Every Monday 3 buddies at work and I eat at this great little pizzeria, (the linguini in pesto is to die for.) Now, you’d think it would be a great way to bond and share some camaraderie during lunch hour, but all three of my friends do the same damned thing every time. The second they sit down, the mobile phones come out and the non-stop texting, emailing, and Facebook scanning begins. The waiter comes by and they don’t even know he’s there as he rolls his eyes and tells me the specials.
After we finally order our food, one of these rudenicks calls someone back and he’s clueless how loud he is as the entire restaurant now knows that his schnauzer has worms. I ask my buddy Mike how his kid’s hockey game went this weekend, but a Candy Crush death match has his undivided attention, as Bobby is deep in a Words with Friends battle. So… are you as mad as I am about this selfish act of cell-phonery? Or, are you the curse-worthy culprit who has that damned digital addiction?Well, I was mad as hell and I wasn’t going to take it anymore, so, I came up with one heck of a solution for this mealtime madness. One Monday I showed up at the pizzeria with an empty shoe box. Of course the boys wondered what was going on. I told them I had a cool trick and I needed their help.
“Put your phones in the box and I’ll show you something amazing”, I said. They thought it was weird but they complied. I then put the lid on the box and said, “Here’s the new rules – we do this every Monday during lunch and the first guy to take out their phone and use it for any reason, has to pay for all four lunches.” “Okay, now that’s just stupid”, cried Bobby. “Gimme my phone back”, demanded Phil. And Mike just flat-out threatened to break my hands. It was at that moment I got up and said I was done with lunch for good on Mondays – they thought I was full of it, but I was dead serious and walked to the door. All 3 guys told me to sit down and they agreed not to use their phones during lunch, and at that very moment, Mike’s phone gave off a ding as he lunged for his Samsung like a Pavlovian dog.
To make a really long story short, I’m not sure how I did it, but I convinced these hard-heads to give it a try, but they were in so much anguish during their meals that I thought Phil was gonna give birth. The following Monday they reluctantly agreed to give it another try, and 5 minutes in, a phone started ringing inside the box and Bobby tore it open like a kid on Christmas morning. THAT was my first free lunch, and the other 2 guys kind of liked ordering the most expensive dishes on the menu.Well, now I’ve done it at home, and during Thanksgiving and Christmas, I watch the teens and the millennials lose their minds while actually having to chew without typing. (The deal is whoever grabs their phone has to clean up the entire dinner afterwards, which apparently is a fate worse than death to these spoiled little whiners).
Best best of all, every Monday has become a new experience… I found out that Phil is taking the family to Disney, Mike’s kid’s team finished in dead last (but they all got trophies – OMG, don’t get me started), and Bobby’s pooch has healed up just nicely. Oh, yeah, somebody breaks down and springs for lunch about every other week, but I can honestly say that the boys are pals once again.