Cell Phones On Airplanes? God Help Us All!

cellonplane.jpgThe FAA has recently announced that it is thinking about allowing cell phone use on airplanes. God help us all! I am sitting in a coffee shop, and am now listening AGAINST MY WILL to someone else’s cell phone conversation for the third time.

Pardon me while I scream.

The first phone call was a young woman trying to get her mom to sign the papers for her student loans. To help pay for school, she plans to sell her car, the interior of which has a few burn marks from cigarettes, but otherwise is in fine shape. I don’t know this person. Why must I be assaulted with this information? scream-compur.jpg

Cell phone usage causes a peculiar social disorder that makes people oblivious to their surroundings and to the volume of their own voice.

The second phone call came to the first woman’s boyfriend, trying to meet another friend to do God knows what. Though, I don’t know either person, I now feel included in their plans. I hope we have a good time.


Just now a woman three tables away has hung up with her mom after discussing house cleaning and her Baptist mother’s foray back into the world of dating and how health-conscious her mom’s new potential boyfriend is. And that even though she’s 73 she only looks like 60 and walks every day.

You may accuse me of eavesdropping. I protest my innocence. I’m just trying to mind my own business. Blame the brain-wasting device called cell phone.

cellphoneyell1.jpgMercifully, the daughter of the reputedly young-looking mother is now quiet. She had hung up on her mom in order to take another call that was coming in, and will now go to order an iced mocha for an incoming friend who, I’m told, arrives momentarily.

I am working on a sermon about Other People’s Craziness.

God makes me live what I preach.

I cannot imagine being trapped on an airplane for hours listening to some loud-talker negotiate a divorce settlement or give the update on little Joey’s trip to Disneyworld and how he met Mayor Mickey or gush over who’s cuter, Pasha or Dominic, on So You Think You Can Dance and isn’t it great that Sanjaya’s going to be on Hannah Montana.

Aaaaarrrrggggghhhh! Say it ain’t so. Please. FAA, I’m begging you. Maybe somebody can invent cell-phone-booths, a “dome of silence” that drops out of the ceiling like an oxygen mask. That’s my only hope. cell_phone_booth.jpg

If passengers are allowed to use cell phones, then I predict that the term “going airlines” will soon replace “going postal.” It’s not enough that they took away meals, and shoved your knees up your nostrils, and prohibited a bottle of water, and made you show up two hours early, and groped your belt area, and made you take off your shoes, and groped your carry on, and charged you $600 for this privilege. Now they’re going to make you listen to OPCPC (Other People’s Cell Phone Calls), a particularly odious form of OPC (Other People’s Craziness).

Can a parachute be considered “carry-on luggage?”

There are some places a cell phone just doesn’t belong. Oh no–the woman with the iced mocha just got back on the phone.

I’m outta here.



10 thoughts on “Cell Phones On Airplanes? God Help Us All!

  1. I love this entry. I can see the scene like I was there myself.

    Except if I really had been, you might have been hearing like, “Yes, mother, I really am going to be taking seminary classes. No, it won’t take away much time from Caden. No, mom, really. I can do a lot of it online too. Uh huh. Yeah, Max Lucado’s somehow involved. You don’t know who Max Lucado is? Seriously? Where’ve you been hiding, mom? Anyway, how’s Dave? Yeah? Ah, that sounds interesting. Yeah, you should do that…….”

    (shall I continue?)

  2. “cell phone usage causes a peculiar social disorder that makes people oblivious to their surroundings and to the volume of their own voice” I like to call this cell yell. The feeling that because your talking into a little piece of plastic you must yell to get the message through to the other end. Maybe this is left over from the childhood use of telephones made of tomato soup cans and twine.

    Loved the post and thanks for the shout out.

  3. When I was working for a record store in the 1960s, we’d often get customers who would listen to their potential purchases through a pair of earphones. Every week or so, we’d get someone who would really be getting into the music by **singing along** — LOUD! — totally oblivious to the outside world.

    It was a strange scene. Little did I know that this would one day be the norm everywhere.

    I guess we’ve all had the experience of being asked a question behind us at the supermarket, turn around to respond, and see someone with a phone to his/her ear.

    We will we eventually get used to this nonsense?

  4. As a Flight Attendant, that would be my worst nightmare!!! I know I’d have that security kit out and using handcuffs often. People are easily annoyed by a kids toy that makes some sound, now phone calls…. Yikes!!! I may retire sooner than expected.

  5. I have never understood the annoyance people feel toward others talking on cellphones. What is the difference between hearing two people talking and hearing just one? Are you just jealous that you can’t hear both sides of a conversation or just envious that they have someone to talk to and you don’t? Who has the craziness? If you don’t want to hear it, get an MP3 player (and listen to John MacArthur or John Piper–LOL). Don’t jump to unfair conclusions about me. I keep a cellphone strictly to call if my car breaks down. Other than that, it is rarely on.

  6. Hi, Matt …. I think it’s because some people will yell into a phone that don’t yell when talking face to face. (“Can you hear me now?”)

  7. Hello, Ted.

    “…who don’t yell…” You wrote “…that don’t yell…” I’m a teacher and welcome to my craziness. Anyway, what you’re saying is that people are annoyed with people speaking loudly, not that they are speaking on a cell phone. You don’t need a cell phone to do that and it is annoying. What I think happened is that years ago some prominent comedian mentioned being irritated by people talking on cell phones. He/she probably wanted to universalize this annoyance. People did adopt that attitude and we had a new reason to look down on our fellow travellers (travellers literally and metaphorically). Instead, we should think for ourselves. The emperor is naked; he doesn’t have new clothes on. And people really aren’t annoying when they speak on cell phones. But they are when they try to talk to you on an elevator.

  8. I read this blog two weeks ago and didn’t think I had any hangups about people talking on cellphones; at least not too much! I have answered to someone’s question behind me when they were asking their cell partner the question. Also, I have found it amusing to watch someone roaming through stores “talking” to themselves. Then last night happened. We were in LA waiting for our last leg home from London. We had already awakened at 5 a.m. London time, spent 10 and one-half hours in a sardine can called an airplane – I won’t mention the airline as they’re all pretty much the same -, AND had a two and one-half hour delay departing LA for SFO. To say we were tired would definitely be an understatement. Once on board the airplane, we sat for two hours waiting for the clearance to take off. It was the very first time I actually fell asleep on a moving vehicle (probably because it WASN’T moving!). Interspersed between my moments of unconsciousness, there was this “lovely lady” who was animately involved in a loud conversation with the phantom cell partner – for the entire two-hour wait. I swear she was the only one awake on the plane. God bless her, she was only speaking in Spanish which meant I could only be annoyed by her loudness. Otherwise, I might have been even more annoyed by only hearing one side of her conversation.

    Thus, God teaches yet another lesson to be learn – more patience, more self-control so as to not give voice to my annoyance, more thanks I could actually spend some time sleeping, the prayer of faith that her battery just might go dead…etc. etc….

  9. I know what you are talking about. I love your comment on the “knees up your nostrils” I think it is so true in that allowing cell phones on airplanes would be like letting wild bulls loose in chicago I recently flew and had a bad experience to say the least. I was in row 43 of a 777 (out of 44 rows)! Anyways wouldnt 300 cell phones being used at the same time mess up the pilots signal with ground control as well as cause every flying human being to need a hearing aid. well, lets hope the FAA keeps this on the backburners until I am at least old enough to start a mass protest. lets all pray for the common good of all flying human beings and their ears

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