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Cell Phones in an Airport written by Scott Adams (Dilbert cartoon)

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:11 AM

(slightly edited to reach PG-13 rating...i'm addicted to jeeptalk and it would really suck to be banned)

This was written by Scott Adams, the guy who does the Dilbert cartoons.

Iím sitting at the Oakland airport. The airline claims my flight will be delayed one hour, but I know thatís only the opening bid. Iím suspicious of round numbers. If they said the flight was going to be 47 minutes late, Iíd think they had a good handle on things. But one hour is the same as saying, ďHonestly, we donít even know how those big metal things stay in the air.Ē

Iím a bit jumpy anyway because Iím getting married in a few days. I tell everyone Iím not nervous about it but that doesnít square with the fact that ever time I eat a sandwich it falls straight down my throat, out my a###, down my pant leg and just sits there just looking at me. Itís not even dirty. So I tell the kids I made an extra sandwich and see who wants it. No point in wasting food. Anyway, my point is that Iím already a bit on edge today. And then the worst thing happened: A phone wh*re sat down next to me.

In case you are not familiar with a term that I just made up, a phone wh*re is a woman who goes to the airport with no magazines, laptops, books, puzzles or other means to entertain her. All she has is a phone, and sheís going to use it, no matter how many people are annoyed.

To be gender fair, every flight Iíve been on has at least one man who needs to bellow away on his phone until the flight attendant starts slapping him with a rolled up in-flight magazine. But that guy isnít a phone whore. Heís a phone a**hole. Itís a subtle difference.

The phone wh*re is motivated by the desire to talk with people. The phone a**hole is motivated by the need to have everyone on the flight know heís negotiating important business deals and that he has staff members that must receive his wisdom. The phone a**hole sounds like this: ďALLEN, THIS IS BOB. LETíS NAIL DOWN THAT AJAX DEAL EVEN IF WE HAVE TO THROW ANOTHER TEN MILLION AT IT. REMEMBER THAT QUALITY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PRICE. THATíS SOMETHING IíVE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH JOE, FRANCINE, AND ERIC, WHO ALL WORK FOR ME IN CASE ANYONE LISTENING ISNíT ALREADY IMPRESSED WITH MY HUGE BARREL CHEST AND UNNATURALLY DEEP VOICE.Ē

The phone wh*re sounds more like ďHi, this is Mindy. Howís your new kitten?Ē

See? Completely different.

Within seconds of sitting, the phone wh*re starts dialing. I donít know if sheís calling people in alphabetical order or what, but sheís six calls into it, and itís obvious there will be no end. I could move to another seat, but I like my seat, and I suffer from an irrational form of optimism that tells me she ďonly has a few calls left.Ē Surely I can endure a few calls.

But rationally, I know that her only options for the next two hours of waiting for our delayed flight are:

1. Stare straight ahead
2. Annoy the living piss out of me by blabbing on her phone

To make matters worse, a crazy-talker just sat on my right. This one is a guy with a laptop, traveling alone, who feels the need to express astonishment and disgust at whatever the hell heís looking at. Itís an invitation to converse, but Iím doing my best Helen Keller impression and hoping the Pakistani guy on his other side takes the bait.

To recap, Iíve got a phone wh*re on my left, a crazy-talker on the right, a sandwich in my pant leg, and Iím pretending to be blind and deaf. Meanwhile Iím waiting for some disgruntled mechanic to determine how much wadded toilet paper it will take to plug a hole in the fuselage and get my plane to the gate.

Otherwise itís a good trip so far.
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