Dead-Eyed Flambé

By -

I realize that the quantity of editorials and essays that have been written about how People In Restaurants Ignore Each Other and Look At Their Phones Instead is so large that they probably use scientific notation at this point, but I simply must chime in based on a recent experience.

In my life, I have adopted technology very early, and well in advance of the unwashed masses. I started using personal computers in 1979. I was online by 1981. I got my first Macintosh in early 1984. My cell phone in 1989. The iPhone in 2007, on the day it came out. And so forth. The list goes on and on.

However, technology has its place, and I have always been wildly and adamantly opposed to people who bury their face in their phone and ignore any others around them. At this point ,there’s no use getting so upset, because it seems everyone, especially everyone under the age of 30, has learned to absolutely ignore everyone else and just look at whatever useful crap is happening on their phone.

On Monday night, we went out with a couple of our kids; friends to Daeho, which is a favorite Korean restaurant. This place is insanely popular, and you are guaranteed to wait outside (where, I kid you now, the entire town of Milpitas smells like crap since it’s near a sewage treatment plant) for an hour or more. People willingly do it, however, including us. Part of the fun is that, once you finally get in, it seems extra-special, sort of like you’ve really earned the meal.

When we got in and got seated, I immediately noticed how quiet the place was, because virtually everyone at every table was looking at their phone. Even at a table of eight people, not a single person was talking. They were all just staring at their screens and, just to make it more horrific, some of them were doing it so mindlessly that their jaws were hanging open and it looked to me like their flesh was going to slip right off their face. If they started drooling out of one side of their mouth, it would have utterly completed the effect.

I’m sure this will come as a shock to long-time Slopers, but I’m extraordinarily judgmental, so I kept looking around and being amazed at all these numbskulls who had waited over an hour to get it and, once they were in, were just slack-jawed stupid (lest any of you throw a pillow at me, wondering why I wasn’t talking to folks at my own table, believe me, I was; the glances at the others were on-the-sly and very fast).

And it isn’t just an age thing. It’s a matter of upbringing and expectations. Of the six people at our table four of them were younger than 21, and not a single one of them reached for their phone. We were there to be together, not ignore each other..

What really took the cake – – or took the noodles, more accurately – – was the table next to ours, which had a particularly languorous crew of people in their early 20s who hadn’t said a word to each other. The meal (which is shared by everyone) came to the table, and they gave it their usual treatment, right there in the center of the table (click the Play button in the lower left to watch the action).

Ours hadn’t quite come yet, so we were glancing over at this happening and we all were stunned to see that…… one even glanced up from their phones! The waiter might as well have come over to their table, but down a tall water glass, and pissed right into it, and the reaction would have been the same. These friends (I suppose they were friends, at least!) had……..

  1. Gotten together as a group;
  2. Drove out to this place;
  3. Waited outside in the parking light, smelling the fumes of human waste for at least an hour;
  4. Got inside;
  5. Waited for their food;
  6. The food arrived in a grand style, complete with a blow-torch;
  7. And these numb-nuts just stared at their goddamned phones.

Although I’m being unfair. I’m sure the content of the phones was really, really important. But even so – – – it’s a pathetic way to live.

These people are soul-dead and sleepwalking their way through life, the dumb wankers.