October 17, 2006 - Cell-less Behavior
The dedicated staff was up to our old tricks yesterday - standing on a corner, counters in our hands, etc. We were watching cars go by and checking how many of the drivers were up their ears in cell phones (or at least had their cell phones up to their ears).
This time the dedicated staff of edhat.com was in Montecito, where the cars are clean and expensive and the drivers are about as wired as a wireless network. That means they’re not. Wired. As in, on-the phone. Bad joke, sorry. As we shamelessly peered through the driver-side windows of fast moving cars, we saw a lot of people not talking on cell phones. This didn’t really surprise us, because frankly, they just didn’t look like the people who would talk on the phone while driving. To our keen and often generalizing eyes, we thought they generally appeared to be older and more conservative, and need we say – wiser.
Maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover, but yesterday we were good at it. On Coast Village Road in Montecito there weren’t many drivers driving on the edge, with cell phones in their hands. But then we just said that, didn’t we? Anyway, as the cars sped by with no cell phones to count, we had lots of time for observation and reflection, and to try to think of other things we could be counting instead - like dogs, or people driving while drinking and eating.
We often hear talk of passing a law prohibiting driving while talking on a cell phone. Well, Ed shared with us yesterday his belief that if such a law were passed, then it would only stand to reason that there be other laws prohibiting other risky behaviors – like driving with a dog on one’s lap, or driving while eating corn on the cob (we’ve actually seen this). In fact if they want to get really tough, they should pass a law requiring drivers to keep both hands on the steering wheel.
Of course they don’t have to pass any laws.
Yesterday’s Montecito car cell phone count was the lowest one we have ever completed. A measly 4.2% of drivers we saw were calling someone who cars (typo intended). Before we announce the winner of the t-shirt, we must (under orders of the executive staff of edhat.com) tell you that the closest guess in today’s contest was Ed himself (4.54%), but obviously he is not eligible for a t-shirt (or in need of one). The second best guess was Janie Lee, with a guess of 4.8%. All but two of the other guesses were higher. Janie Lee wins a t-shirt, the rest of you should guess lower NEXT TIME we count cell phones.
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