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Okay, We Need to Talk

John W. Pinkerton


Okay, we need to talk.

I've spent a lot of time in doctors' waiting rooms lately. 

Now, visiting the doctor is usually not a “wonderful experience” we long to repeat, but it is an experience.  An experience of which some of you folks aren't taking full advantage.

A typical visit to the waiting rooms today involve a room full of people who have little in common other than that they are ill…and almost universally have their heads buried in their cell phones.

Heck, I opted out of the cell phone world.  I've never had one.  I just didn't understand why I needed to talk to people via microwaves while I'm wandering the world.  Now, I know you folks use your “smart” phones for more than talking to folks.  I seldom see anyone using their “phones” to talk to anyone.  Apparently, you play games, and catch up on the latest fake news, and type cryptic messages.  By the way, none of you folks are secret agents; just speak on your phone to people.  God gave us a voice box for a reason.

On a recent visit to a doctor's office, I watched a middle aged man check in, take a seat, and immediately pull out his cell phone.  I happened to make eye contact with an elderly lady sitting next to the fellow.  We both smiled.  We knew we were sharing the same thought.

There was an old fellow sitting next to me who kept dozing off.  I nudged him and told him to wake up, or I'd steal his place when his name was called.  He as well as the folks around us seemed to think that my comment was amusing.  About that time, his name was called, and he commented that it was probably a good thing I had awaken him.

This was followed by a lot of silence.  Crap. 

I commented to my wife that I needed a trip to a casino---you know, cocaine for old folks.

A lady, not on a cell phone, overhearing my remark, commented to my wife that my remark made her think of her mother who, apparently, loves casinos.

Ah, I saw my opening.  I said loud enough for everyone, about twenty folks, to hear, “The thing I like about casinos is that it's the only place I can go and feel like a youngster.”

Well, that brought a lot of shared laughter.  I was a hit.

After my visit with the doctor, when I opened the door to the waiting room, I noticed all eyes were on me as they are with any interrupting movement in a waiting room---one last shot at show business.

I stopped my steps, extended my arms in triumph and declared for my audience that I had been cured.  Again, universal laughter and one old fellow yelled, “I want that doctor.”  Time to get off stage.

Now, I know there is no way to cure you of your addictions  to your cell phones, but the next time you're among strangers, put your phone away and try to lighten the boredom by engaging folks in conversation.  You may be surprised what people say and the wonderful laughter they may share.  Heck, you may even be able to lighten someone's spirits including your own.