EDITOR’S NOTE

Ironically, stupid people still use smart phones

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Let’s just say I don’t do stupid very well.

Or laziness for that matter, but that’s another topic for another day.

For today’s purposes, we’ll stick with stupidity and how it relates to the so-called “smart phone’’ and the irony wrapped around that wonder of modern society.

It’s not as if I’ve suddenly woken from a 20-year slumber and noticed all the people around me staring at their palms in a zombie-like trance while they stumble off the curb.

Nope, I joined the 20th century just in time to welcome the 21st century. A flip phone was all I required. It helped me make phone calls, which is all I thought (silly me) a phone was designed to do.

Turns out, this handy little gizmo morphed into an incredible device that can take photos, record videos, play and store music, tell you what direction you are heading and help you find your way when you are lost.

Oh, and it’s also a phone as well as a device which sends electronic messages via text, which shouldn’t be confused with the telegraph, which did precisely the same thing nearly two centuries ago.

Yes, I own a smart phone now, but it doesn’t own me.

Anyway, back to those goofs who can’t lift their heads up long enough to see an oncoming car while staring at their phone or worse, keep their car safely in their lane.

Normally, I consider “common sense’’ and “Southern California’’ to be an oxymoron, but it seems the city of Montclair (near Los Angeles) has passed an ordinance to ticket anyone who crosses the street while on their phone. Montclair city officials were inspired by a law already on the books in Honolulu.

Since I have a lot of respect for the damage a moving vehicle can do to the human body, there’s no way I would think of staring at my phone while crossing the street.

And while it’s true that a pedestrian on their cell phone doesn’t pose a threat to someone in a car, it does penalize someone for being – you guessed it – stupid.

Unfortunately, simply passing a law doesn’t mean the targeted problem will vanish overnight. Texas passed a law against texting while driving not long ago and there are still way too many knuckleheads doing precisely that.

It has to be frustrating for law enforcement officials who know the dangers of texting while driving, yet they have to actually see someone in the act before they can issue a citation.

During my morning and afternoon commute, I’ll summon my “get off my lawn’’ voice at least once or twice while screaming at other drivers who are content to weave in and out of every lane available, blissfully swiping away on their smart phone.

Kind of makes one wonder how in the world someone was able to function behind the wheel before they had a cell phone.

The noted Hollywood philosopher Forrest Gump once said: “Stupid is as stupid does.’’

I think ol’ Forrest was on to something.

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