Friday, December 13, 2013

Nurse the Hate: The Bluetooth Paradox



It is cold here today.  It’s not “oh, I think I need a jacket” cold.  It’s more along the lines of “Holy Mother of Ass.  I may die if I don’t get to shelter in the next two minutes” cold.  The skies are a dirty gray, blending into the salt stained streets.  There is almost no horizon line.  The bleak frozen landscape looks like a black and white photo from the Depression.  All we need are some bread lines with gaunt unshaven men staring with dead eyes at the camera.  While this is a bleak picture, it is also an accurate picture.  The only thing that makes it worse are when people say “Cold enough out there for ya?”.

 

Yuk, yuk, yuk.

I walked into the post office, always an eye opening experience in much the same way as a trip to the DMV.  Enormous people flowing out of sweat pants with mismatching oversized shirts, filthy jackets, and ill-advised shoes struggling to comprehend the complexities of sending a box in the mail.  It’s as if they have never sent or received anything in the mail, or perhaps do not speak English as their primary language.  Each transaction at the clerk window takes as long as obtaining a home mortgage loan.  It’s maddening.  I stand rigidly, my eyes noticing all the little details in each person in line.  It’s then something captures my eye.

A middle aged African American man, modestly but crisply dressed, stands facing directly ahead, in his ear a Bluetooth.  With nothing else to do but wait for the line to painfully move ahead, I have to resist the urge to engage this man in conversation about this Bluetooth.  What I want more than anything is to be rewarded with ten uninterrupted minutes to ask questions that have alluded me for the past couple years.  Why is it the Bluetooth earpiece has become the almost exclusive domain of the middle aged African American male?  I challenge you to find a Bluetooth earpiece on anyone else out of this slim demographic segment.  Sure, once in a great while you will see a hillbilly strolling into a truckstop with one in place, but I regard them as aping African American popular culture in a way akin to Vanilla Ice or Macklemore but age appropriate.  It’s the sideways ballcap of middle age.

Why is it only this one population segment exclusively uses this tech device?  I watch an old lady spend ten minutes deciding on “the pretty stamps” and the “those are pretty too” stamps while considering this.  Maybe these guys shop at stores I don’t know about.  As we can all agree that there is population segregation within cities, and there is also a corresponding inclination for different merchants to serve their available customer base.  For example, in high density middle class black areas like Northfield or Warrensville Hts. are there stores I have never heard of that do nothing but have different earpieces beautifully displayed under tastefully lit glass display cases?  If I do a search for “Mr. Bluetooth” or “Bluetooth Deluxe”, will I be dazzled by a mobile website with overwhelming options?  Is this store filled to capacity with African American men between the ages of 40-60 discussing performance and fit issues?  Why don't African American men under the age of 40 ever wear one?  Are they not allowed into the stores?  Is it a generation gap thing?  Why don’t I know what is going on here?

It reminds me of when I walk around in a mall and every 14-17 year old girl is walking around with tight sweats on with the word “Pink” or “Juicy” written on their ass.  I unconsciously read everything, and then find myself looking at a 15 year old girl’s perky buttocks with the word “pink” flooding my brain with all sorts of images that leave me flush with shame.  I had never seen these pants on sale, yet everyone in this tiny population segment was also 100% in on this fashion accoutrement.  Where did they get them?  How was this decided amongst them that this was “our thing”?  What else am I missing? 

A man in front of me tries to send a package without a full address.  He literally has it addressed to be sent to John Doe, Sacramento CA.  After a brief discussion, he then begins to wrap his head around the fact that he will need to provide a street address.  It takes several go rounds for him to realize it will be his responsibility to secure this information.  No one seems to think this exchange is odd but me.  The man with the Bluetooth finally gets to the clerk.  The device proudly protrudes from his ear, trumpeting to all success and his necessity of being available at all times while maintaining a jaunty hands free lifestyle.  He efficiently takes care of his business (of course) and leaves the post office, allowing me to send my package.  I stand at the counter, glancing out the window as he exits, my questions still unanswered.      

1 Comments:

At December 13, 2013 at 12:01:00 PM EST , Blogger Walter Zoomie said...

Truck drivers must use a blue-toof hands free device when using a cell phone while driving. It's federal law.

My company forbids even using a hands free device...and I, being the conformist that I am, dutifully comply.

It's all about safety, dontcha know.

;)

 

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