Cellphone Game: Bluetooth or Crazy

Off The Top of My Head

In conjunction with the Cell Phone Annoyances post from Sunday I thought I’d share a game I came up with a few years ago.

Allow me to set the stage: When I worked in downtown Nashville my RevPub partner and I used to have lunch two or three times a week on the phone. We called them “car” lunches, though usually I sat on the steps of the state capitol or on a hill overlooking the bicentennial mall.

One time while waiting for her to call I was sitting watching the myriad of people stroll by when I observed something: there is a very thin line between a ponce talking vociferously on his/her ridiculous Bluetooth in public and slightly disturbed street people who mutter loudly to themselves about the voices in their heads.

That experience prompted me to create a slightly non-PC time-waster game for people in urban environments, Wal-Marts, Krogers, all kinds of places all over the world.

I called it “Bluetooth or Crazy” and surprisingly after a quick review of the internet I found I wasn’t the only one to think of this!  It’s very simple and played like this:

You can play alone or with friends. It’s kind of a betting game. You can bet change, or snacks, or something similarly silly. When someone walks by chattering inanely to themselves you weigh their appearance and the substance of their over-loud droning. You then declare “Bluetooth!” if you think they are talking to some distant, equally irritating person on a wireless headset, or “Crazy!” if you think they are some disturbed individual discussing the value of their tin foil hat in preventing space rays from harvesting their tooth enamel.

The results can surprise you. In my most memorable play-through I randomly encountered a wild hipster douche-lord. He rambled loudly and angrily about something to do with his job. His velvet blue jacket, striped dress shirt, and corduroys clearly marking out his alignment. As he approached I instantly declared “Bluetooth!” and was shocked as he passed that he had NO earpiece or mic of any kind. He was just shouting randomly to Tennessee’s capital city. I would have lost my precious white powder donut six pack if I’d been betting for real! So you never know!

I now work in a suburb with very little foot traffic, but still when I’m out shopping or dining I seize the opportunity to play.

If I could create it as an app for this it would be interesting to play world-wide Bluetooth or Crazy. Hear all the incredibly awful Bluetooth conversations from Bangkok to Brighton and all the random stuff people rant about on street corners from Lima to Lushunkou. I bet douches are douchey and crazies are similarly crazy world wide, we aren’t that different after all.

It would sure make Angry Birds look pretty monotonous! Oh wait… 😉

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