Larry Buford

*The people who really need to read this article probably won’t because they’re too busy yapping on their cell phones. Maybe those who do read it can make a copy and somehow slip it to someone they know who has a cell phone addiction. Maybe businesses can post it in plain view for customers to see.

 Cell phone junkies are becoming a menace to society because they are so into their own cellular world, that they are oblivious and insensitive to their surroundings (like a typical junkie). For instance, while at the bank the other day, three guys entered the doors just seconds apart from one another, and each was cussing loudly on their cell phones and saying things that were inappropriate for a public place. They did not seem to have a clue as to how their actions were affecting those around them, nor did they seem to care. It was like they had a license to say whatever they wanted on their own private cell phones – but in a public place?

 Then there was the lady – in a crowded Subway restaurant during lunch hour – who was so busy talking on the phone with her “girl”, that she thought she’d ordered one thing, and when the server had wrapped and announced “one six inch turkey”, the lady (still talking on the phone) exclaimed, “I wanted ham not turkey!”  The server insisted she said turkey, and she began to argue with him. Maybe she would have been more attentive to what she was getting had she not been so rudely annoying everyone with her loud conversation on her cell phone. Equally annoying was a similar situation in a Post Office line with a lady speaking a foreign language!

 I’m sure we’ve all experienced the left turn lane when the arrow turns green, and the person at the head of the line is engrossed in a cell phone conversation, not realizing the arrow is green until those behind start laying on the horn. Where perhaps five cars could have made the turn, only three do before the arrow turns red again. What a waste of time and fuel! And we wonder why there is so much frustration and disdain in our society today. Things like this don’t help at all.

 For those who think it’s cool and okay to have indiscrete cell phone conversations in public places, please consider this old English proverb: “He who says what he likes, shall hear what he does not like.” Respect yourself if you want others to respect you.

 I have used the 800-POLLUTE number to report air pollution; maybe there’s a way we can do the same for noise pollution. Maybe business owners could be empowered to refuse service to anyone who disturbs the peace with their disruptive cell phone conversations.

 Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” (Steuben Pub.) Visit the author at

(213) 220-8101