We couldn't agree more with Chronicle Times columnist Ken Ross's suggestion last week that our politicians consider taxing people who leave their cell phones on in public places.
In fact, we whole-heartedly endorse such a tax - the sooner (ring-ring!) the better (ring!).
Although none can deny the importance of the cell phone for emergencies, few can disagree that the hand-held, technological tool has now become an annoying, over-bearing nuisance to the general public.
At the recent Cherokee County Day in the State capitol building in Des Moines, there was a constant cacophony of singing, ringing, chiming irritation throughout the huge building - in the hallways, on the stairs, in the meeting rooms, throughout the rotunda, and even in the toilets.
You can't go to a ball game anymore without hearing cell phones ring and seeing fans talk mumbo-jumbo to any and all acquaintances who also happen to be "wired" to their cell phones.
And our retail stores and malls are now ablaze with psychotics of all sizes, shapes and motivation addicted to their cell phones, cllinging to them as if they were the umbilical cord to eternal peace and life.
We also know of people who will instruct business associates or family to call them at public functions, restaurants, bars, etc., in one very lame effort that shouts, "Look at me world! I am one important son-of-a-gun!"
The other day we witnessed a man in a very large pick-up truck almost t-bone a car as he attempted to turn the large vehicle into a store parking lot with one hand, while the other was pasted to the side of his head holding his cell phone.
And we all have heard and read about the many traffic accidents - both fender benders and tragic fatals - caused by drivers distracted or unable to simultaneously cope with their cell phones, steering wheels, other vehicles and roadways.
Come on, folks. What did you do before the invention of the cell phone? Exactly.
We say bring on that tax!
And, we also say, shut that phone down in public places, dude. Better yet, check it at the door.
You're driving other people nuts and you're poor drivers to boot.