I was talking amiable bollocks with an acquaintance a couple of days ago. He had his phone out on the table, and it kept indicating that somebody had texted him. He’d look at the caller ID and say, ‘Bloody hell. Why don’t they leave me alone?’

‘Why don’t you switch it off?’

‘It may be somebody important.’

‘It’ll wait, probably. If not, they’ll call you. Why not put it on silent?’

‘It still vibrates.’

‘Well, make it not vibrate.’

‘Then I have to go into the Settings and alter them.’

‘Don’t you ever switch it off?’


‘Not even at night?’

‘Nope. When it goes off I have a look to see who it is.’

‘What about when you’re amorously occupied? Turn it off then?’


‘Let me ask a theoretical question. You’ve just had a hot date with a woman you’ve really fancied for months. It goes well, and you end up in the sack back at her place. You’re having sex, and her phone rings, and she checks it. What do you do?’

‘Well, let her. It may be somebody important.’

‘More important than you, the guy who’s having sex with her right at that very moment? Wouldn’t you feel rejected? Want to know what I’d do?’


‘I’d get out of bed, have a quick shower, get dressed, and say, “Bye.”’

‘But it happens.’

WHAT? It’s happened to you?’


‘Bugger me.’

‘And when I leave my phone on at night, I might get a call from somebody who needs a place to stay.’

‘Who could simply come round and knock on your door.’

‘But I might not be there.’

‘In which case you can’t put them up anyway. And what about when you’re out with people? Answering your phone or texting suggests you have better things to do with you time. That’s a bit insulting.’

‘But I may be texting to tell some others where we are.’

‘Why not just get organised and arrange it all beforehand?’

‘Young people aren’t organised like people your age.’

‘Set a new trend. And why text? Give them a call.’

‘Texting is quicker. If they don’t answer the phone, it’s going to ring four or five times.’

‘Which takes all of four seconds. What do you do with all the precious time you free up? And if they don’t answer your call, they probably won’t pick up a text either. Maybe they’re shagging and have sensibly turned the phone off.’

‘People my age never switch the phone off.’

That’s called batting on a sticky wicket.

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