i am not so sure who came up with the idea of hands free cell phone use for cars (probably a man) but i am here to tell you, as someone who has just spent one hour and twenty minutes driving ten miles, across town in los angeles, that it is a bad idea.
we have all grown used to seeing people screaming , laughing and crying into their cell phones while driving. it has certainly become a way of life in los angeles. you can order dinner, make a date, or break up with a boyfriend, all while speeding along the freeway in your car. but blue tooth technology has raised the stakes. now, with the help of just a tiny little ear piece (hardly noticeable except for the blue flashing light which, from a distance, gives the wearer the look of a martian visitor) a person can now drive their car, talk on the phone and still have one hand free for other activities.
today, sitting in traffic, i had plenty of time to observe my fellow drivers and really see what they were up to. the first multi-tasker i noticed was a young woman putting on mascara while talking on the phone and driving. no big deal. even before cell phones, women have been driving and putting on make-up. i actually think it is now part of the driving test in l.a. if you can parallel park while putting on lip liner you are sure to pass your test.
next, a man in a big mercedes pulled up next to me at a light. he seemed to be shouting into his phone while, and i swear this is true, text messaging. i think he must have been steering with his knees - also an activity that i think is now on the driving test as well. i saw one woman driving, talking and checking for what i think was split ends but it may have been lice and a young man who seemed to screaming at someone while leafing through what looked like a script. he may have been a striking writer so i will cut him some slack.
people are very busy in their cars. the car used to be a place where one could relax. you could put on your favorite music and no one could bother you. now the car is the busiest place in town. i decided that since i am always late getting in on new trends i am going to do some remodeling so i can also multi-task as i drive along. the first thing i am going to do is get rid of the radio and install a fax machine. that way i can yell at my plumber and actually show him the bill where he overcharged me - all while i am on the way to the dry cleaners. next the glove compartment has to go. i mean, who wears gloves anymore anyway? i can make much better use of the space by installing a microwave oven. just think of it. not only can you make handy little snacks while stuck on the freeway, you can also prepare dinner on your way home from work. by the time you pull into your driveway, after calling the husband on the phone to alert him to set the table, you can walk into the house with a fully cooked meal.
there is no end to what we can do in our cars. how about a washer and dryer in the back seat? no one ever uses their back seat anyway. although, come to think of it, perhaps we should not be too hasty in getting rid of the back seat. after all, with all that is going on in the car, one might actually need an assistant to ride along. the back seat would make a perfect office - what with the fax machine up front and a lap top in back...the possibilities are endless.