Yesterday I went for a walk through the neighborhoods and ended up at a Starbucks I had never been to before. On the edge of Boystown, this location was rather small with only a couple of tables and some stools along a counter, which was up against the window. At the time the window was all fogged up with moisture, making it difficult to see inside or outside, depending on where you were.
I picked up my order at the counter and found one seat at the counter available if one was playing by the “every other seat” rule so typical these days. I got situated with my iPad and I started perusing through some blog entries and the like. I was getting in the mindset to write a blog entry.
I realized I didn’t have a napkin so I turned from the window and stepped toward where these things were stored and a woman locked eyes with me. She was middle aged, rather disheveled looking but had a gigantic laptop in tow. She started walking toward me with an engaging look on her face. I knew she was going to talk to me. Her t-shirt proclaimed in very large letter, “You Need Jesus”.
I maintained the locked gaze, raised my hand in a signal of “wait”, and simply said, “Nope”. I maintained gaze for a second or two and she returned to her seat in the corner.
Settled back at my seat in front of the fogged up window, a large man sat down to my right. He was accompanied by a smaller man and they began talking loudly. There were lots of sounds of complaint, exasperation, and resignation coming from the both of them. Determined to settle in my space, I focused on whatever I was doing at the time.
It was then the man started receiving text messages.
I knew he was receiving text messages. Everyone in the shop knew he was receiving text messages because his phone would make a startling and very loud screeching noise each time someone sent him a message. There was no vibration. There was no ping or ding. It was a loud, clacking, banging, screeching sound.
What I would have done for silent mode. I would have even welcomed the comforting ring of a Western Electric telephone. But this noise was too much and I had already put the brakes on one person in the store, I didn’t need to bring down the rest of the population so I did the reasonable thing.
I picked his phone up and smashed it down on the counter. It was so easy to just reach out, pick up the phone, and using all the rage I was feeling at the moment, just slam the phone down so hard that it broke. The cheap Android phone shattered and I felt vindicated.
I didn’t actually do that, but I fantasized about it and I’m fantasizing about it again right now as I think back on the experience. What I actually did was pack up my stuff, put on my jacket, recycled my cup, and headed out the door.
I glared at him on the way out. He was too busy listening to his shrieking phone.