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Dear Santa, I have only one request

Standing in the checkout line last week at a local retailer I figured out what could be a great Christmas present.

Only the gift in my head wasn’t for sale anywhere nearby. It wasn’t candy, magazines, batteries or any of the other random household items that line the checkout waiting areas.

Although the cashier was ignoring me as I approached, little did she know that she was inadvertently helping me create my holiday wishlist.

Her head was bowed and her thumbs were flying as I stood waiting for her to ring up my stuff.

Despite presumably being on the clock — I suppose she could have been one of the rare holiday checkout volunteers — she found her text messaging conversation more interesting than doing her job.

That happens a fair amount of the time, too.

Perhaps I’m just far too unconnected to others, but it’s rare that I need to have personal conversations or long text exchanges during the middle of the workday.

But beyond that, texting while blatantly ignoring a customer is just, well, rude.

So there I stood, staring at her down-turned face as she feverishly thumbed her important words into her phone while simultaneously thumbing her nose at me, at least figuratively.

“Youth,” I thought to myself after she finally slid the phone out of sight.

“Hello, how are you doing?” she asked.

Instinctively I responded, “Fine.”

But that wasn’t true; I was a little aggravated, actually.

After telling myself to calm down and realizing the holiday shopping season is traditionally the time of the year in which my patience is almost always tested, I took a deep breath and headed for the door.

Before I could head home, I needed to make one more stop. Within minutes I was again standing in another checkout line being annoyed by a cell phone user.

The difference this time was it was in the hands of a fellow customer, just ahead of me in line.

The woman had to stop and call someone to figure out the brand of cigarettes she was supposed to be buying for someone else.

After a five-minute discussion — complete with a brief argument after the caller was mispronouncing the brand and confusing the clerk — the special cancer sticks were located and purchased.

That’s when it hit me. I need a personal cell phone jammer.

Think about that for a minute.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply drop a little device in your pocket that would block all of the annoying texting, loud conversations and obnoxious ring tones within, say, 20 or 30 feet of you?

Apparently such devices actually exist, however, they appear to be prohibited by the federal government without special permission.

Dear Santa, I’d like a cell phone jammer for Christmas and the FCC’s permission to use it so that I don’t spend next Christmas with my new “friends” at the Adams County Correctional Center.

Of course, if those two requests are too difficult, then perhaps you could give the world a massive dose of common sense instead?

Either would make the world — particularly the checkout lines — a slightly happier place.

 

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.

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