There are signs all over my gym declaring that the use of cell phones is restricted to the lobby area only. I suppose this rule is for the safety of members since working out with large steel rods and ponderous round weights requires a certain level of concentration. Nevertheless, with the advent of hands-free technology, this particular "rule" has become everybody's favorite rule to ignore. Most of the time I ignore it since I'm kinda busy trying to burn a thousand calories without killing myself. But every so often...I snap.
At American Family, the shower stalls have two little compartments, the first is a dressing room where you can hang your towel, then there's a shower curtain with the actual shower stall on the other side. So, yesterday, there I was standing under the hottest water I could stand after a particularly difficult workout, when I heard a cell phone ring tone blaring out of the stall beside me. It startled me, not the ring tone itself, but, you know...the shower! Then, I hear the shower curtain being slid open and the guy answering his freaking cell phone in the shower!
Idiot: Yeah? Hey, what's up? Yeah, I'll be there. Can I call you back?
Now, at this point one of my mostly dormant but occasionally dangerous personality traits reared it's ugly head, i.e., my inability to keep my mouth shut. Without considering any of the consequences of criticizing a total stranger while naked, I hear myself saying...
Me: Dude, seriously? You bring your cell phone into the shower?
Now, I should point out that at this point, I have no idea what this guy looks like. The shower stalls at AmFam are quite tall. For all I know, this guy could be a 300 pound dead-lifter with a Swaztika tattooed on his forehead. Then he replied...
Idiot: Ha. Yeah.
This was one "ha", not "hahaha". His voice was very deep, sounding like someone not to be trifled with. But for some inexplicable reason, I couldn't leave well enough alone. Ubiquitous cellphone use at my gym has become, for me, one of life's more irritating features. I had suffered in silence long enough.
Me: Wow. You so important that you can't risk a ten minute shower without staying connected?
As soon as I said it, I thought, "what the heck is the matter with you? Just let it go!" Too late. Then a reply...
Idiot: Ha. Yeah.
I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that I had just insulted a total stranger in a shower stall, or the fact that the moron didnt even know that he had been insulted!!
Since of the 17 words I had heard him utter, four of them were, "Yeah", I decided to let it go. No fun debating a monosyllabic nazi-sympathizer, after all. But, as I was driving home it occurred to me what a stupid thing it was to do. We live in a violent hair-trigger world of quick tempers and short fuses. Criticizing the cell phone etiquette of total strangers is the sort of thing that could start the kind of argument that could turn quite ugly in a hurry, before you know it, you might have civic unrest on your hands complete with nonsensical slogans like Check your Apple Privilege, and Droid Lives Matter.