Hash Blacks and Blue Teeth

There was a time, not too many years ago, either, that if you saw another human being walking alone down the street in animated conversation, you would be moved to call the men in the white coats. It hasn’t been so long ago that I was having breakfast in a Waffle House – a Southern tradition worthy of it’s happy reputation – when I noticed a man at the counter obviously enjoying his breakfast but talking non-stop as he continued to shovel in his triple-sized smothered, covered, scattered and peppered hash browns. (Waffle House has the market cornered in the hash brown department. They’ve got my version of breakfast potatoes, which my husband calls “hash blacks,” beaten hands down.)


It is one thing to talk with your mouth full, but to do so without addressing anybody in particular was troubling to me. When I mentioned the man’s bizarre behavior to my handsome husband, he pointed to the little plastic doo-hickey in the breakfasting man’s ear.


“Blue tooth,” said Bud.


“He’s got blue teeth?” I marveled. “Whatever color they are, I’m surprised his mother didn’t knock them all out for talking with his mouth full.”


“Phone,” Bud said patiently, “He has a cell phone in his ear. It’s called Blue Tooth technology.”


“Well, it’s bad manners.” I said haughtily and continued to soak up syrup with my pecan waffle.


I’ve since been thoroughly briefed on the many shapes and forms now taken by cell phones. These days, at least according to my grand-darlings, phones are much smarter. I’m still wondering why, if they’re so smart, they don’t they turn themselves off at the dinner table. At Rancho Victoria, a cell phone in use at MY dinner table goes directly to the trash can. (This is why I’m currently in the market for an iPhone case for the latest Apple communication device - iPhone 5 - which is water, coffee, potato peeling and yesterday’s salad-proof,  So far I’ve had no luck.) Crochety old grannies like me take exception to this pushy electronic stuff. We hate to be reminded of our deficiencies.


I do have a cell phone. Sometimes it rings. If I’m lucky, I’m somewhere in public where I can find somebody to show me how to answer the dang thing.

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