Thursday, April 22, 2010

Phone Snob

I admit it I'm a snob. I didn't see it coming, but I'm ashamed to say that I've finally found something to be snobby about. Welcome to Snobby Bobby. I've never envied another person because they have it better than I do or felt superior to anyone because I possess a skill or trait that they don't.

However nothing alienates me faster than a person using a cell phone when there is absolutely no need to do so. I can't tell you how many times I've attended a meeting and the flow of conversation has been interrupted by a ring tone. In fact lately I don't think I've attended any kind of function that didn't feature someone's cell phone going off.

Recently I was sitting next to a friend who runs a local cemetery at a City Council meeting. Someone had locked themselves in the cemetery after hours. That was good for a laugh, but after the phone rang three times people started to look at me funny because the noise was coming from my general direction.

I've stopped counting the number of times I've been cut off by a driver who finds it absolutely necessary to be on the phone while driving. I understand there is sometimes a need to do so and in fact have used a cell phone while driving myself. Usually it was on radio station business while I was on my way to a breaking news story. So yes it was job related. I do remember one time coming up to a city intersection and four of the five drivers in front of me were carrying a conversation on over their cell phones.

People using their cell phones while shopping annoy me the most. I can see if you missed something on your shopping list and are calling home for a gentle reminder, but it's the “Hey look at me, I'm important” cell phone users that really get my goat.

I recently got behind a shopper in a super market in a 15 items or less checkout counter. I could tell by the mound of groceries in her cart that she had at least twice that many items, but she was on her cell phone and was talking away as she started unloading her cart. After she got most of her items on the conveyor belt and had wrapped up her clearly unimportant conversation she looked up and noticed what aisle she was in. She said to the clerk, “Why didn't you say something?” With just a hint of sarcasm and being as diplomatic as she could be the clerk responded, “You were on your cell phone and I didn't want to interrupt your conversation.” This pleased me and the two shoppers waiting in line behind me. Guess I'm not the only phone snob.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Trading An Old Friend

I felt like I had lost an old friend when I traded in my old Chevy Cavalier last week for a newer car. Although it was only worth dollars and cents to the dealership to me it was worth much more than the Blue Book price. I can remember the thrill of buying it new in July of 1999. It was still running well when I traded it in last Tuesday for a 2009 Ford Focus SE (pictured).

The night before that I went through the car and took out all the personal possessions I was carrying around in it. That was a strange treasurer trove to be sure. There were road maps of Wisconsin and Michigan. A paper weight, don’t ask me why. A number of CDs and cassettes (I hadn’t played the cassettes in years). More pens than I care to count. There was also a spare pair of glasses with an older prescription, a rain poncho, extra windshield wiper fluid, an ice scraper, folding knife, and of course being a good Yooper a snow shovel and extra blanket.

Over time like a child a car can acquire bumps and bruises. I remember the first, and not the last time, I spilled coffee in the car. When moving from Beaver Dam to Fond du Lac I used the Cavalier for at least half a dozen trips to move odds and ends. On one trip I was unpacking some free weights and dropped a 10 pounder on the back driver’s side of the car. It caused a small dimple about the size of the head of a pencil. Some time during my travels over the last year the mirror on the driver’s visor got cracked. And last winter the plastic that kept the fuel cap from falling off when you gassed up the car cracked off.

That car also provided a bond with family. It got me to eleven Christmas gatherings, a number of vacations and three weddings. In addition to family members over the years it also ushered dogs and parakeets to and from. It temporarily housed treasured purchases and groceries. But mostly it was just me and the car.

Out of curiosity I found myself browsing the dealership’s website late last week to see if my old friend (the 2000 Chevy Cavalier) had been listed yet. It was. It still had a lot of miles left on it so I’m hoping someone will get some good use out it. It’s their memory maker now. As for me I have a new friend and some new history to make.