Phone courtesy month (at last)


Just when you thought there was no reason to get up in the morning, be comforted by the fact that it is apparently time to celebrate Cell Phone Courtesy Month. That’s right. Someone, somewhere, with a LOT of time on their hands has declared July to be the time to try to instill a few guidelines for cell phone use. If you are doubled over in laughter at such a concept, join the crowd. The thought that people who, against every social convention, are incredibly rude while using their phones will bow to the mandates of Cell Phone Courtesy Month is, well, it’s something to call home about.

I’m not quite sure when it began but we as a nation seem to be enrolled in the awareness of the month club. January is, and I swear I am not making this up, National Breast Implant Awareness Month. This raises more questions than it answers. First of all … a whole month? When a woman opts for this route, it is assumed she doesn’t want it to take an entire month for others to be aware of it. Second of all, and this goes for the complete calendar, who decides these things? (Not the surgery. That’s obvious.) No, who decides it’s Whatever Awareness Month? And how do I get that job? January is also, because there is so much to be aware of that the months have to do multiple duty, Thyroid Awareness Month.

February contains National Condom Week. Only a week. But it could be worse. Heart Valve Awareness gets a single day. So, if we rate the importance of things based on how aware we are supposed to be about them, it’s clear that breast implants are four times more important than condoms and 31 times more vital than heart valves, although the math gets a little tricky when trying to interpolate a 31 day month with a 28 day month. Leap year helps a little. March is Sleep Awareness Month which seems like the ultimate oxymoron. If you’re asleep you can’t be aware. If you’re not asleep you’re already aware. And if you’ve spent very many Marches in Ohio, you indeed just want to sleep through all that dreary weather. October is National Medical Librarians Month. Seriously. May contains two of my favorites: National Don’t Fry Day and Older Americans Month. When I first read about it during the exhaustive research for this article, I thought Don’t Fry Day was brought to you by the National Baking Federation or Nutritionists R Us. Wrong, although I thought those were logical guesses. Instead, it’s sponsored by the skin cancer prevention bloc. It pays to read the fine print. The problem with Older Americans Month is its placement in the year. May is the fifth month. We older people are painfully aware (oh there is that word again) of our own mortality and some of us don’t have five months to spare. Shouldn’t Older Americans Month come earlier in the year? I’m sure the breast implant and thyroid people would be happy to share.

Here is one frightful example of why Cell Phone Courtesy Month is needed. I was at a local gas station, loading up on a giant Diet Coke for a road trip. There was a long line which included a woman. A very loud woman. A very loud, very angry woman, which is the very worst kind. She was on her phone. Speaker mode. And she was, she was … ranting is not too strong a word. The object of her ire was a man who, as the country western singers would say, done her wrong. Badly wrong. I don’t know if she was talking to a friend or her mother or her therapist but she enumerated this man’s shortcomings in excruciating detail. The rest of us in line were positively squirming in discomfort. None of us made eye contact. We were all too busy rolling our eyes to look at each other anyway. She never stopped shouting even when it was her turn at the counter. That poor cashier was getting the remnants of the full frontal assault and was defenseless because the meltdown took place in September (National Childhood Obesity Month) and not April (National Facial Protection Awareness Month).

We were all hoping for a smart bomb to target the cell tower transmitting her vituperative outburst but there is never a smart bomb around when you really need one. All we could do is wait for Human Mute Button Month.

By Marla Boone

Contributing columnist

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today.

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