I'm talking about small rage--in response to the blatant abuse of cell phone etiquette.
For example: yesterday, everywhere I went in my little town by the sea, I was surrounded by people yakking—shouting, even—into their cell phones. In the morning, I was in a quiet line at the post office, waiting to mail a belated Valentine’s Day card, when in came a young woman who was nannering into the phone about her fr**#! job, her no-good boyfriend, her car troubles, and whatever the heck was plaguing her uninteresting life. The rest of us in line listened stone-faced to her diatribe. Finally the postal clerk—bless her soul—told the young lady that she had to use her cell phone outside.
“Really?” The woman rolled her eyes as if this were an outrageous request. She spent another two minutes loudly signing off with her caller, then spent the rest of the time in line fiddling with the phone and muttering to herself.
This happened a couple of more times during the day. By the end of the afternoon, I came up with a new phrase to add to the lexicon: “ring rage.” Ring rage will be when a person who has been forced to listen to a self-absorbed a**hole yammering into a cell phone suddenly leaps across the table or aisle, grabs the phone and smashes it against the wall. I haven't heard of that happening yet, but it's just a matter of time.
Now, I’m probably a tad sensitive these days to cell phone abuse and other demonstrations of incivility, because I recently made some major lifestyle changes that have left me much more sensitive to environmental cues. The way things are going, I can see that I will soon become one of those wild-eyed people who shouts at cell-nincompoops and plasters "Hang up and drive" bumper stickers on my car.
It’s probably just a passing phase.
But until then, I hope people will take their cell phones outside. I'd hate for things to turn ugly.