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Nailing Drivers Who Jabber on the Cell

The new boss in the D.C. police department has ordered all of her district commanders to come up with "customized community policing plans"--a short list of tactics and goals that can and will be implemented in a 100-day rush to reform starting in March. In the Second District covering most of Northwest Washington, Commander Andy Solberg already knows one priority he will put into action as soon as Chief Cathy Lanier launches the 100 Days blitz: Solberg's officers will get serious about enforcing the District's no-cell-conversations-while-driving law.

"One of the most constant complaints I get is drivers talking on cell phones," Solberg writes in a memo to citizens seeking suggestions for the rest of the new agenda. "Complaints include both citizens and police officers violating this law. Therefore, we have told all our Second District officers to pull to the curb when making or fielding phone calls if they are not using a hands-free device. I have also told them I want vigorous enforcement of this violation, and I have told them that we will take disciplinary action against any officer found in violation."

Many citizens will cheer the news that cops will now have to comply with this law too. The D.C. law, like those in four states, prohibits using cell phones while driving unless you employ a hands-free device. (Not that those devices really make chatting and driving any safer.) (Not that state legislators particularly care about safety: Eight states have bans that prohibit localities from limiting cell phone use in any way.)

I'll be thrilled if the 2D cops really do crack down on chatting motorists, but it's only fair to note that the research on hands-free devices shows that they really don't make talking and driving any more safe. As I reported in a column a while back:

The research concludes that it is the act of conducting a conversation that distracts motorists, not the lodging of a phone against one's ear. "I have not seen any studies that show that hands-free is safer," says Kimberly Kuo, spokeswoman for the cellular industry's trade group.

A National Safety Council-sponsored study found that driver performance declined markedly because motorists pay too much attention to chatting and not enough to driving, regardless of how the phone is connected to the ear. (For me, the most distracting part of cell phone use is the dialing, because you have to look away from the road.)

D.C. Council member Carol Schwartz readily agreed that "an out-and-out ban on using phones in the car would make the real difference, but I'm not willing to go there." No one is. Not with 153 million cell phone subscribers in the country -- more than double the 1998 number. Even if studies proved that chatting while driving was more distracting than eating or tuning the radio -- and in fact there are studies to suit every viewpoint on this -- no politician would dare take away the right to yammer while sitting in traffic. So we get partial measures.

Commander Solberg's full memo is on the jump.

From: Solberg, Andrew (MPD)
Sent: Sunday, January 21, 2007 9:04 AM
To: Solberg, Andrew (MPD); MPD-2d@yahoogroups. com
Subject: Request for input

To the community,

Chief Lanier has asked all commanders to create a plan within the patrol
districts of the MPD for the "First 100 Days" that will be implemented
on March 1, 2007. We are to submit plans in early February.

I am asking for your input as we create strategies for the Second
District. Each of the two captains and ten lieutenants at 2D have been
directed to create a plan that will correspond to their area of
responsibility of 2D operations (we have seven PSA lieutenants and one
each to handle responsibilities for the midnight shift, the
administrative section, and the Focus Mission Team). The officers have
been asked to provide input also.

Part of Chief Lanier's strategy is to create "customized community
policing" plans that address the needs for individual neighborhoods
rather than using one central approach to address all the needs of a
larger area.

Chief Lanier has established five goals that she would like to meet, and
they are,

1) reducing crime and the fear of crime through customized community
policing,

2) transforming our customer interactions to ensure responsiveness and
to foster community engagement,

3) building homeland security and emergency preparedness into the
culture of the MPD and the community without creating fear,

4) redefining professionalism for the MPD, and

5) fostering innovation in routine activities while enhancing fiscal
accountability

We would like your ideas and thoughts as we create our Second District
plan. Please assist us by giving us any suggestions you have. As I
monitor emails, letters and phone calls, and listen to concerns at
community meetings, I feel that I have a very good idea of what the
community thinks we do well, and what we do not do well. I have also
fielded many of the comments you have about how we can work to make
things better.

Email or call me directly, or contact your PSA officials or any other
police officers, with any thoughts you have.

I will alert you to one of our first strategies: one of the most
constant complaints I get is drivers talking on cell phones. Complaints
include both citizens and police officers violating this law.
Therefore, we have told all our Second District officers to pull to the
curb when making or fielding phone calls if they are not using a
hands-free device. I have also told them I want vigorous enforcement of
this violation, and I have told them that we will take disciplinary
action against any officer found in violation.

While this seems a small first step, I feel that we cannot effectively
cite citizens violating the law when we ourselves are doing so. More
importantly, if we all pull to the curb when we are talking on our cell
phones, our streets with undoubtedly be safer for all of us.

Andy Solberg

Commander, Second District, MPD

By Marc Fisher |  January 23, 2007; 7:43 AM ET
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Comments

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Are they going to do this like they do DUI where they go after everyone regardless of their effect on traffic or just going after the people who have long conversations and/or the ones that are actively creating a hazardous condition, weaving, speeding, etc. while talking?

Posted by: Stick | January 23, 2007 8:16 AM

Are they going to do this like they do DUI where they go after everyone regardless of their effect on traffic or just going after the people who have long conversations and/or the ones that are actively creating a hazardous condition, weaving, speeding, etc. while talking?

Posted by: Stick | January 23, 2007 8:17 AM

Dang network!

Posted by: Stick | January 23, 2007 8:19 AM

My Son-in-Law works as a regional sales representative for one of the top two pharmaceutical companies (not gonna say which one). He uses his cell phone all day long, making contacts with doctors and medical centers.

His company has a "no cell phone use in a moving vehicle" policy that, if violated, is grounds for termination. Accordingly, he doesn't even answer his cell phone while driving. He can see who is calling from the caller ID and if it is a customer he will park his car and return the call.

Those people who can't live without blabbing on the cell phone, who try and say they can't do their jobs without using a cell phone at all times ... they are full of crap.

My son's company is doing quite well without using cell phones while driving. It CAN be done.

This is just another example of politicians making decisions on their ability to get elected with absolutely no consideration for the well being of their constituents.

Posted by: SoMD | January 23, 2007 8:28 AM

Now if they would just go after all of the Metro operators who drive their buses and operate the trains while talking on their cell phones...

Posted by: jfdja | January 23, 2007 8:40 AM

My peeves:

1) People driving with a cell phone in one hand and a cigarette in the other hand.

2) Someone driving a mini van while trying to change the dvd in the onboard dvd player so junior has some entertainment during the five minute drive. The mini van was drifting into the other lane.

3) Eating with a fork while driving.

4) Reading a newspaper or book while driving.

Will there also be a ban on applying makeup, shaving, and brushing hair while driving?

Posted by: Driving | January 23, 2007 8:53 AM

Whenever I stand on a DC sidewalk and pay any attention to traffic flowing past, I notice probably one-third of the drivers are yapping away with hand holding cellphone to head. They'll sail right past MPD without hesitation or consequence. It's not like running a red light or making an illegal left turn, because over the course of a conversation, hundreds if not thousands of people will witness the "crime."

The takeaway is quite simple: DC's laws are enforced at best capriciously and at worst not at all. If MPD can't do something as simple as pull people over for an obvious violation of the law, what makes anyone think they'll ever put down their venti frappachinos long enough to investigate a burglary or homocide?

If a law isn't going to be enforced, it shouldn't be on the books, period. Take the opportunity to arbitrarily abuse a disproportionately tiny number of offenders away from MPD and try to restore some dignity to the institution.

Posted by: athea | January 23, 2007 8:56 AM

Good for Andy Solberg. Hope he follows through.

Does anyone have the numbers on how many people have actually been cited for this offense since DC enacted its ordinance?

Posted by: KK | January 23, 2007 9:05 AM

Its amazing. You go to Europe and watch people drive. Thats all they do in the car, drive. Maybe talk to each other. Here, we are always multitasking. We drive and we talk to each other, look for CDs, read, yap on the cell phone, shove food into our pi holes, shave, put on make up, etc. etc.

Posted by: Stick | January 23, 2007 9:11 AM

Stick,

Do you think that's why the European economies are so much less productive, and growing much slower, than the American economy?

Posted by: Pi hole | January 23, 2007 9:21 AM

"Vigorous enforcement" and "MPD" in the same sentence? Thanks, I needed a good laugh this morning.

Posted by: nocando | January 23, 2007 9:26 AM

Hey, people won't be talking on the cell, they'll be listening to the new WETA, which is much more Caucasian now that 8.5 hours of minority-themed public radio is now off the air in D.C.

Posted by: Bing | January 23, 2007 9:30 AM

It seems to me that putting away the cell phones---all forms--- MIGHT allow people to think and concentrate on what they are doing---operating a vehicle which has the capacity to kill or maim. Is your conversation THAT important? I doubt that it is. Put the phones AWAY. If you are so desparate for conversation, pull into a parking lot and make your call.

Posted by: jmsbh | January 23, 2007 9:54 AM

Let's legislate everything that isn't safe out of existence, shall we Marc? Hell, driving a car in and of itself is inherently unsafe. Let's outlaw it!! Cigarettes, cell phones, transfats, salt, sugar, fast food, video games, bad words, bad thoughts. . . . .

If you'd like to live an English speaking country where every aspect of your life is regulated by the government, there are several options. I hear Canada and New Zealand are looking for a few good journalists!!

Posted by: An Dliodoir | January 23, 2007 9:57 AM

I would vote for any politician who supported an outright ban of using cellphones while driving, hands-free or not. We all survived fine for decades without talking incessantly on the phone, and we can survive again. It's easy enough to pull over if you must make or take a call.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2007 10:05 AM

"For me, the most distracting part of cell phone use is the dialing, because you have to look away from the road."

That's why I use my Bluetooth headset. I just push the button (which is easy to find, since it's right on my ear), say the name, and if it's in my phone book, it dials it for me.

I won't argue that talking on the phone is as distracting as talking to a passenger or listening to talk radio or news, but I often find myself asking the person on the other end to repeat themselves because I'm focused on the road. I hope that's a good sign. I only use it once in a while, when I'm stuck in traffic or have some other brief issue that comes up during the drive. Yes, I could wait, or not make those calls. So what? I could also not drive at all, that would be safer. I'm taking a very small, calculated, carefully delimited risk. That's life.

Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | January 23, 2007 10:21 AM

Finally, action in this much needed area! Far more important, certainly, than policing the shootings, gang activity and burglaries. Go get'em, MPD!

Posted by: Shawbilly | January 23, 2007 10:24 AM

So "the act of chatting" is the distracting part? Can we ban passengers, children, etc in cars? No hell is worse than Conn. Ave around 3-4pm when all the spoiled rich city-dwellers pick up their children from private school and haul them off to enrichment programs. Cars all over the road, illegal left turns, stopping in travel lanes.

Posted by: rrrirght | January 23, 2007 10:28 AM

How about just putting cell phone use (along with all of the other distracting activities mentioned) as a possible factor in determining reckless driving? Seems silly to single out cell phone use when there are plenty of times when they would be perfectly safe to use.

I regularly make calls lasting under 1 minute while driving late at night with no/negligible trafffic. I never make calls or answer the phone when there is appreciable traffic (vehicular or pedestrian) on the streets.

Common sense would be better than a blanket ban.

Posted by: J | January 23, 2007 10:34 AM

I really love DC's new Distracted Drivers Kill ads. Those things are great and hits the nail right on the head when it comes to cell phone use while driving.

Posted by: Jim | January 23, 2007 10:44 AM

i see police very often speaking on their cell phones. if they are being called it would come from the dispatcher on their car radio. if they are calling about a date it comes from the cell phone. who will police them??

Posted by: stu | January 23, 2007 11:10 AM

For gosh sakes, if you have a speaker phone feature, you do not have a distracting device in your ear. If you take a call by flipping open your phone and press the speaker button, you're set and can focus on driving and pretend someone is just sitting next to you- no different than having a passenger you are talking with. It should be no more complicated than slapping the power knob on your radio.
Anyway, I almost never talk on the phone when driving and think you should pull over for any call- as nothing is more important than your safety on the road! The real threat are those who have their hand held up to their ears and are not paying attention to their surroundings! They either drive way too slow, or too fast, and are not looking before changing lanes. It is a horrible threat that could be easily dealt with if people realized what they were doing- or if they actually cared!

Posted by: Chris | January 23, 2007 11:25 AM

I can not believe the the biggest complaint in any ward of the city is cell phone use. There is no Ward in DC that is so safe that cell phones are the biggest complaint. He must be selectively screening his complaints...

Posted by: Nathan | January 23, 2007 11:33 AM

Any chance MPD will enforce the hands-free law on themselves?

Posted by: campbell | January 23, 2007 11:42 AM

The hands free law would be a lot nicer if bluetooth wasn't such a glitchy technology. Trying to get that stupid headset to answer a call is the most distracting thing ever.

Posted by: booyah | January 23, 2007 11:51 AM

The "regional sales representative for one of the top two pharmaceutical companies" is hilariously detached from reality. As if a pharmaceutical company has that policy in place for social responsibility's sake. More like to avoid lawsuits. Duh.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2007 11:55 AM

How about a 'no sleeping while manning a speed trap car' policy? That would be a step up for the District.

Posted by: Andrew | January 23, 2007 12:19 PM

"How about a 'no sleeping while manning a speed trap car' policy? That would be a step up for the District."

Come on now. You really expect these clowns do do some work?

My guess is that no really valuable officer is assigned to that type of "duty" in the first place. Manning speed camera traps likely goes to the slackers and drones.

I blow my horn at the one on East Capitol street - it wakes him up and lets him know we're wise to him.

Posted by: CEEAF | January 23, 2007 12:26 PM

I suppose going after criminals isn't as high up on the list as targeting motorists - there's real money in writing tickets for silly nonsense like using a cell phone or setting off a camaera for going 5 mph over an artifically-low speed limit.

Like the speed cameras, I expect the main targets will be suburban drivers.

Posted by: CEEAF | January 23, 2007 12:34 PM

I suppose going after criminals isn't as high up on the list as targeting motorists - there's real money in writing tickets for silly nonsense like using a cell phone or setting off a camaera for going 5 mph over an artifically-low speed limit.

Like the speed cameras, I expect the main targets will be suburban drivers.

Posted by: CEEAF | January 23, 2007 12:35 PM

I have to be at work until 5:30pm. My wife has to be at work until 5:30pm. My son's daycare closes at 6pm. If there are any problems, such as traffic, after I leave the office then I absolutely, positively need to call my wife to ask her to walk to the daycare center, rather than leave Jr there when it closes.

I have a hands-free cellphone which is in accordance with common sense and DC law.

I have used my cell phone to report at least 6 serious car accidents in the last 10 years. I once used my phone to report a purse snatcher in Fairfax as I followed behind him. I call 311 at least once a month to report aggressive drivers. I used my cell phone to call AAA and cabs in emergencies.

The use of cellphones in cars is critically important and anyone who thinks people simply "blab" on the phone simply doesn't do enough with their lives to warrant it. I suggest volunteering or getting your graduate degree so your time is filled with useful tasks. This reminds me of my coworkers years ago who didn't know why I needed an internet connection at home.

Now, I have seen MANY MANY bicyclists with both ears plugged up with ipod earbuds. I have not seen one single reliable report about so-called "distracted driving," have you?

Posted by: Bethesdan | January 23, 2007 12:36 PM

Its amazing. You go to Europe and watch people drive. Thats all they do in the car, drive.
-----------

What are you talking about? The last time I was in London everyone was on their cell phones! Don't even start with Paris, where the cell phones were more ubiquitous and LOUD than the cigarettes or the coffee. I was there briefly, and don't remember the drivers, except they were insane and smoked a lot. Nothing is more disturbing than a loud cell phone conversation in a language you don't understand.

Posted by: Bethesdan | January 23, 2007 12:40 PM

If they want to start enforcing seldom-enforced traffic laws, how about "no blocking the box"? Not that I have anything against the cell phone law, but if you really want to improve driving in DC, that's the one to go for.

Posted by: G | January 23, 2007 12:47 PM

"My son's daycare closes at 6pm"

The daycare service will not kick your kid out onto the street if you're late but you might have to pay a small fee for the late pick up. If you're going to be late, you should call your wife in advance. If your wife is so close to the daycare center that she can walk to it, maybe she should pick up your child rather than you making a special trip.

One other thought comes to mind, have you tried rearranging your schedule so that you have sufficient buffer time? It has been my experience that most employers are flexible about work schedules especially when children are involved.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2007 12:56 PM

Allow me to second J's noble call for common sense. Driving while talking is so ubiquitous, that I don't see an automatic danger. On the other hand, I think we all see the drivers who seem to be yelling and gesturing at someone in their windshield. I guess these are the same people who think their cars won't start until they have reached someone on their phone. It would be great if they could enforce this law in a way that could nab the truly distracted without bothering those of us who occasionally make a call to say "I'm on my way home, do you want something from the store?"

Posted by: K | January 23, 2007 12:57 PM

"Don't even start with Paris, where the cell phones were more ubiquitous and LOUD than the cigarettes or the coffee"

Um, how loud can cigaretts and coffee get. I didn't even know they had the ability to make noise. I don't think you're putting your graduate degree to good use. An I don't know of any respectable daycare that would close it's door at 6:00 and leave a child alone on the sidewalk. Maybe you should look for better daycare.

Posted by: Maryland | January 23, 2007 1:10 PM

I probably would have had a different view of this if I hadn't been rear-ended (in stop and go traffic)three weeks ago by a self-absorbed yuppie in a Lexus who had a (you guessed it) cell phone stuck in her ear. She never even hit her brakes let alone tried to avoid me. She broke off her call just long enough to call the police, then went back to her conversation. No apology, no remorse, just a "that's why we have insurance". Every time I see someone weaving all over the road I'm never surprised to see they're speaking on a cell phone. Call me a dinosaur, but I've lived 43 years without one and I don't see the need, outside of emergencies, to have one on in a car, let alone using it while driving. I'd be interested to see how far up the accident rates have gone since cell phones have risen in popularity.

Posted by: vbxtc | January 23, 2007 1:15 PM

How about transfering some of those 2D cops that are busting cell phoning drivers to 1D where they can do some real police work. I'm sick and tired of Columbis Heights being overrun with thugs and thieves. Once gain more MPD BS! Get off your lazy asses and do some real police work!

Posted by: dcliving | January 23, 2007 1:28 PM

I've watched these drivers a lot downtown, and the only ones who really have trouble talking and driving at the same time are women -- like the one who rear-ended my new amigo, VBXTC. I hope that when they selectively enforce this law that they will go hard on these real menaces -- the dames -- and let the guys go about their business.

The one exception would have to be Bethesdan, of course, who's so full of himself that he should be ticketed for pomposity whether he's got his phone in his ear or not.

Posted by: Chevy Chasan | January 23, 2007 1:37 PM

Bethesdan - you don't "absolutely have to" do anything - you choose to use your phone while you drive. Just as you could choose to pull over to make that call, or god forbid get out of your car and use a payphone. Either way, the world is not going to end, and your child is not going to be put up for auction if you get to the daycare late. People have been coordinating daycare pickups for years before everyone had a cell phone so why is that now an impossibility? I wish people would stop acting like they would be helpless without being able to talk on the phone at whim.

Posted by: Baloney | January 23, 2007 1:37 PM

Bethesdan, please do not travel to London, Paris, or anywere requiring a passport again. If you must, please keep quiet about where you are from; maybe people will guess that you're Canadian.

Posted by: Cato | January 23, 2007 1:51 PM

Unfortunately, pay phones are disappearing. There doesn't seem to be as many as there were a few years ago.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2007 1:55 PM

Cato--

Thanks a lot. Up here we send people like Bethesdan south for the winter and then cancel their passports so they can't return. He's your problem, eh.

Posted by: Ottawa | January 23, 2007 2:02 PM

The MPD should go after this type of infraction *and* the woman (or guys) putting on makeup while driving. Simple, two wrongs don't make a right. And while they are at it, get the muggers, murderers, etc. If police have time to sit outside 7-11 while on duty, why *not* add this to their plates?

Posted by: realitycheck | January 23, 2007 2:02 PM

To Chris: studies have repeatedly shown that a phone conversation is inherently different from talking with someone who is present. There is a cognitive distraction in the case of the phone call that is akin, according to the studies, to driving while drunk. So using a blue tooth (or any other color) ain't gonna change that. (google Dr. David Strayer of the Univ. of Utah for info on his studies)

As for the Bethesdan who has to pick up a kid from daycare, no one is saying you can't make that call, just pull off the street to do so. And for CEAFF, I know people who've lost children because a cell-phone-talking driver ran a traffic signal and plowed into them, so don't tell me about "going after real criminals."

Posted by: ralph | January 23, 2007 2:24 PM

no one is saying you can't make that call, just pull off the street to do so

----

You're joking if you think you can pull over in rush hour traffic. Pull over to where? There is no parking, stopping or standing on almost every street in downtown DC from 4-6pm (the signs are there for all to see), so I'd have to either block a lane of traffic or do something else illegal.

I tell you flat out "No, I will not submit to your nonsense rules!" If you have the science to back it up, then petition the city council.

Posted by: Bethesdan | January 23, 2007 3:41 PM

I hereby nominate Bethesdan for the Mahatma Gandhi Non-Violent Protest Award for his principled stand against the District's cel phone law.

Let us all stand up for what is right and join him in his "No, I will not submit to your nonsense rules!"

Posted by: Chevy Chasan | January 23, 2007 4:02 PM

To hell with rules! To hell with safety! I will chase the bad guys and snitch on the drivers that I feel is driving badly and yap on my cell as I please!

Posted by: Marylandan | January 23, 2007 5:20 PM

Bethesdan,

Where you from anyway? Pluto?

"Petition the city council?" For what? They passed the law. Now, they're going to enforce it and put you in a DC jail with your silly cell phone, snitching on "aggressive drivers" like you.

Who's gonna pick your kids up from daycare while you're serving the time?

Posted by: KK | January 23, 2007 5:50 PM

We already let all of youse people from the 'burbs tell us what to do in the District, because we have taxation but no representation in Congress. Let us have our only crumb of democracy, and obey the law passed by our elected Council. I obey Maryland and Virginia laws when I'm out there. End of story.

Posted by: DC-ian | January 23, 2007 6:30 PM

KK, Pluto is no longer a planet, but we'll have to wait for that official ruling from Bethesdan. He'll have to get on his cell to call someone official and verify this.

Posted by: Marylandan | January 23, 2007 8:09 PM

I see a lot of DC cops on Conneticut Avenue all the time. They don't look like they're after criminals either.

Posted by: Observing | January 24, 2007 8:52 AM

Bethesdan, please tell us then... If you can't pull over to make a call b/c of rush hour traffic, then what did people do 15 years ago? Man, those working folk in the 80s and early 90s must have been hard as nails to be able to work and pick up their kids from daycare without cellphones.

Here's a suggestion - if your schedule is so tight that you have to race at 5:30 to pick up your kid with no room for error and the phone glued to your ear, then perhaps you or your spouse should start getting to work earlier and leaving earlier, finding a more flexible daycare arrangement, calling the daycare before you leave work to tell them you're on your way, etc. etc.

Posted by: Baloney | January 24, 2007 10:33 AM

I don't have a cell phone and my brother doesn't have a cell phone. If we need to call each other, we call in the evening after we get home. If there's an emergency, we can call each other at work, but we reserve that only if there is an emergency. Anything else can with until evening.

As far as rush hour traffic, anyone with a brain the size of a gnat can pretty much expect heavy traffic during rush hour so why go through the drama of trying to plan child pick-up down to the minute? I guess there are drama kings just like there are drama queens.

Posted by: Oh, the drama! | January 24, 2007 11:02 AM

"People have been coordinating daycare pickups for years before everyone had a cell phone so why is that now an impossibility? I wish people would stop acting like they would be helpless without being able to talk on the phone at whim."

What is it with you old fossils (he says, watching geezer-age nip at his heels)?? I'm tired of hearing about how you walked uphill both ways to and from school in 10 feet of snow, even in the summer, so we shouldn't "need" cell phones. Yes, it's funny when some dork really is at a loss when their gadget or device fails, but it is legitimately a moderate inconvenience, just like having one is a moderate convenience.

People did fine for hundreds of years without cars, phones, flush toilets, or penicillin, so why don't you whiners give up those "conveniences"? BECAUSE THEY ARE CONVENIENT. Get it yet?

I know these newfangled gizmos scare you, but it's not them that are creating the problem, it's the same idiots who would have spooked your horse back when you first got your buggy license. It's the same people who you think are annoying you during your dinner out with their cell phone conversations that, before cell phones, would have been annoying you talking loudly to their dinner companion about their prostate exam.

GET IT??

Anyway, as I said earlier, I pay more attention to a passenger talking to me than I do to a phone conversation, so I'm going to keep using my Bluetooth earpiece to report dangerous drivers, coordinate last-minute errands, and contact my wife and co-workers when I feel it's necessary (which is a handful of times a year).

Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | January 24, 2007 11:23 AM

No, I don't get it? Can you explain it?

Posted by: Derp | January 24, 2007 12:33 PM

"No, I don't get it? Can you explain it?"

To you? No. Too many big words. Long words hard, make your brain hurt.

Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | January 24, 2007 2:30 PM

Comic Avenger,

Don't blame your readers for your shortcomings. If you're the only one who understands, maybe it's not the words but the ideas which are a bit tangled.

Posted by: Chevy Chasan | January 24, 2007 2:51 PM

The Washington Post. If you don't get, you don't get it! Maybe Cosmic Aviator needs to get it.

Posted by: Marylandan | January 24, 2007 3:16 PM

''Hey, people won't be talking on the cell, they'll be listening to the new WETA, which is much more Caucasian now that 8.5 hours of minority-themed public radio is now off the air in D.C.''
Posted by: Bing

It's a conspiracy, I tell ya!
Oh brother (excuse me, brotha...)

Then again, I guess we'd be steriotyping black folks by saying that they dont listen to classical music. Right?

Posted by: whitey | January 24, 2007 3:43 PM

Yo, Whitey.

See if you can find your spelling errors:

"Then again, I guess we'd be steriotyping black folks by saying that they dont listen to classical music. Right?"

Learn to spell before you jump on the sarcastic racial superiority trip. OK?

Posted by: CEEAF | January 24, 2007 4:54 PM

Hey CEEAF, is you trying to give someone a smack-down? Is you keeping it real? Anywho, it's very unhealthy for you to be stuck on trivial things rather than to be able to look at the big picture. I'm sure Whitey knows how to spell, but this is a chat and we're not graded on spelling. You must have something stiff stuck somewhere, just like Bethesdan.

Posted by: Your grade school teacher | January 24, 2007 7:56 PM

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