Friday, August 1, 2008


On any given day at Von’s, which happens to be the supermarket nearest me, I will see 10 characters, 5 scenes and 1 sitcom.

I was in the frozen food aisle when a woman came walking up, standing very close to me, and started asking question such as “what flavor do you think... chocolate? Rocky Road” I don’t recall if she was necessarily attractive to me, but, while taken a bit aback by any stranger coming up to me at any time asking my opinion, I started to respond. But before I could, she went on again, looking past me, saying “really? I’m not sure Doug would like that.” And that was when I realized she was on a Blue Tooth.

That got me thinking about Blue Tooths (or is it Blue Teeth) and how they are getting so unobtrusive, it appears people are either talking to you – if in the vicinity – or simply talking to themselves, as if schizophrenic. And that got me to thinking about schizophrenics, such as those folks otherwise known as “homeless”, or, less P.C., “bums” who of course call Santa Monica home. They will ask for money, often in a passive way, sometimes more pleading... less often they will be quite aggressive. That’s one thing. But when they are ranting, and/or otherwise responding a mile a minute to conversants within their skull is when they are more off-putting (thank you Governor Ronald Reagan). So it occurred to me that perhaps schizophrenia (which is my all-purpose reference to people talking out loud to themselves) might have less onus on them of they were to be fitted with Blue Tooths. Then we can merely assume they are “on the phone” – annoying but not crazy.

There’s a whole realm of annoying cell phone bits that everyone must encounter, or even have lived themselves. I have often left my home, on a walk to a grocery store errand, and gotten a cell call... and been on the call all the way through the check out stand. I am oblivious to how annoying I might be to other customers or the checkout clerk... I like to think at least during the transaction I pay attention to the clerk, and respect others around me. But of course we have seen otherwise – whether walker or driver who cannot multitask when one of the tasks is a cell phone conversation. I have nearly been run over several times in my suburban neighborhood by the mother (literally) of all cell phone abusers, and perhaps the raison d’etre of the “hands free” law now in effect in California: a solitary woman, jabbering animatedly on her cell phone, while maneuvering a gigantic SUV – rolling thru a stop sign or a no look turn on the red light.

I have been on a “first date” where the female was welded to her Palm Pilot – sending and retrieving text messages, e-mails, phone calls while supposedly there to meet me! (We never saw each other again).

No doubt a multitude of cell phone abuse or otherwise comes to mind, if you pay attention – and great fodder for scenes, sub-scenes or even characters. Look at my damn profile photo! On a cellphone!

It’s all good stuff. Excuse, my agent is vibrating.

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