Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cone of Silence

I haven’t worked in the City for a long time and I’d forgotten about the things I liked and disliked about it. Last time I worked in the CBD mobile phones were the size and weight of 6 housebricks. Even so, some people did take them from their car and walk around the streets with them. If they happened to bump into your leg you would just about need a full knee reco such was the damage that could be done.

So phone manufacturers have a lot to answer for. Miniaturization of mobile phones now means we put up with people being totally oblivious to everything going on around them. And I have been guilty of the same thing myself of course.

People wander all over the place, cutting others off, stopping in the middle of footpaths and wandering aimlessly, totally oblivious to everyone else around them.  It's even worse if they happen to be texting instead of talking.

Once we would never have discussed issues as private as some I overhear in such public places. I sometimes feel like I’m in the midst of a town full of Maxwell Smarts under the cone of silence. Today I heard one girl breaking up with her boyfriend, steam coming out of her ears, another, whose every second word was “like” talking about how good in bed the guy was she’d picked up at a night club last night and how wasted she was, and another who was talking about dear Aunt Molly’s hysterectomy.

I reckon there might be a TV show in following people around recording what they talk about, a sort of Candid Phone Conversation, or True Confessions. You could run the whole gamut of human emotion, comedy, pathos, hatred, all the weird and wonderful things that make us human. Or maybe you could just follow people around and drop a cone of silence over their heads.

1 comment:

Peter (Worldman): said...

Many years ago, when the mobile phones were not common and huge bricks, as you say, I got very nervous (me, who normally never gets nervous) at a guy who was commuting on the same train every evening. The trip took one hour and in the middle there was a longer stop because the train had to make correspondence with another train. So, they guy always got up, took his briefcase from the rack, opened it and got hold of his brick (the prick) and called: "Hello, I am in Lausanne station. What did you cook tonight?".
One day we told him: "We don't care what she cooked". I don't know if they man continued to call his wife. He was never on the same train again.