"I'm fine thanks. How are you...?"
Suddenly I feel a right idiot. How embarrassing. The bloke isn't talking to me at all. There is no one else in the shop within earshot though. The familiar stance of hand glued to ear reveals the truth of the situation. He is talking on his mobile phone.
He gives me a look as if to say what the hell are you looking at, and continues his conversation. He talks at full volume as if he is talking to his deaf old granddad. Not that I know if he does have a granddad deaf or otherwise. Maybe his granddad isn't deaf. Maybe he doesn't have a granddad. Oh now I feel bad. Perhaps his granddad is dead. Maybe his granddad is dead because he was too deaf to hear the bus coming and it ran him over. No that isn't it. He called him mate. Do people call their granddad mate? I didn't. But I didn't have a granddad. Well obviously I did have a granddad. Two of them in fact, but I never knew them. Come to think of it, if I never knew them, I suppose I never had them. Granddads I mean.
Of course it is all supposition. I expect he was speaking to a work colleague, and called him mate, because he couldn't remember his name. Yes that's probably what it was. Phew, I'm glad I got that sorted out.
Anyway, whoever the bloke was talking to, why so flipping loud? Why did he have to phone him when he was in the shop? And why did he have to make that call when he was standing right behind the only other customer, me?
It is not the first time it has happened either. It happens all the time these days. Not the same bloke of course. That would be too creepy.
How did people manage before the mobile phone was invented? These days people don't seem to be able to walk down the street without their phone clamped to their ear, and they are probably deep in conversation with someone they were with in person just a few minutes before. At full volume. Why this need to shout for the whole world to hear?
How often have you heard someone say on their phone, "I'll be there in five minutes." Well if you are going to be there in five minutes anyway, what's the point of the call? If you didn't bother with the call, you could probably get there in three minutes!
Have you been on a train lately? You would remember if you had, because all around you the shout will be going up, "I'M ON THE TRAIN." As people feel the need to tell the whole carriage, their loved ones, colleagues, and their deaf granddads, at full volume, that they have accomplished what they set out to do ten minutes earlier, and actually got on the train.
Well you mobile phone addicts had just better be careful and not embarrass me again, because now that I am an old age pensioner, and able to act like a miserable old git, I might just be inclined to grab that phone off you, and shove it right up your.... Oh blast I lost the signal!