Cell Hell

The world is on the phone…talking loudly, texting crossing the street. The lack of self-awareness in this century will become legendary.

After almost getting hit by a UPS truck, I no longer text or email while walking. If it’s important, I stop and do it, and not in the middle of the pavement either. I take myself out of harms way, and everyone else’s, so not to impede traffic.

Of course, I’m alone in this. At least once a day I see someone in the middle of the street making love to their phone oblivious to cars honking, cabbies screaming, “Get outta the way…camahnnnn.”

I’m surprised there aren’t more casualties.

The worst is being someplace intimate while someone’s yakking in your vicinity.

This happened recently at my nail salon. I strategically make appointments to try gleaning a little peace, but it never quite works out that way.

It’s 9:30 a.m. and I’m the first customer to get a badly needed pedicure. I hate them so I wait until my feet look like they’ve been walking over hot coals before having one.

Sitting there waiting for polish to dry can age a girl.

I’m not soaking five minutes before a middle-aged woman comes in with her hair in curlers. She came in like the wind speaking in stereo, tossing her things around as though it were her living room. They put her right next to me so now I’m privy to not only her charming voice but her onion bagel wafting in my direction.

My Catholicism, though lapsed, makes a cameo when I look toward the heavens and say, “God what did I do exactly to deserve this?” Of course he doesn’t answer.

Now if this happened in a restaurant without further ado I’d move my seat. But when you’re immersed in bubbly water while a woman named Ki Ki is scrubbing one of your heels, it’s not so easy. Angelina Hollywood, that dear girl, went back to Mexico so we now have Ki Ki.

On cue, onion gets on her phone. She’s one of those women who can’t amuse herself without outside stimulation and we’re not talking books either. It’s more, “Helen, it’s me Alma…how ya doin? I’m gettin my feet done…what’s up with you?”

Omigod. The pain I was in. What to do…what to do.

Now interestingly enough, there’s a huge sign that says, Limited Cellphone UseΒ Only. In other words, you don’t aimlessly chat.

I turn to her with a pleading smile and say, “Excuse me, do you think you could not talk on your phone while you’re here. ”

Well, she sure didn’t like that idea. “I need to make this call,” she said nastily.

Yes, my mother made a quick appearance. Never fails. “DO YOU SEE THAT SIGN? WOULD YOU CARE TO READ IT TO ME? YOU DO KNOW HOW TO READ DON’T YOU?”

I know, that was hitting below her cream cheese, but I was mad. Is it really asking too much to have your space respected?

However, she did get off. I think I scared her going from a tired Audrey Hepburn to Jack Nicholson in The Shining without passing go.

Self-awareness…pretty soon it will be a thing of the past like dinosaurs and phone booths….

remember those?




About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in humor, New York City, Uncategorized, women, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Cell Hell

  1. micklively says:

    Wives, generally speaking, will not tell you that they are less skillful than their husbands. One attribute this is not true of, is the ability to “sling a deaf ear”. Learning to “tune out” is a must for any married man who values his sanity. Get some tuition before you go for your next hoof paring. πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for another entertaining read.


    • That’s exactly what my feet look like Mick…hooves. Tuning out…let me just say this…when you consider my hearing issues she must have been awfully loud to annoy me to that extent. Yes sirree Mickster.


  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Oh Susannah, I empathize with your plight completely! Definitely a pet peeve of mine, too. I just got a great idea! Let’s have someone invent a gizmo that emits a blocking signal that works within a three yard area.


  3. katecrimmins says:

    Actually I think there is a gizmo you can buy that blocks signals. I’ve seen it somewhere. Was thinking of buying it for those times when I am in a deli the and person ordering is also on the cellphone. I can hear it now, “Hello Ceil? Ceil are you there?” *grumbles loudly* “Lousy reception” and there I am with my hand in my pocket on the appropriate button. I love my fantasies.


  4. Thankfully I am only old enough to remember the phone booth πŸ™‚ I must admit though, as an observer if they can at least make their ‘important’ calls interesting, it wouldn’t be as annoying to me..ha ha..Somehow I always find myself next to the people who used up their fun stuff before they sit next to me.


    • But let’s face it, they never are interesting…the phone has become a toy to amuse and while away the hours with. who cares what Alma had for dinner or that her husband has the flu. I mean it…now if you had the runs I’d be interested because you’re so nice to read my blurb and leave a comment πŸ™‚


  5. Arthur Seder says:

    My reflection is that, whenever the golden age of telecommunications was, it’s certainly not now. But it’s amazing how the whole concept of making a phone call has changed so drastically since the advent of cell phones. Having been guilty of the worst sins of cell phone abuse – texting while driving, the whole stopping in the middle of the sidewalk thing – and hopefully having reformed myself, it’s hard to pass judgment on those who haven’t seen the light. And since I’m so gun-shy about using my cell phone in public, I often never get around to making calls that it would behoove me to make. Definitely an entirely new dynamic.


    • You know Arthur, if I wasn’t almost decapitated by that uPS truck, I might still be texting and gabbing in flight too. It takes a scare I think to get someone to stop. As far as that idle chattering that goes on on buses and in line no matter where you are, that’s becoming epidemic. No one cares about anyone else anymore. I do think you should use your phone in a nice, quiet place where you and SHE can be alone πŸ™‚


  6. Good for you!!! I hate having to hear everyone’s business… there is no peace and quiet anywhere. How did we ever survive 20 years ago?


  7. Mason Moore says:

    do you mind if I post this on my twitter?


  8. The funny thing is, if two people are together, they’ll only want to talk to other people who aren’t there. A lot of times I’ll see boys and girls in a coffee shop together, both on their phones most of the time.


    • Everyone David is on their phone. EVERYONE…The bus driver at a light, waiters, mailmen. It’s epidemic. Maybe they’ll come up with an inoculation, like smallpox.


      • The smallbox epidemic of the 21st century. πŸ™‚
        I once saw a delivery guy driving a scooter while smoking a cigarette, talking on the phone, and carrying a container with one hand. That’s some reckless multitasking.
        On a side note, I wonder how many people are injured or killed every year by texting/talking while doing other things. Someone’s got to be keeping statistics on stuff like that.


      • Just the other day a young girl texting in the subway fell off the platform and was hit by a train. She’s had two surgeries and people are donating funds on her Facebook page because she had no health insurance. She’s lucky she’s alive. If that’s not an ad for keeping your phone in your pocket, nothing is.


  9. I’m with you 100%!!!! When I look around I think we are going to have a population of hunchbacks in the very near future. Everyone has their head down like a group of question marks. It would really pay-off to be a spinal surgeon in about 30 years. Onion had it coming!


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