I want to start this column off with a question for our readers -- Do you know of a cell phone ring tone etiquette class?

I know that's a mouthful to say. If you know of one, please let me know.

I'm around enough people with noisy cell phone ringers on a weekly basis that I could find people to fill that class. I know cell phones are getting more complicated, but have the manufacturers made the vibrate / silence buttons impossible to find? It seems so.

I'm not the most cultured person around, but I know that when I'm at work, the doctor's office, a funeral, a wedding and restaurants that serve more than burgers and fries that I turn my cell phone ringer to vibrate. Evidently, I'm in the minority.

Almost everyone has a cell phone; however, it seems almost no one mutes the ringer when in public.

When I'm at work or preparing my mind for a doctor's visit, I don't want to hear bells, an old style rotary phone ringer, animal sounds or some guitar strumming, hard rock blaring alert that a call is coming in.

The few times I've forgotten to mute mine and it went off, I've been mortified. Am I getting older? Maybe. I am I getting cantankerous as I get older? Yes.

But am I the only one who feels this way? I don't think so. Another thing I don't want to hear is a conversation on the cell after finally realizing that the noise in a pocket or purse is your phone.

I heard a man almost yelling into his cell phone a few weeks ago while we were in a doctor's waiting room. "I'm at the doctor. The doctor, man," the man yelled.

I smiled until the loud conversation stretched to 10 minutes then I glared. Evidently the gentleman didn't know these new fangled cellular devices transmit volume much better than the old tin can and string phones.

Is it me or is this a growing problem?

Let's try a social experiment this week. Pay attention to how many times a cell goes off around you, and let me know.

Is there anything that can be done? Maybe. Some businesses have smoke free zones and I recently heard of a school with a homework free zone. How about ring tone free zones?

I'm in. Anyone have an extra petition? I'll lend you my John Hancock; just give my cell a ring.

Email: ttroglen@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4183