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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Yapper Zapper - Pure Genius


I knew it was only a matter of time before someone figured out a way for the everyman to block cell-phone signals via some sort of high-tech gizmo. Well, let me introduce The Yapper Zapper. For a hundred dollars or so, you can buy one of these pocket-sized contraptions and effectively kill all cell phones within a thirty foot radius with the press of a button. For me personally, this is a Godsend. At the risk of sounding like the grumpy old man telling the neighbor kids to stay the hell off his lawn, there is nothing more irritating than trying to carry on a conversation with someone who is staring at their Smartphone as if it is spitting out real-time data on the location of the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Granted, my conversational abilities may be lacking in substance, humor or importance, but that still doesn't mean a person should go back to his game of "Angry Bird" or checking his status on Facebook. And I am guilty of this as well, since I find most peoples' conversational abilities lacking even more than my own. It's a vicious circle of ambivilence and attention deficit disorder. We all need a good slap on the hand - or electrical shock - when we go into "phone-mode".

I believe that all automobiles should be equipped with such a device, with an override switch in case of emergency. The switch will, however, be located inconveniently in the trunk and inoperable unless the car is not running. Enough with the texting and chatting while you drive, people. We drive poorly enough without compounding the problem trying to figure out which button puts the dashes in "nasty-assed clap-trap" while negotiating a freeway cloverleaf. And I know - I've typed this phrase while driving on a cloverleaf and it is totally unsafe.

Restaurants, supermarket check-out lanes and all bank, fast-food outlet and liquor store drive-thrus should be similarly equipped. Don't waste my time yammering on your phone in the drive-thru when I need to buy a quart of Thunderbird and three Mickey's Big Mouths. Just sayin'.

The irony is that this beautiful little invention is illegal. Apparently jamming cell-phone signals is against the law and runs up a fine of $11,000. This seems a bit extreme for saving innocent bystanders the pain and suffering of listening to the loud, drunken blowhard at the next table talk about "how fucking jacked-up" he is that he scored those "kick-ass" hockey tickets. It is an unfair, overblown punishment and I think that those taking the time to block signals appropriately should instead be compensated for their efforts, like crime-fighters, firemen, dead-animal pickup technicians and astronauts.

All I know is that I want one. I would like to be able to use it unabashedly, jamming all offenders breaking the rules of good cell-phone decorum. Yapping in the public washroom while I'm trying to take care of my business - ZAP! Carrying on about your wax-job (auto or bikini) via speaker-function in line at McDonalds - ZAP! Need to have your phone on during the movie? I don't think so - ZAP! Talking nasty to your boyfriend while sitting next to me on the lightrail - we'll let that one slide this time, I suppose, but keep it interesting.

We should all have them, I think - equal-opportunity jamming. Chances are, if you jam me, I have deserved it and will hold my phone up and say "Good call - my bad. Thank you!" In fact, when I am King, that will be the protocal - if you have been blocked, chances are you had it coming - be aware of your convesations at all times. If we put his attitude into practice now, in a kind of common sense move, with adequate signage, I wouldn't have to block your phone in the first place. Which is how it should be.

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