June 16, 2004

Cellular Telephones: A "Hatemonger's Quarterly"

Cellular Telephones: A "Hatemonger's Quarterly" Special Report

As you must know by now, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are in the midst of our excessively lengthy summer hiatus. As a result, the thus far non-award-winning crack young staff is spending its time in various exotic locales: Buffalo (NY), Rome (IT), Cleveland (OH), &c.

A few senior editors of our staff—let’s just call them “Chip”—are summering in the balmy, cosmopolitan Valhalla known as Akron (OH). In order to reach their beauteous destination, they took a flight from “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” main offices directly to Akron. (If, by "directly," you mean "through three other airports.")

During the course of their hectic travel schedule, a thought collectively dawned upon them: There is hardly a more pernicious instrument than the cellular telephone—especially when brandished at the local airport.

Indeed, the airport appears to be the key place for white-collar chuckleheads to impress their fellow travelers of their great import. To wit, whilst they await the arrival of their plane, these half-wits ineluctably whip out their cellular ‘phones and call their business associates. Naturally, in order to make themselves appear suitably impressive, these fellows speak in the most stentorian voice possible—as if the people seated in the airport terminal are simply dying to hear their learned musings on the proper marketing of widgets.

In fact, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” shall supply you with the kind of self-impressed blather of these fellows, and offer our own adjoining commentary.

Let us first, however, set up the scene: You have just received the Full Wand Treatment from the kindly security staff at the airport, which is too busy frisking superannuated nuns to bother radical Islamists with a few questions about the rocket launchers they are taking with them as carry-ons. As you head to your gate, you hear the irksome ramblings of “CNN Airport,” which offers all the intellectual fulfillment of CNN cut into more digestible bits.

In addition to this irritant, you cannot help but notice a character clutching an attaché case, clad in a blue blazer, white shirt, and red tie. As he slouches in his comfy airport terminal chair, this fellow utters sentiments such as the following, in words too loud to be ignored:

Hey, Jimbo. How are you?…No, I’m at the airport right now. Yeah, flying in to Akron for the meeting. Should be a cakewalk. Listen. I want to let you in on something. You were at the meeting yesterday with Dennis, weren’t you?….Yeah, that’s the one.

Anyways, I was pretty upset with what Dennis had to say. You see, to him, it’s a personnel matter. But he’s so wrong. It’s obviously a clash of personalities. Rita just won’t put up with that kind of business anymore, like she used to in the old days. Well, I think that we have to show Dennis how wrong he is. In fact, once I touch down in Akron, I’ll call him up. Okay, Jimbo. Say hello to the wife and kids. Catch you later. Bye.

Oh, gee: As if the learned musings of Judy Woodruff were not great enough, now we must endure such useless white-collar pontifications. It's like we are really dying to hear this moron’s thoughts on the problems down at the home office of Gorbert & Shilton.

Clearly, there is no need for such a telephone call. This fellow is merely attempting to demonstrate to those waiting to board the plane to Akron with him that he is a Very Important Person. The widget factory simply cannot do without him. In fact, if he were not working there, the company would be forced to hire yet another illiterate.

It seems to us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” that this man is wasting a great deal of time and money in his foolish attempt to impress. In order to save us all some hassle, why doesn’t he pass around a few business cards that read:

Mike Simms
Deputy Account Advisor
Gorbert & Shilton

If that doesn’t impress, dear reader, what will? Or, why not simply have an honest conversation on the cellular ‘phone? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear such a character tell the truth? It might go something like this:

Hey, Jimbo. I am flying into Akron, and I’m bored stiff. I figured I’d impress the few people who will be on the same flight, as I have some time to kill, and my life is a miserable failure. So, while you barely listen to me, and while I ignore the fact that my wife left me and I bought a sports car in a dubious attempt to replace her, I’ll speak in my most roguishly ostentatious tone.

Okay, here goes: I am very, very, very important. Although “Deputy Account Advisor” doesn’t sound like much, it’s a heck of a lot. Not just anyone can do this job. You need a college degree. As such, I have not wasted the best years of my life slaving behind a desk and making feckless trips to such Godless hellholes as Akron. Rather, I am extremely important. In fact, if I were just a smidge more important, I wouldn’t be flying economy class.

Oh, one more thing: I’m impotent.

Now this, dear reader, is what we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” call truth in advertising. If those smug working-stiffs on cell ‘phones all spoke with such candor, the world would be a better place. Sure, this wouldn’t save civilization: There’d still be Billy Joel. But there’d at least be one less irksome phenomenon to handle at the airport.

Posted at June 16, 2004 12:01 AM | TrackBack