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Barn This
People really do have better manners in the south. Well, most people.

I got to the Savannah airport early, and went to Nathan's for a hotdog. As I was peacefully enjoying my food, this woman, who was waiting for her hotdog in the middle of the restaurant, started heehawing into her phone. (Not surprisingly, she was wearing shower shoes.)


Sorry this isn't a shot of her yammering. I think she had to take a breath, and let the other person talk for a moment.

I shusssshed her. And shusssshed her. And finally I said something. She was either oblivious to anything but the subject of her braying, or didn't care that I might want to eat my hotdog without being forced into her loud, dull life.

She didn't stop either, when I said "Yoohooo!" and took her picture.


She didn't care that she was bothering anyone. In fact, by my being bothered...I was bothering her!

I did tell her she'd show up on I hope she wasn't too busy braying to remember the URL.


As Cathy Seipp would have said, "Classsy!"

Posted by aalkon at September 30, 2007 1:20 PM


Some people are just so wrapped up in their own lives that, to them, everything else is just a bother. o_O

Posted by: Flynne at September 30, 2007 8:53 AM

George Takei, of "Star Trek" fame, reported that he was actually spat on when he suggested that the person seated next to him in the theater hang up during the feature!

I find it moderately effective to be "helpful". When I hear enough information, I go stand in front of them with an "I'm waiting on you..." expression, and then say, "Excuse me, but did you know that when you talked about Bill, your work, etc., you gave someone in this room enough details to steal your identity?"

It's tough getting people to think. They really, really don't want to. But they will if you can scare them.

Posted by: Radwaste at September 30, 2007 9:13 AM

And then there are those who bother to chronicle that sort of thinking and put it up on our blogs. I think some people who won't be motivated by the mere nicety of behaving considerately will be motivated by the chance that they could be immortalized behaving as their rude old selves.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 30, 2007 9:14 AM

I've done that sometimes, Rad, and it's about the only thing that shuts some people up. I was once in Detroit and heard a couple of guys talking the details of their pitch for some part of Audi account -- in a coffee place under the offices of the guy I know who already has it. I would have listened in and given him the details, but I was on deadline and behind.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 30, 2007 9:16 AM

Exactly what I thought when I saw that. How embarrassing. Even if I felt like flipping someone off, I certainly wouldn't do it on camera for posterity.

Posted by: Christina at September 30, 2007 9:36 AM

By God. Good thing you're such a peace loving little girl or there might've been an ass whupping here. You coulda taken her easy. Put her down on the ground with a boot in her pie hole and then see how chatty she'd be!

Sorry if I sound a little violent, I just saw, on the television, that "I'm a Jitterbug" guy from Eye-Ran. They actually let that cull dog it my country and let him speak at that big Communist University in New York! What the Sam Hill is going on? I won't tell you what I would like to do to that little shit-bird.

I make my own slingshots so let me know if you every need one, I'll make it pink just for you, in case you got to get sideways with some other little chatterbox. I can knock a squirrel out a tree or a cell phone out of a hand at 15 feet and hit the off key!
Use dog food, it stings like hell.

Posted by: Arvin at September 30, 2007 10:59 AM

I guess nobody can top Arvin!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 30, 2007 1:15 PM

I knew about the dog food stinging.

I was three before I learned to catch it right!

Posted by: Radwaste at September 30, 2007 7:08 PM

Melts in your mouth, not in your hands?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 30, 2007 7:38 PM


Excuse me - it's time for my walk...

Posted by: Radwaste at October 1, 2007 2:26 AM

Aw, don't pick on people because of their shoes, maybe they have feet problems, perhaps everything else except for a pair of lovely but uncomfortable high heels was lost or stolen. That said, not even I would wear those in the heavily air-conditioned U.S. for fear of freezing footsies (and general airport grunginess).
I would like to give loud telephoners "advice": "Yeah, tell Bill that if he's late again his paycheck will be too.", revealing how much information has been picked up.
Any advice on what to do about open earphones on loud mp3 players? I would have liked to have cut the cables of the guy across the aisle in the train who had already shouted to the woman accomanying him "What? You can hear this?" but didn't reduce the volume one bit. He then proceeded to bop and bounce around and actually drum on his leg. So cool, I'm like wow impressed. I would have pointed out that the music was supposed to be in the ear of the beholder and not the surrounding seats, but that would have embarrassed the person I was with.

Posted by: ohwell at October 1, 2007 7:15 AM

There is an art to flippin’ people off, shootin’ ‘em a bird, or announcing your I.Q. in public. It appears that this young lady has chosen the bent knuckle style as opposed to the flag pole slender middle finger style. Personally, I prefer the extended bent knuckle style which is much classier. It you’re going to do it, do it right.

Posted by: Roger at October 1, 2007 8:38 AM

"I make my own slingshots"


Posted by: smurfy at October 1, 2007 12:26 PM

What a coincidence. Just yesterday, I was walking through a 7-11 in Northern Virginia, and someone was walking around yelling into their cell phone which they had at full volume on speaker phone.

Posted by: MikeT at October 2, 2007 10:02 AM

Did you do or say anything? Did anybody?

I called to somebody yammering into their phone in a bathroom stall, "It's a bathroom stall, not a phone booth!"

Yammering continued. A new tactic:

"Hey, lady, you're boring!"

She mumbled something and got off the phone.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 2, 2007 10:19 AM

People are just rude.
I was eating dinner at a nice place, highly rated by Zagat and all that. Not a cheap meal let me tell you.
The chick at the table behind me was blabbing away on her cell phone about how her boyfriend dumped her.
After about 15 minutes of this (at least long enough to have had the first course) I politely asked if she wouldn't mind taking her call outside.
She told me to mind my own business.
I told her I was trying to, but since she felt the need to tell the whole restaurant her business, she was making it tough for me to mind my own.
I really don't know why people think strangers want to hear about their bad relationships, horrible jobs or strange medical conditions.
Most of the time I don't even want to hear people I know talk about that stuff.

Posted by: Atypical Cal Girl at October 2, 2007 6:47 PM

Cell phones have added a whole new twist in a typically rude society that we live in. I for one, believe that cell phones are the new addiction, at least in this country. Where normally at the airport or metro or just waiting in line somewhere we might talk to other people, read a book, or just have some time alone to reflect on our day, now all you see is people on the phone. I swear I have sat in the airport and watched someone so stressed out because they have nothing to do but wait that they are thinking of who they could call to pass the time. You can actually see the look on their faces as they search through the memory banks for someone they might call. And then they call someone else. And then someone else. Where once we called people with some goal or to talk about something important, now we call people just to call people...

Cell phones should be banned from restaurants, just like smoking...

Posted by: theothermike at October 2, 2007 7:31 PM

It's the sign of a dormant mind to be incapable of sitting still without heehawing into a phone about your location and the tumbleweed blowing through your cranium.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 2, 2007 8:10 PM

With an ass as big as hers, I'd be bitter too!

Posted by: RedPretzel in LA at October 3, 2007 9:50 AM

Ahh...I'm going to get bashed but I have a different take on it. I shall type then allow myself to be attacked typographically.

This was not a fine restaurant. It was a fast food Nathans in an airport. Not exactly a place where one would expect quiet, genteel hushed tones of conversation and the ultimate in manners for the complete dining experience. It's a hot dog place. And a virtually empty one from the pictures. Had I been on the phone discussing 'whatever' happened to be important to me and someone started snapping pictures of me or trying to shush me simply because THEY didn't want to be bothered, I gotta say an All American 'Fuck Off' would have exited my mouth. I have been in fast food places where 2 people are just having a conversation between themselves and were loud. Would the reaction have been the same? To shush two or more people chatting if you thought they were loud or annoying, or was the irritation simply because she was on the phone? Maybe even talking loud because of a lousy signal?? In that setting and circumstances I don't think your need to not be annoyed trumped her use of a cel phone. From your previous opinions, I think it was more the cel phone useage than the actual conversation that set you off.

That's not to say that I wouldn't have had a clever time with her had I been there. If someone goes overboard and screams or yells into the phone and is bothering EVERYBODY in a very crowded restaurant during a dinner hour, then I probably would be the person to bust some balls and get into her conversation to make her uncomfortable while also providing amusement to the other patrons. That's just me.

There have been times I have had to take unpleasant phone calls that did require some amount of bitching and yelling. I always do my best to take them outside or even to the parking lot (for signal strength as well as 'privacy')and hey....I did the best I could by taking the call elsewhere. I didn't stand there yapping at the checkout stand. And if someone bitched at me EVEN THOUGH I took it outside to a parking lot, again, an All American 'Fuck You Mind Your Own Business' would be what I'd have to say.

Posted by: Cathleen at October 3, 2007 10:13 AM

But people working at Nathan's in Savannah were lovely. And so were the customers. I dropped something and the woman next to me wouldn't allow me to pick it up -- she did, and we had a nice conversation. Social interaction instead of one person hammering another person with their loud, dull life.

In reading your justification above, I'm reminded of what people say about crime and filth in Venice, CA. "Well, that's Venice." It's not Venice. It's only Venice if we degenerate to the point where we don't care.

Don't you understand that there's a psychic cost to constantly being barraged with verbal litter?

Cell phone conversations, especially, are a problem.

Because of the way the human brain works, you're forced to pay attention to the cell phone call (your brain compels you to fill in the missing part of the conversation) where you could easily ignore a conversation between two people.

I don't take phone calls in restaurants because I think people might want to eat in peace without being injected into my life.

And're arguing for more rudeness and less consideration? Don't we have enough of that going around?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 3, 2007 10:58 AM

No...I'm not arguing for more rudeness and less consideration. I just think there is a level of nitpickiness that shouldn't justify as one being disturbed. For instance, my mother was the type of woman that would be in a restaurant with me. A person in the smoking section, two divides over and 40 feet to the front would light up a cigarette and my mother would be the only person to retch, gag, cough and LOUDLY and obnoxiously complain. I know for a FACT she wasn't being bothered by the smoke and if she had not SEEN that person light up, she wouldn't have complained. I just know she HATES smoking and HATES for people to smoke and she exhibits hateful behaviour to those that do. It's embarrassing being around someone who HAS to hammer their inconvenience home to others, no different than the annoyance of hearing a phone call.

I have the amazing ability to tune things out that I choose to not to take in, so no I don't believe that there is some sort of 'psychic cost'. And again, if this had been a nice restaurant during a dinner hour and she was cursing in front of old ladies or in a crowded theatre as the movie begins, then yes I would agree with you. I just think under the circumstances of a fast food place in an airport it's more a matter of lightening up in those surroundings.

Posted by: Cathleen at October 3, 2007 1:50 PM

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