). 'Not sure what I was expecting, but it seemed dank and depressing.

    1. Posting this post on a Walmart wall probably wouldn't yield many positive results. Half of those cell phoners (or phonies?) probably wouldn't care, and the other half probably can't read.

      The Polo Lounge isn't anything like it was years ago. You can still see famous people there occasionally, but nowadays it's mostly tourists. I saw actor Jack Nicholson there once.
      The advent of the cell phone has greatly diminished (or completely obliterated) the need for people to have a landline phone at their public dining table.

  5. I have turned my DIL, Leah into one of those shopping cell phoners. I am housebound so she sends me pictures and information and we text back and forth, but occasionally end up chatting on the phone, too. I have sometimes been in the car in the parking lot because I couldn't walk anymore, but mostly I am at home. It is a godsend for me and Leah says it is the best, too, because she can ask me and show me stuff.

    Oh, and plus my girl from the county who cleans and picks up my groceries for me inevitably calls me a couple times with questions from the grocery store. She has saved me a lot of money over the years because she's so sweet--like my personal shopper.

    So sometimes there's a good reason people are on cell phones at the stores, Jon. ;) ;) Some of us can't make it there ourselves and have kind generous people who are there for us. And maybe that very old man has a son or daughter who really wants to know that stubborn ancient man is okay and going to get to the car and home safely. I'm just saying.

    1. I can fully understand your situation, and your communications via cell phone are definitely necessary and warranted. And I don't mind people photographing items in a store.

      My complaint is solely with these mindlessly rude people who seem to be just talking to show off - and who are definitely an annoyance to everyone else. When I use my cell phone (which is seldom) I only do it in a private, inconspicuous place.

  6. Sadly a large portion of today's society are wondering around like Zombies watching for messages on their smartphones. Do they really want to know that one of their 962 'friends on Farsebook ' got a new goldfish ... that's about as important as it gets sometimes.

    I do carry my cellphone when I leave the house for one purpose only - emergencies ! I also become extremely frustrated with those rude ' arschloch' types who block off aisles. Nothing a pleasant jolt from a stun gun doesn't fix. It's very effective and they don't have a clue as to what the hell just happened. Move fast and become the grey man in any crowd when " excuse me " doesn't work. I know this person who pokes stickpins into their butts ... true, he does it all the time.

    1. A cell phone can definitely be a godsend in an emergency, and that's the sole reason why I have one. But I would never even think of carrying on a loud and ENDLESS conversation in the middle of a crowded store. And that's what 99 per cent of these rude people do.

      My father was always rude when he shopped. He had no problem whatsoever with bashing people with his shopping cart if they were in the way (thank God I didn't take after him......).

  7. Personally, I hate when I go to an event and if it is not specifically prohibited, all you see are cell phones being held up as people film whatever is happening. They're so busy taking pictures that I doubt they even enjoy what's going on in front of them.
    Here's a short clip of Maasai warriors using cell phones.

  8. That video is AMAZING! It's puts a whole new perspective on cell phones. But I'm wondering how they are able to get a phone connection way out there? I often have trouble getting reception here in the TN hills.

    I've noticed in recent years that people are even using their cell phones at concerts, operas, and ballets. That's extremely annoying.

  9. I seldom if ever use my cellphone. But my husbands is attached to his hip. I really got a kick out of this post. We have to be privy to everybody's conversation like it or not.

    1. I often sound far too condescending - but it's part of my charm. I write exactly like I think. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it.

  10. I just came from Walmart to buy a new landline phone. They had to go to the back to find one. I do have a cell phone but I hate it, hardly ever use it.

    1. I hate cell phones, too. I only have mine for emergencies. Unfortunately it's getting more and more difficult to find landline phones. Soon they will be obsolete, like telephone booths.

  11. I have learned that a fart can make the cell phone users move along in stores

    1. I'll have to eat plenty of beans the next time I go to Walmart. Farts will probably be my only defense against cell phone users.

  12. My one HUGE pet peeve. When in the store, even though I'm not in sales, if people are on a phone and ask me something...don't expect a answer. Also as when out shopping, I get downright nasty and insultive when people are on them talking loudly. Take the conversation out of doors. Otherwise watch me pull a full on Naomi Campbell on your ass!!!

    Hard to believe little me gets fiery huh?

    1. I just don't understand why these morons insist on having public phone conversations. They NEVER stop talking and it annoys the hell out of me.

      I'll bet you're cute when you get fired up....

  13. Maybe you "ain't here to make friends" but you've certainly made one of me. I agree with every point in this post and my 20 year-old cell-phone just makes calls to the occasional tow truck.

    1. It's encouraging to know I have a few true friends left - thanks, Geo. I almost never use my cell phone (the reception is bad out here in the boonies) but I keep it handy in case I need to call for HELP.

      I also admittedly send a text now and then...

  14. Jon your post made us laugh here in Australia. Here we are blessed that people stopped talking on mobiles, now texting all the time, just imagine even in the restaurants instead of taking .I own mobile phone only because is cheaper than landline. Few months ago one of my children gifted me a few million Zimbabwean dollars ( worth a few Australian dollars).Unfortunately a few financial advisers become aware of my sudden richness and my mobile is hot. They are eager to invest my millions.Eventually I will tell them that Zimbabwean money are worthless.

  15. Hope, thanks for you kind comment. I'm always delighted when I can make people laugh.

    I'm wondering if I'd be able to spend a few million Zimbabwean dollars in a Tennessee Walmart......?


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