Some individuals like to show their creative side by dressing uniquely. Sometimes they can be as audacious as the ladies on Derby Day; loud clothes, big hats, and gaudy jewelry. Society pushes the notion that we have to be utterly and totally different from each other. This culture of individualism is a constant annoyance for me. For young Americans, they achieve individuality by culling themselves from the herd by brandishing garish tattoos, piercings, and taking risky dares. But older adults have little energy or creative cunning to be that unique. Oh they still have the desire to be different, but its got to be easy with minimal effort. This can now be achieved through grating cellphone ringtones.
How many times have you heard ringtones that to the user may be wonderful, but to you and me it is straight up obnoxious? I heard one ringtone recently with an annoying high-pitched voice yelling, “Someone stupid is calling, someone stupid is calling,” over and over again. Ten minutes of that and I’d confess to being Big Foot’s brother-in-law for the sheer torture. I’ve heard other phones ring as sexy voices, New York cabbies, dogs barking, and even the sound of a submarine diving bell. Oh, the last one is clever if you’re as deaf as a haddock. But it sure doesn’t make the preacher happy when you pick up your phone during the service to answer it after the 43rd ring.
I’ve learned sometimes the person receiving the call can even be more annoying than the ringtone. I’ve actually seen people answer their phone at the front of a church or movie theater and walk down the center aisle talking while the preacher or movie was still in progress. So how do we deal with such unique people and their ringtones that grate on our nerves? I suggest this…..Carry a woodpecker in your pocket, release it when an obnoxious ringtone goes off. Then let the bird drill on the offending person’s forehead for two minutes. Then exclaim excitedly, “I love my live ringtone, it’s like yours. It gives people headaches too!”
On second thought, maybe I need a better alternative. I’ll just remind myself of the story of the preacher who was finishing up a series on marital conflict. At the close of the service he was giving out small wooden crosses to each married couple. He said, “Place this cross in the room in which you fight the most and you will be reminded of God’s commands and you will have peace and won’t argue as much.”
One woman came up after the service and said, “Pastor, You’d better give me seven of those.”
The cross, the antidote for an obnoxious and tone deaf world. I think I’ll take seven as well!