I admit it – I love looking at the world and saying “Huh?
Here’s something that made me say “Huh?” This is a sign on the wall of the locker room at my gym:
Now, if you’re like me (and you are. I’ve already learned that. There’s not a nickel’s worth of difference between any of us, at all. As my friend used to say “We’re all the same about different things. And we’re all the same on different days” ) then you probably wonder why they don’t want you talking on your cell phone in the locker room.
To be honest, I’ve about been as tolerant with cell-phone intolerance as I can stand. The idea that the use of a cell phone is “rude” seems to be to be a symptom of our self-centeredness. There’s nothing at all wrong with you talking to Joe while you’re walking along with Joe. The sounds of your voices won’t bother anyone at all
But if you’re in the room with someone, and Joe isn’t in the room, then it seems that said someone doesn’t want you talking with Joe. Somehow, the sound of one voice talking seems to be offensive. Why is that?
If you come up with a reason that is the offended party’s virtue, then go talk to somebody else. As far as I can tell, it’s one more example of “the most neurotic person wins”. Folks are always looking for something to be offended about. And for some reason, society has bought into the idea that somebody talking into a box is somehow offensive.
(If you’re one of those people, then don’t mention it. You really don’t want to mention it. In fact, you don’t want to hang around with me, because if I find out that you are one of those people, then I will tease you incessantly, and since you’re one of those people, then you are so thin-skinned that you will be forced to jump off a bridge to avoid said teasing. You have been warned).
Anyway – out on the FLOOR of the gym, cell phone use is discouraged. Inside the locker room, it is prohibited. Now that’s really strange. What is it about a locker room that turns a cell phone from a simple device designed to offend neurotic people into an illegal possession?
I asked the front desk.
Get this – they don’t want people in the locker room taking pictures of other people in the locker room.
That’s right. We have become so neurotic and terrified that we actually think that somebody wants to sneak into our locker rooms and take picture of us – old, fat naked men with bald heads and fur on our butts – so that they can post them to the Internet.
I’m forced to assume that it’s the “post them to the Internet” part that’s the issue, because I checked – they do, indeed, say “cell phones”. They have no rule against going into the locker room with a high-end Nikon SLR camera with a tripod and auxiliary lighting equipment.
In fact, that’s why I was able to take this picture – because I wasn’t using a cell phone. I was using a camera, that happens to reside in the same piece of hardware where my cell phone lives. But I wasn’t using the cell phone. And, if they had meant “camera”, then they would have said “camera”, right?
No, see, cell phones are small and sneaky. You can never tell when somebody is going to take a picture of your furry rear end and send it straight to Flickr.
There are two things really troublesome here, at least to my way of thinking:
1) That anybody really thinks that anybody really wants to take said photographs, and
2) That it could possibly matter to anybody at all if they did so.
If somebody DID take a nude picture of me and posted it somewhere, who would care? Who could possibly be interested in such a photo? And why would it matter to me if they did so? In the first place, it’s not like the picture will have a caption saying“This old bald naked guy with the love handles and stretch marks is Jim Puckett, resident of New River, AZ. Street address available on request.”
No, that’s not going to happen, and, if it does, then I can promise you that I won’t lose any sleep over it.
But, as it turns out, if you are sleazing around in our locker room with your cell phone camera waiting to upload the goods, you won’t see any – because we’re eliminating the naked men that we won’t allow you to take pictures of, anyway.
Here we go. You aren’t allowed to walk around naked anyway. You have to cover up with a towel.
That’s it. I don’t want you taking pictures of me naked, and I don’t even want to have to see you naked.
So I think we’ve covered all of the offensible bases. Nobody sees me naked, I don’t see you naked.
And, of course, I don’t have to hear you talking on your cell phone, either.
Just a little more work, and we might be completely insulated from anything to do with any other actual human people at all. And, us, them.