essays

Someone Get Me a Pie Hole Blocker!

cell phone jammerYou will be breaking the law in the United States and subject to fines upwards of $10,000, but you can buy a cell phone jammer in order to block annoying cell phone yakkers. Let’s say you’re on a train and the passenger behind you is gabbing away so that everyone in the train car can hear them. You pull out your little cell phone jammer, and zap, just like that, their call is cut off, along with everyone else’s cell phone that’s within30 feet. Too bad for those polite cell phone talkers -- there goes the baby with the bath water.

Despite the risks, these jammers can be bought from overseas companies and on a small scale are almost impossible to detect. Train commuters and school bus drivers are possiblycell yakker the most enthusiastic users, but restaurants and doctors’ offices have been known to use the more powerful models as their only defense against annoying and persistant cell phone use.

Reading about these devices I thought about how fantastic it would be if someone marketed a “Why-would-you-have-this-conversation-in-public” jammer that would shut someone up as soon as they started describing in excruciating detail their gall bladder surgery or the lowdown (and I do mean low down) on their recently diagnosed bowel disorder. Ideal for trains, movie theaters, airplanes, restaurant lobbies, doctors’ waiting rooms, parties, bars, you name it -- really any place where moronic people have inappropriate conversations. You would simply reach in your pocket and without removing the apparatus press the jamming button, and voila, just like that all sound coming from the perpetrator’s mouth would be silenced. Their lips might still be moving, but to no out of order mouthavail. If the “Why-would-you-have-this-conversation-in-public” jammer allowed them to hear themselves, I would have no problem with that -- as long as I didn’t have to listen to them.

They could call it Pie Hole Blocker or Mouth Sock or Gag Order or Shut-It -- I don’t really care. I’m not sure how the device can selectively silence a single individual but I’m sure a clever scientist can figure that out. Isn’t it true that voices are like fingerprints in that each voice has a unique pitch and pattern? Maybe the Shut-It device makes a “voice print” and then you instruct it to block only that voice.

It’s a good bet that once you’ve blocked their voice, no once else is going to tell them they can’t be heard. All we have to do is nod every now and then, and smile. But if I owned a Yammer Jammer, I would always be smiling.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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