A few years back, I was leaving an office building when I saw a man ranting full-bore. He was gesticulating wildly, delivering karate chops to the air with vicious intent, pulling at his hair. What was even more disconcerting was the potty mouth on this guy; he weaved together a chain of expletives that would make a mafia don blush. Yet, I could recognize his words as one half of a conversation, though there was no one else to be seen. He would pause and respond, and I could vaguely imagine what the invisible conversant would have said to invoke such a response.
I, of course, concluded that this poor soul should be committed to an asylum. I was wondering if I should call the guys with the straight jackets to bring their rubber-lined van when the man swung around to pace the pavement in the other direction and I saw the BlueTooth headset clinging to the side of his head.
I then realized that this man was not certifiable. He was just a rude douche-bag with a bad temper.
In the good old days, when someone was talking to an invisible conversant, you knew that they had an imaginary friend speaking in their ear. While this didn’t necessarily make them a danger, it did put one on notice that voice in their head might just be saying, “Get stabby.”
Today, I think we are being desensitized by miniature wireless headset technology. Now instead of assuming the someone chatting up an invisible conversant has gone around the bend, we assume that they are communicating with a real, live, flesh-and-blood person. This may be to our own peril.
What I’m suggesting is that Bluetooth headsets be made more conspicuous. They should be in bright neon colors, and should have a flag viewable by people from all directions. The flag would indicate that they aren’t hearing the voice of Beelzebub in their ear telling them to have a nice killing spree.
Just a suggestion.
It’s only going to get worse, when the first people start getting surgically grafted cell phones.
I completely agree. I hate BLUETOOTH headsets! My mother in law uses one and she will answer it right in the middle of conversation….Your talking and then she yells HELLO!? And then I’m like what? why are you saying hello to me when I’m two feet in front of you? Then she continues her PHONE convo and It’s like ugh rude! Or random people at the store, out of nowhere, you walk by and they YELL hello…and you smile and say hello back to be polite….then they look at you like YOUR crazy!? 🙂
An excellent point.
Perfect ! When I started reading this my first writer reaction was to connect screamers with people talking on headsets, which always freaks me out…I respond to them…”What?” And, there you went – right to my writer thought.
Yeah. I probably shouldn’t be as worried about the risk of those who are clinically nuts as those who rant out in public… Wait, my blog doesn’t count as ranting in public, does it?
YES…YES…you are a ranter. In my writer mind I see you out in a parking lot screaming at the top of your lungs, with a recording device hanging around your neck. Then you get on your computer and take it all down word for word. But, I can choose to read, or not. I guess you know my choice by now.
My persona is working. Thanks.