Hey! I’m on the Phone Here!

I was just at El Pollo with my 30 yo son for an early lunch meeting, half the tables empty. Some guy starts talking on his phone at full voice. I mean FULL VOICE. He’s behind me so my son looks over my shoulder and we let the guy go 10, 20 seconds.

I look around, everybody is now craning their necks, some people in booths turning around to look at him. Everyone in shock.

I finally turn around to see him. He is still at FULL VOLUME and avoiding eye contact looking at his table. Its some kind of business call, setting up a meeting negotiating a price, very VERY loud. EVERYBODY has stopped eating and looking at him.

Another few seconds, I reach behind to the empty table and wrap my knuckles, he keeps talking. So I shout “Hey Buddy”, and he keeps talking. I finally, in a LOUD voice say “HEY BUDDY, WE’RE ALL EATING LUNCH, CAN YOU TAKE THAT OUTSIDE?” (pointing to the window)

I kid you not: He says “HANG ON A MINUTE” into the phone, then makes eye contact with me. He says tersely “I’m on a phone call here, okay?” As if that was perfectly normal.

“I know” I said, having his attention, “take it outside”. But he was already talking again at FULL VOLUME.

Now I’m old, and white, and I’m tired of people like this. So I take out MY phone, and put it to my ear and I LOUDLY pretend to talk. “Yeah I’m in a restaurant, making a personal call, at the top of my lungs, interrupting everybody’s meal. But that’s okay, I don’t care about anybody eating their lunch. Yes, thats right, if I was a decent person I’d step outside and make my personal call where nobody had to listen to me. BUt since I’m a jerk I’ll just do it here at my table, and make everybody listen. Yeah, I’ll just interrupt their lunch. I don’t care.”

I’m yelling, word for word with HIM YELLING on his call; him looking at the table, me looking at him, showing I have no intenting of stopping. A standoff.

Everyone in the restaurant is now forced to listen to both of us shouting at the top of our lungs, like jackasses, into telephones. Some folks are getting nervous. One of the older ones signaled “Now, now, let’s settle down” and one group thst was finishing, just up and left.

Then, in a huff he said “LET ME CALL YOU RIGHT BACK”, and hung up. I immediately stopped. He gathered up his food, stepped out to his truck, and finished his phone call.

I immediately turned around showing him my back, but this is Florida. “Is he coming this way, does he have a gun?”, I asked my son. I scanned the faces now in front of me to look for surprise, shock or fear. But everyone was calmly eating again. “Nah, he’s heading to his truck”

My son & I chatted another 20 min, but when we left I had him go first and scout around, make sure nobody was waiting. And yes, I took an indirect route and watched my mirror.

You know, I understand my “white male privilege” and so I once again stood up for those that can’t . Guns do not make us “a polite society”, as we saw just a week ago; guns make small men feel big and make women of color cry. The worst among us now once again feel empowered, unshackled to be what they now

mock as “politically correct”.

Be the world you want to see; maybe one jerk learned.

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