While attending a meeting in Los Angeles a few days ago, I sat in a comfortable leather chair around a huge round table. There were about fifty of us seated plus about thirty audience members. As is customary at such proceedings, all present were firmly advised to quiet down their cell phones to avoid unnecessary interruptions and to eliminate the need to waste time spotlighting stupers (short for unflappably stupid persons). Alas, stupers love the spotlight!
Sure enough, about eight minutes into the meeting, a cellular phone rang. Then another and several severely embarrassed audience members skulked out apologetically, red-faced, heads hanging low and muttering,
“I could have sworn I turned the damn thing off…” “I told Mom not to call…” and “Thank God Hugh Jackman’s not around…”
These interruptions were brief, without fanfare and quickly forgotten.
Then a stuper’s phone rang. In case there was any doubt as to whom this cell phone belonged, the unmoved idiot casually stood up and answered it loudly enough to drown out those around the table speaking.
“HELLO? YEAH? WELL….”
The moderator stood up and asked the offender to step outside. Without missing a beat and still chatting loudly, the moron stepped through the open doorway, threw out her anchor and planted herself 2.2 inches just outside the room. She continued her conversation. My chair allowed me a clear view of the stuper. I eyed her in mixed disgust and fascination.
She was slim and though likely in her sixties, dressed like a twenty-year-old (this was southern California after all) in stilettos, a tight-fitting, black and white, hounds-tooth pattern pants and…. my eyes suddenly skipped over her blouse and went straight to her hair. It was short, dyed in a shade of
burnt to a crisp roasted chestnut, with two carefully curled and placed, possibly even glued, thick strands of hair in “C” or thin crescent shapes across the hollow of each cheek, curving up toward each eye. But that was not the strangest part; this was: the entire time she spoke, a jaw breaker type object rotated around the inside of her cheek. It was as if she housed a chubby gremlin in each cheek, circling the innards of one, and then the other. Needless to say, I was driven to distraction by this spectacle. It took every iota of my self-control to refocus on the meeting.
Meanwhile, the stuper was unstoppable. The moderator followed her outside, gesturing wildly to grab the idiot’s attention, but the stuper would have none of it. Finally, the conversation ended as did the display of idiocy and the counterfeit human retook her seat, to the moderator’s immense relief.
I suggest that instead of asking audience members to turn off cell phones, seats should be wired so that if any electronic devices emit a noise,(I certainly hope pacemakers are silent), the offender carrying the device will automatically receive an electric shock, say of about 50 milliampere (mA). Keep in mind 1mA is equal to the minimum current a human can feel and 100 mA is lethal if passed through sensitive portions of the body. 50 mA is a good compromise, don’t you think?
Think first, last and always.