An article in an Australian newspaper this week reported that the government of the Austrian city of Graz has just begun to urge it’s citizens to put their mobiles to “silent mode” when they’re commuting on the train.
Following the the footsteps of France’s National Railway which has instituted “zen zones” in compartments in it’s TGV bullet trains, many welcome the idea while even more are up in arms about it. Some say it’s a violation of the freedom of speech rights. Others think it’ll make a more pleasant commute in an otherwise noisy and crowded bus or train.
In a country where mobile phones are said to outnumber people 2:1 …
… I think that public transport is the least of our worries as far as noise level is concerned.
Sure, I think that long commute home where you can’t get a seat would be made more bearable if you didn’t have to put up with:
1) The auntie in the D&G knockoff gold pants yakking on her jewel encrusted mobile with the Chanel phone dangler about how she just queued up for 2 hours outside the LV store in Taka just to get in.
2) The wanna be hip-hop superstar with the baggy pants and the Moto RAZR, blasting 50 Cent out the side of his phone speaker for the world to hear.
3) The teenager on the phone with his girlfriend who just alighted at the last train stop – he misses her already (awww … makes me wanna frickin’ throw up.)
Those are just three disturbances I have when taking the train – all of which I can just slip on my earphones, crank up the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the iPod and forget about them.
So restricting mobile chatter on the train? For the birds, if you ask me.
Now, if you’re talking about the cinema, that’s where I would stand up and say, let those cinema mobile users burn in frickin’ hell.
A few weeks ago, at a screening of Sweeney Todd, I was treated to a yakking bitch from hell who had a relationship with her mobile some would deem unnatural.
The movie starts and immediately, we’re in 18th century London, gritty, grimy, Tim Burton-style dark. I’m loving it. Then all of a sudden, I’m hit by the brightest light I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Remember the part in Independence Day where all those people are on the roof of the Chrysler Building and the alien spaceship opens up and revealing this great blue/white light?
That’s what this woman’s phone was like – I shit you not.
Anyway, turns out that Miss Yakkety’s phone is pimped out, complete with airplane landing strip lights that come on and blind everyone around her in what I can only assume to be an anti-assailant device. And that’s just when she got an SMS.
So fine – she messages furiously, blinds me seventeen times in the process, and then finishes, to my relief.
So another 10 minutes past and I’m getting into the movie again when all of a sudden, amid Johnny Depp’s opening number, I hear One Republic’s “Apologize“, drowning out all audio from the movie.
I hate One Republic.
This goes on for at least another 10 seconds while Miss Y searches frantically for her phone. With those flashing lights, why do you even need to search? I bet you can see that damn thing from space.
So finally, she finds it and to my extreme horror, yup, you guessed it – she answered.
What follows is an exchange that we’ve all heard before and I’ll replicate it verbatim here for the benefit of those who still don’t know what I’m talking about:
Miss Yak (whispering loudly):
Hello? Ya … watching movie.
(louder whisper) WAT-CHING-MOO-VIE! Ya … cinema.
(even louder whisper) CI-NE-MA!
I wanted to suck her eyeballs out through her nose and dangle them from her phone like some latest Lian accessory- why do people even insist on answering their phones?
I’ll never understand.
So if you ask me, I’m cool if you wanna talk in the train, however loudly you want. Sing, dance, bitch, moan, whatever – I don’t care. But my patience really ends when you bring it into the cinema.
So to whoever’s in charge out there, I say penalize the bastards who do that. Strap them to a chair and make them listen to Rihanna’s “Umbrella” as a polyphonic ringtone a thousand times over. Or maybe blind them with Miss Yak’s mobile alien landing site. Let’s have silence where it belongs and noise where it should stay.
Call me on my mobile if you disagree with this post – all you’ll get is a busy signal 🙂