Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Talk 2 the Hand (Copy)

Picture a 1970s avocado kitchen, when a phone rings. Two teenagers set into action, from far corners of the house, a Super Bowl moment complete with sprints, hurdles, tackles and tumbles. As they turn the corner, into the phone nook, a very tired mother intercepts the play.

The caller wishes to speak to the lovely daughter of the house. With a smug smile, the phone is now taken on a journey, through lush jungle and arid desert (past the pantry and into the laundry room) where it rest behind two closed doors. Ah, the cords of a ‘70s phone.

Now, within the lair, two 13 year-old girls hash-out some dastardly plan. Although the lair is behind closed doors, the conversation is hushed, for brother could be lurking.

What has happened to the privacy aspect of phones? Cell phones are everywhere and people seem to feel they have the right to yap in the most public of places. Why are we subjected to overhearing these banal exchanges? Do we really care if you fed the dog or picked up the dry cleaning?

In Talk to the Hand by Lynn Truss, the author writes of prolific ill-mannered habits employed by the masses. You may remember the author’s 2004 title, Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Her hilarious look at our lackadaisical treatment of the English language spent 25 weeks on the bestseller’s list. It has been suggested her next book be titled, Presses, Pants and Flies.

I love the way she opens her new book, Talk to the Hand. She actually gives thanks to the “nameless people who were rude” to her. She gained free research from all those who cut her off in traffic, forgot to say excuse me, or let a curse word drop into her normally curse-free ears.

She never had a topic so “in her face” and a title so easily obtained. The title originates from our Jerry Springer culture that insists you talk to the hand because the face isn’t listening. Although the gesture is passé, the attitude continues. For it is my observation, you have to talk to the hand because the face is talking to the other hand, which is curled around a cell phone.

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