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I'm spending the week at OSCON, a conference so geeky that they won't even let you in the door unless you have in your possession a Linux boot disk, the root password, a 20-sided die, or proof of virginity.
I whiled away the morning in a three-hour presentation given by perl überguru Damian Conway. Everyone in the audience was laden with all manner of newfangled contraption -- laptops, blackberries, iPods -- and the presentation was interrupted several time by the ring of cell phones. Each time a ringtone sounded Damian would stop talking and adopt an air of overly-taxed patience while the owner fumbled around for his phone and mumbled apologies; everyone else chipped in by swiveling around in their seats and glaring at the knucklehead du jour.
After the third time it seemed as if everyone had finally wised up and turned off their phones' ringers, because nearly an hour went by without further incidents. Then, just as Damian was entering the home stretch of his lecture, the phone on the guy sitting one seat over from me burst into song. It had one of the most obnoxious jingles I have ever heard, and waas set on a volume that ensured it would be heard even if the phone was accidentally dropped down a storm grate and whisked out to sea.
As Damian stopped in mid-sentence, incredulous, and all heads turned in the direction of the ring, my neighbor first sat there paralyzed with a stunned expression upon his face, and then frantically fished the phone from his pocket. "Sorry, sorry!" he cried, clearly chagrined.
And yet his shame didn't stop him for actually taking the call. He leaned way over -- almost to the point of putting his head under the desk -- held the phone to the side of his face, and, in a low voice, whispered, "Hello?!" After a moment of listening he angrily hissed, "Nice timing: you just totally pissed off Damian Conway."Posted on August 01, 2005 to Storytelling