Dear Santa, I have only one request

Published 12:01am Sunday, December 4, 2011

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

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Al-Qaeda has the perfect solution – and you only have to use it once.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Kevin, common sense does not exist in the Miss-Lou except in rare instances. It does not occur in any conversations I have heard from the politicians or most of the local voters. I have been all over the “Delta” and in Washington, D.C. and have found that COMMON SENSE is as rare as finding a four leaf clover in the Gobi desert.

  • Anonymous

    007 strikes again.

  • Anonymous

    Bad attitude, Dave, go to the corner. Thirty minute out time.

  • Anonymous

    Cell phones are part of our lives and can be very useful tools. Perhaps the author should ask Santa for some patience instead. Maybe the cashier was a young mother answering a question about her child. Personally I am not annoyed by cell phone usage when it is for a good reason. 

  • Anonymous

    “Maybe the cashier was a young mother answering a question about her child.”

    And maybe she was riding a unicorn on her way to Oz.

    “Personally I am not annoyed by cell phone usage when it is for a good reason.”

    Can’t expect everyone to have basic manners, I guess.

  • Anonymous

    No, that’s 07…showing his ignorance AGAIN…and in all caps for good measure

  • Anonymous

    Yep…Pop goes the Taliban

  • Anonymous

    Kevin, you could get a cell phone jammer…and actually use it. But then these ingrates would turn into Cujo and rant/rave against anyone and everyone in sight. These people have no self-respect. How do you think they’ll have any respect for anyone else?

    I saw one instance of cell phone “jamming”. I was at a restaurant. There was a family seated at the table next to me. The teenage son and daughter were both chatting away on their cell phone’s oblivious to what was going on around them. The waitress was at the table trying to take their food orders but was totally ignored by both teenagers. The father took both cell phones, took the batteries out then handed them back to each surprised teenager. It was priceless. I gave him a quiet thumbs up. We all were able to enjoy our evening…thanks to one concerned P-A-R-E-N-T.

  • Anonymous

    I had the same thought Serenyd, that the text might have been a reply to or about her child.  For the most part, I have noticed cashiers in our area, particularly at Walmart, exhibiting extreme patience in dealing with the increased holiday volume of testy customers.  I think (most of them) deserve praise, if not raises.  I have never caught any of them texting.