Clicking on banner ads keeps JWR alive
Jewish World Review March 9, 2001 / 14 Adar, 5761

Greg Crosby

Greg Crosby
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Get Off The Phone! -- OKAY, that’s enough! Everybody get off the cel phones, already! I’ve had it! Between the geniuses in the cars attempting to talk on the phone, drink hot coffee, yell at their kids in the back seat, while they try to navigate a motor vehicle through crowded streets and highways, and the zoned out pedestrians off in their own little worlds, meandering down the sidewalk and into the street oblivious to traffic while yakking on their hand-helds, I’m on the verge of murder!

It’s against the law to murder, of course. We’re not allowed to take the law into our own hands -- our legal system is supposed to handle things like this for us. The bad news is, there are no laws which adequately mete out proper penalization for these phone offenders. But I have an idea.

After some exhaustive research, I’ve discovered several antiquated methods of punishment which modern society has, for one reason or another, done away with. I suggest that we reintroduce a few of these quaint penalties into today’s justice system as a way to deal with cel phone-abusing jerks.

Let’s examine motor vehicle drivers first, or as I call them, “car phonies.” The first clue that the person in the car in front of you is on the phone, is by the way their stupid head is titled to the right side. If you see that, you know you’re in deep do-do. Change lanes as soon as possible, or better yet, just pull all the way over to the side of the road until the danger has passed. There are as many varieties of drivers on cel phones as there are different forms of mental illness, but for our purposes here, let’s just take three of the most common types.

1. The big shot That’s the guy (or gal) in the BMW or Mercedes who’s got lots of places to go, lots of contacts to make, lots of deals to close, and lots of other drivers who’d love to see him sail off a cliff. This guy only knows how to drive two ways: zigzagging at breakneck speed through traffic, or coming up fast from behind and hugging your rear bumper. This wheeler-dealer is so busy on the phone that he never has time to use his turn signals. Solution: Draw and Quarter.

2. The “I’m-the-only-one-in-the-world” driver. This completely self-absorbed sloth drives at about the same speed that he uses to talk on his cel phone, r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y. Which, coincidentally, is the same speed that his mind operates at. Crawling along at about a sixteenth of the posted speed limit, this inconsiderate imbecile totally ignores incidentals such as other cars, stop signs, traffic lights, driving rules and pedestrians. Solution: 9 hours of public humiliation on the pillory.

3. Soccer moms in huge SUVs. Riddle me this: What’s worse than a woman driving an SUV as if she were handling a Honda Civic? Answer: A woman who is also on the phone at the same time. An SUV is really nothing more than a truck, but evidently nobody let women in on this fact. With power steering, power brakes, push button this and push button that, the SUVs keep getting easier to handle, while at the same time, they are getting bigger and bigger. The little ladies want all that power, but they think they’re still driving the family Volvo. So, off they go -- tearing down the street, accelerating through yellow/red lights, taking corners on two wheels, cutting in and out of traffic, and all the time talking on their cel phones. Solution: Bamboo shoots under their acrylic nails.

Next we have the pedestrian “cel phonies.” You see them walking along the sidewalks, in the parks, at the supermarkets, the restaurants, the shopping malls, always doing the same thing -- which is basically not relating to human beings at places where human beings congregate.

In some respects these people are even more obnoxious than the “car phonies.” At least you can’t hear the car phone idiots. These “walking dead” have their heads cocked to the right, their cel phone pressed hard against their ear, their busy mouths droning on in lifeless monotone while their empty eyes look skyward. Always just a little too loud. Always just a little too removed from planet Earth.

At a supermarket recently, my wife and I were walking down one of the major aisles near the front of the store when we stopped short. A woman, who’s back was to us, had her cart sticking out lengthwise blocking the aisle completely. She was talking on the phone and totally unaware of anyone around her. In a normal tone of voice, my wife said, “excuse me.” With no acknowledgment at all, the woman didn’t budge and continued her conversation.

Assuming the lady didn’t hear her, my wife repeated the same two words, only a bit louder. With that, the woman turned her head to us (without removing the phone from her ear) and spewed nastily, “You don’t have to be so rude!” Of course I wanted to stuff the broad into her cart and shove her across the store, but I would be arrested and probably sued. Solution: Burning at the stake.

For those of you who think most people are using cel phones for significant communication, I ask only that you eavesdrop the next time a cel phone user passes by you in a store or on the street. Chances are you won’t hear, “She’s going into labor? Call the doctor! I’m on my way to the hospital right this minute!!”

More likely you will hear, “I’m walking through the door to the market, now. Okay, I’m headed to the vegetable aisle, now ... I’m passing the string beans ... and now the beets ... now I’m stopping at the corn ... did you want creamed or regular?”

More than once, I’ve actually seen two people sitting at the same table in a restaurant, each on a separate cel phone. Now, I assume they are not talking to each other, but you never know. Solution: A dinner with Hannibal Lecter -- as soon as possible.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.


03/02/01: A Brief Statement by Al Gore (A Fantasy Which Will Never Happen)
02/23/01: President Bush Q & A Exclusive
02/13/01: Pregnant and in your face
02/05/01: Let 'em know
01/30/01: One Final Trashing
01/26/01: Don't look in the mirror
01/19/01: He Got It His Way
01/12/01: Be cool ... be very cool
01/05/01: What’s Next?
12/29/00: "Hi, I'm Megan And I'll Be Your Dealer This Evening."
12/23/00: A nice old-fashioned winter
12/15/00: A holiday carol for the Fat Lady
12/08/00: Vice president Queeg
12/01/00: Here we come a-caroling
11/23/00: Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
11/17/00: Gore’s Desperation
11/10/00: It Ain't Over
11/03/00: Read this before you vote
10/27/00: Democratic Big Guns Shoot Blanks
10/20/00: Generation Duh
10/13/00: And the whiner is ...
10/06/00: The Vicious Hollywood Left
09/29/00: Pop Porn
09/22/00: Put On A Tie, Ya Bums!
09/15/00: A sneak peek at The William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library
09/08/00: The Big Mooseketeer
09/01/00: In Honor of Those Who Never Were
08/25/00: Building a Bridge to the Sixties
08/22/00: Leaks
08/18/00: Sour Grapes
08/11/00: But he’s Jewish!
08/04/00: Aint Nothin’ But A Hound Dog
07/27/00: Trick or Treat
07/21/00: Another Golden Moment In Broadcasting
07/14/00: Who eats this, ahem, 'stuff'?
07/07/00: In Your Face Advertising
06/29/00: My Home Sweet Home
06/23/00: Hairs The Thing
06/13/00: The Sweetest Sounds
06/02/00: Another Opening, Another Show
05/22/00: What's next, The Million Mutt March?
05/19/00: Hail the Conquering Hero
05/12/00: Extra! Read All About It!
05/03/00: Clinton’s Transparent Department of Duplicity and Demagoguery
04/24/00: For The Children?
04/19/00: Liars And Cowards And Bums, Oh My!
04/11/00: Gripe, Gripe, Gripe
04/05/00: Counting the Race Cards
03/30/00: Speed Bumps
03/22/00: The Eyes Have It
03/15/00: Academia and Media --- They’re Just Not Right
03/09/00: Sweat The Small Stuff -- It’s Okay
03/02/00: Actors And Other Animals
02/23/00: Campaign 2000 --- Wake Me When Its Over
02/15/00: Who Wants to be Regis Philbin?
02/08/00: Aftermath of a Tragedy
01/31/00: Ask Mr. Politically Correct Man
01/25/00: I’d Like To Thank All The Little People
01/20/00: Merger Mania
01/11/00: Just Say JA-GWAAR
01/04/00: Who Was That Masked Man? My Hero!
12/28/99: New Millennium --- New Rules
12/21/99: Bubba’s Visit From Saint Nick
12/14/99: Call Me Mister
12/08/99: So Much Going On, So Little Time
11/30/99: Sunday Afternoon
11/22/99: The Best Money Can’t Buy
11/15/99: My Peter Pan Generation
11/08/99: Fall Invasion
10/29/99: When my wife was young and Gay
10/22/99: Too Late for Dinner
10/15/99: Pondering, Musing and Supposing
10/05/99: A Message From Your Journalistic Human Interest Commentator
09/24/99: The Getting Away With It Decade
09/17/99: The Scoop of the Century
09/09/99: Important Millennium Advisory
09/03/99: Ask Mr. Politically Correct Man
08/26/99: Broadcasters, Please mind Your Manners
08/19/99: The Golden Age of Jerkdom
08/12/99: Dressing Down...and Out

© 2000, Greg Crosby