For a long time it was only crazy people who talked to themselves in public. But now there are others who on first glance might appear to be crazy, but are simply talking on their not-so-obvious phones.
As I came back down to the lobby of 2141 K Street, a large complex of doctors’ offices, on Friday, a woman was sitting there and talking in full voice, replete with hand gestures. I immediately looked to see who she was talking to and saw a blank wall. She was obviously conversing with a friend and was totally oblivious to the world around her or the the fact that her friend couldn’t see her hand gestures.
Then I emerged from that building to find yet another phone conversation. This time it was a guy who was holding his phone and having a rather heated discussion with someone on the other end. He too was not at all concerned about passersby who might not want to overhear his call.
I guess these people missed the lecture we recently received on our Bolt bus in which the driver asked those using their phones on the ride back from NYC to use their “bus voices” and not disturb those around them.
While it is true that the right to free speech makes these exposed phone conversations completely legal, I still find them annoying. Just like I find the tell-tale ring of a cell phone in my yoga class or during Shabbat services equally disruptive.
With the advent of hands-free communication, the crazies and those on their phones are just one big continuum, perhaps with some overlap.