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… 😉

Top 6 Cellphone User Pet Peeves

RavenRantPeople undervalue the importance of cellphone etiquette. Yes, there is such a thing. Because we are attached at the palm, we forget our manners when we are with other people, and many don’t think twice about it. Using a cellphone in these circumstances has become common practice, and I hope you will share this, so we can work together to stop the madness.

Here are my biggest pet peeves about people and their cellphones:

1. In social settings. If I go out to lunch, dinner, or whatever with someone, and they constantly use their phone, we won’t go again. I find it incredibly rude. If it’s a one-on-one situation, and you text someone else the whole time, you should go hang out with the other person. Plus, it’s boring to watch someone text or play on their phone. I will not bring myself down to their level and do the same. If you’re out with someone, you should respect them and try for an interesting, engaging conversation. If you can’t have one, then suffer through it and don’t go out again.

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Photo from txgrim.com

2. In a semi/public bathroom. Are you serious?! You can’t pee without talking on the phone? I overheard a woman have an entire conversation in a bathroom stall last week, and my initial reaction was to call her out. I considered flushing repeatedly too, so the other person would hear it and maybe say something. No one wants to hear your conversation, and there is no text that can’t wait. AND it’s unsanitary. Do your business, wash your hands, and leave. It’s simple.

3. While driving. It’s cool if you don’t care about your safety, but at least consider others’. People who talk and text while driving place everyone else on the road at risk. If it’s urgent, then pull over or wait a couple of minutes. Unless you work for an emergency responder, you should not be on the phone in the car. Ever. I told someone after being behind them on the interstate while they served and texted, that if they ever hit me, I would beat the #$%^ out of them. And if I survived a 70+mph wreck, I would.

4. At the movies/theater. Thankfully, I’ve seen improvement with this one the last couple of years. I’ve witnessed several people confronting offenders, and one guy kicked out for it. You’re in a movie – turn it off or leave it alone. If you don’t like the movie, leave. No one will care.

Photo by xoxorebecca.com
Photo by xoxorebecca.com

5. While hosting. If your family or friends come ever, stay off your phone. At that point, your primary purpose is to make them comfortable and entertain them. Find things to do and talk about. I will not text someone when they have company, and even though they may try to argue about it, I won’t respond. I don’t care if the company is texting – they shouldn’t either – but I can’t control that. I can control whether I contribute to the rudeness and disregard of social etiquette. If you don’t care for them (ie: holiday functions), either remove yourself from the gathering or deal with it. You’ll survive.

6. In the elevator. I enjoy this pet peeve because I like to make people feel awkward or hear their call drop. It’s a metal box, you probably won’t have reception. I love to hear people ramble on about something and then say, “Hello? Hello?” I smile every time. My favorite people are the ones who cannot ride four floors without checking their phone. People will check their phone to avoid speaking to someone else, even though there is no obligation to. I love to stand there stone still and stare at the mirrored doors. It makes the other person very uncomfortable.

 

Feel free to share your stories and pet peeves in the comments below!

 

Story of the Month: Holiday Auto-Co-Wrecked…

StoryoftheMonthIt’s Christmas time!  That is supposed to mean harmony, togetherness, and good cheer; instead it’s usually stress, road rage, and social embarrassment.

This particular story relates to the latter category, and if I had an ounce of pride I would indeed find it rather embarrassing instead of merely hilarious.

I have recently purchased a new phone.  My old Blackberry Bold (shut up, haters, I loved that tough lil bastard) fell face first on the tile and cracked the screen into oblivion, so I got a new Samsung Galaxy SIII.  It was my first touch screen, my first smartphone, and my first real introduction to auto-correct.  I’ve actually adjusted well to the use of it and enjoyed the applications, but there have been some hiccups in the adjustment.  One such incident occurred while discussing a Christmas present I was getting for a good friend.

I enjoy picking out good presents and never expect anything in return, in what should be the true spirit of the season.  This friend loves owls, and in addition to a few other things, I got her a little stuffed owl ornament.  I should also mention that she is a NEWLYWED whose wedding I attended last year (and even danced Gangnam Style with her husband).  When I found out she was getting me something too, this was the conversation that followed, the blue bubbles are me:

AutoCoWrecked

Now…clearly I’m getting used to the swipe texting feature, and they have the words listed in alphabetical order…so “owl” became “oral” with hilarious results.

You don’t even want to know what happens when I mis-swipe-text “and”…

From the RevPub family to yours, may your holidays be filled with as few socially embarrassing situations as possible!