From cigarette to cell phone
They are equally
By Jalil Mortazavi
October 31, 2003
The other day Don Imus angrily
told his executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, "Why don't
you go out and tell those fat pigs not to smoke in the doorway." What
he was referring to some young ladies, who are employed by the
Of course I can
understand Imus' feelings about this. As an independent blind
person I use two out of five senses more frequently when I travel
every day. One is smell, and the other is of course is hearing.
Several years before all the smoking laws whenever
I walked into some public buildings the very first thing I could
the cigarette smoke. I knew then that I had just entered into
the lobby. Thanks to the smoking laws, now when I leave the building
I immediately experience the smell of smoke. I cannot figure
out when people take the time to come out to smoke why don't
they walk several feet away from the entrance and continue smoking.
Thanks to health education and public awareness
some people quit this habit, and replaced it with cell phones.
This to is equally
annoying. From smokers to speakers can be a little bit confusing
to most blind people. Cell phones to most people are like the
crutch they lean on, when they are nervous and don't know what
to do with their hands, they pick up the phone.
Years ago when
people used to come out of the train or the plane they would
they would reach into their pocket for their cigarettes, now
they reach in for their cell phone. When I hear a cell phone
conversation, it boils down to this, "I just got here, now
I am going inside and I will call you as soon as I am done." This
of course is harmless, but consider my confusing encounters with
some of the cell phone users.
When I travel alone, I hear people
walking towards me saying, "Hi, how are you doing?"
Or a young lady the other day came right at me
and said, "Hi, honey, how are you?"
I said. "Who is this?" Then I learned that she was on a cell
The most embarrassing moment for me was when I
was visiting The
Four Season's Hotel. I had to
use the men's room. As soon as I walked in I could hear someone say, "Hey
how ya doing?"
"Good", I replied. "How are you?"
the gentleman said, "What's going on with you?"
When I started
to tell him that I came to see the Don Imus Show, then I heard him say, "Be
quiet I'm on the phone?"
Can you imagine my public em-bare-ass-ment?
Now I worry that someone sooner or later is going to decide that you
inside public places. They will be banned. The people will have to
go out to use their cell phones. Now there will be both smokers
of any building. Now I wonder if there will be any spot left for
Jehovah Witnesses? Will pedestrians like myself have to use
the street to
I am afraid most
drivers are likely to be on a cell phone as well. Can they see
me with white cane when I walk by or do I have to watch out for
them? Let's hope we don't have to come to that.
Jalil Mortazavi is a freelance writer. His
recent book is What
I Learned In America.
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