From our own Salon.com:
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - a Dutch woman who dropped her cell phone suffered serious burns after it burst into flames when she tried to make a call, police said Thursday.
Now, this is an idea I can get behind.
Every time someone misuses a cell phone in my presence, I’d like to be able to press a little detonator that would make it explode into flames and engulf the offending party’s head in the fiery inferno of my wrath. Of course, that would probably result in a lot of crispy-coiffed critters meandering about our fair planet, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay in exchange for a little peace and serenity.
Call me a Luddite, but the whole cell phone phenomenon is a trend that I’ve never really caught onto. For one thing, I’m too absentminded to keep the damn thing charged, so I’m forever losing callers to dead batteries. Secondly, I am far too uncoordinated to even think about driving and dialing, so the concept of a “car phone” is not only alien but downright terrifying to me. Finally, I value my privacy a wee bit too much to be at all comfortable yakking about my personal business in the company of all the speed freaks and methadone addicts who keep me entertained every morning on the Number One Bus to Cambridge.
I guess I’m the only person in the world who seems to grasp this, but, frankly, I’m just not fucking important enough to need a cell phone. Also? Neither are you.
Ninety nine percent of the cell phone calls that are clogging up the stratosphere are entirely unnecessary. All it takes is a little foresight, people, and we could clear the airwaves in no time. You want to find out what kind of ice cream your roommate wants for dessert tonight? Rediscover the wonders of the Grocery List! Want to check on the kids before the play starts? Look! There’s a pay phone right in the lobby! Need to close that big deal before quarter-end? Get your ass off the golf course and into the client’s office, you lazy slob, and do it in person.
This is how bad it’s gotten: I was recently in the ladies’ room at the Museum of Fine Arts, and I heard a cell phone go off in the stall next to me. The woman actually answered it and began chatting away, peeing up a storm all the while. She even flushed without missing a beat. The poor restroom attendant was even more horrified than I was.
If I were the Queen of the World, my first order of business (after eliminating smoking, SUVs and all things Pepsi from the planet) would be to restrict public cell phone use to emergencies only - emergencies being, oh, I don’t know, maybe HEART ATTACKS, FIRES, or TORNADOS or the like.
In fact, if I were the Queen of the World I’d eliminate a lot of things that annoy me. I’d change everything. Just think of all the rules I could implement…hmmm…
(cue plinkety harp music and blurry screen)…
- As Queen of the World, I may park my car wherever I please, even in the handicapped spaces if I’m feeling tired or am in a hurry. On the other hand, people who fake a disability (yes, Fake Handicapped Lady across the street from me who leaves the nasty notes on my windshield if I so much as nudge a bumper into the oversized space you finagled from the City, I’m looking at YOU) will have their automobiles confiscated and be sentenced to five years of nonstop travel on the Number One Bus with all the speed freaks and methadone addicts. Also, any car found parked in a resident-only parking space in my neighborhood without the proper sticker is to be immediately towed and crushed.
- Remember that old adage about how children are to be seen and not heard? I’m bringing it back with a vengeance. No, you may not bring your infant to the movies. No, you may not allow your toddlers to roam about the restaurant unattended. I’m sure you think your child is very cute. Here’s a clue: No one else does. Learn this before giving birth and you may remain in my Queendom.
- Tourists? Hear this: do not drive in my city. Do you understand? DO NOT DRIVE IN MY CITY. No, I will not give you directions to Cheers. No, I cannot help you get to Fenway Park. Yes, the streets are confusing. It’s deliberate. We’re trying to keep you off them. Here’s a free T pass. Have at it.
- The Boston Marathon, the Gay Pride Parade, and all other charity marches and city sponsored functions that require the closing of streets and the resulting inconvenience of Me are to be combined into a single-day event to be held at a time when I am out of town. And the policeman who gave me a ticket two years ago for beeping at the Walk for Hunger (hey, not only were they in my way, they were also crossing against the light) is to be suspended for two months without pay.
- The Rules of Sidewalk Etiquette will hereby be strictly observed and enforced. To wit: when walking with a friend down a narrow sidewalk, do not walk abreast if a) someone is approaching from the opposite direction; or b) someone is behind you trying to get by. This rule also applies to escalators. Single file, standing-still people! Let the walkers by! Thank you for your consideration.
- There is to be no aimless ambling in shopping malls. Walk straight, look where you’re going, and do not dawdle. There are people behind you with places to go and important business to attend to. Heed them and get out of the way.
- I will rule over all movie theaters with an iron fistful of buttered popcorn (real butter, not that fake greasy stuff). Don’t even think of bringing your little child to an R-rated movie. It’s NOT okay to bring a five year old to see The Ring, and if you think it is then you suck as a parent. And there is to be no talking during the film. Especially during the previews. Your Queen enjoys the previews. They amuse Her. They also help Her decide what She is going to see next. Therefore, you are to sit in your seat and remain silent, except to laugh at the funny parts (and only the parts that your Queen also thinks are funny). Also? If you feel compelled to shout warnings or witticisms at the actors on the screen, you will be forcibly removed to the lobby where you will be required to stand and recite "They can’t hear me…they can’t hear me…" over and over until the movie lets out.
- Diet Coke will be freely available to all of my subjects, along with all the M&Ms they can eat. The Blue M&M will be banished forever to make way for the return of the Light Brown M&M, which will be restored to its rightful position as the Best of the Bag.
- There will no longer be such a thing as Reality Television, nor will there be daytime talk shows, infomercials, or WWF Wrestling. All televangelists are to be rounded up and sent back in time to 2001 Afghanistan, where they will be taught a very special lesson about life under a theocracy by the kindly old men of the Taliban. New episodes of The Sopranos will air every night without fail.
Finally, as Queen of the World, I will not be told that I take things too seriously. I will not be told that my complaints are petty compared to the larger suffering that goes on in the world. Under my rule, there will be no suffering. There will be world peace, no hunger, and prosperity for all.
That is, except for the people who annoy me. Those people will all be sent to a different place. A quiet place. A lonely place.
A place with no cellular service.