By A.J. Llewellyn
I know I'm supposed to be writing about one of my TeB books and I am actually working on the sequel to The Bouncer right now, so I hope this counts, but today I have to write what I have to write about.
If you know what I mean.
I am soooo sick of them.
They kill romance.
They kill conversation.
They kill people.
Recently, I joined a bunch of people for lunch at the Roma Cafe in Beverly Hills. The numbers swelled to about fourteen and the conversations spinning around the table were fascinating. Until people's cell phones started ringing.
I was the only one left sitting there, waiting to talk to the people around me. As they continued to use their phones I began to wonder who I could call, but then actor Andrew Dice Clay walked up to the table and called out, "You're all a bunch of wankers. A bunch of jerks! Look at you and your damned cell phones!' He pointed down the table at me. "Except you. You're not a jerk."
"Thanks," I said.
I believe cell phones are a necessity, especially if you're about to be mauled by a serial killer and need help.
Yes, they can be life-saving devices but I can't decide who drives worse. A cell phone user wielding a shopping cart, or a cell phone user wielding an actual bloody car.
The world has gone mad. Cell phone mad.
I watch people at the dog park ignoring their pets' death screams as they're attacked by pit bulls because they're on their phones yackin' away.
I wait in line at the grocery store while some schlub who can't be bothered waiting until he/she is away from the register to conclude a deeply boring conversation.
Cell phone use is illegal whilst driving in California.
But people still do it.
In Hawaii, the police have begun ticketing pedestrians in Waikiki for cell phone use because they can't look where they are going. Taxi drivers are apparently knocking down people in record numbers.
Yes. These idiots cross the street, apparently unable to walk and talk at the same time. Maybe they can walk and chew gum as the saying goes, but cell phones apparently renders 90% of their users stupid.
Waiters in restaurants, bus drivers, taxi drivers, breast-feeding moms...they all absolutely have to chat on their cell phones right. this. minute.
In California, texting is also illegal whilst driving a moving vehicle. Texting is the single biggest cause of death for teenagers in traffic accidents, but I see the pimply set doing it all day long. On the freeway once I observed a girl curling her eyelashes with one hand, texting with the other. I wasn't sure if I was afraid or enthralled.
What the hell was she driving with?
In romance novels, we rarely see people screwing each other over at the dinner table to take a call, yet we see it all the time in real life.
I have often thought about putting a scene like that in my books and did, once, for humor, but it wasn't romantic. It wasn't sexy.
It was real.
I heard on the radio last night that cell phones and computers in the bedroom are a big no-no. But my married friends I surveyed this morning secretly admitted to yacking and shopping online or playing some computer game or other instead of having nooky-nooky.
I'm trying to imagine Mr. Rochester interrupting an important, revalatory conversation with Jane Eyre to take a cell phone call.
How about Heathcliff? Would he stop kissing Cathy to talk to one of his card-playing buddies?
Or would he be too busy playing with her ho-ho on that wintry ha-ha?
I do wonder about Casablanca and other great movies if they were updated with modern technology. Would they be as romantic? Or would all the special moments not be live but Memorex?
I yearn for gentler times and so do my characters. I wish we could all take time for one another and not try to multi-task ourselves to death.
We've forgotten the art of conversation. Lost the sense of dreams and connectivity. I hope we find them all again soon.
Oops...gotta take that telephone call.