<p>Tonight&#8217;s installment of Mass (transit) Hysteria was one of those moments where you pretty much throw your hands up in the air and go: &#8220;yep, this planet is crawling with people who are so totally self-absorbed, that they make life miserable for everyone around us.&#8221;</p>

<p>Now, the cars on the New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor line do tend to get a bit noisy, what with all the cellphones ringing.  This you get used to.  You also silently thank the heavens that the FAA has decided to write a bogus rule banning their use on commercial flights.  It?s one of the few times I really don&#8217;t mind that the airline staff are lying directly to my face (folks, cell phones don?t do a damned thnig to the airliner?s navigation equipment).  </p>

<p>Where was I?  Oh, right.  The ringing.  Yes, it?s really not that bad.  You get used to it.  However tonight, the phones appeared to be ringing off the hook!  Brrring!  Brrring! ... dit  dit de da du dit dit de da, DIT DIT DE DA DU DIT..</p>

<p>After a moment or two it became clear that this was not an unusual flurry of incoming calls to one locale on the train.  No.  This digital, low-fi cacaphony was being caused by a guy a few seats away who decided that THIS was a good time to browse through his new cell phone?s (many) ring tone options.  </p>

<p>dit dit de da du dit dit de da, DIT DIT DE DA DU&#8230;(scales)...(TV show themes)...(classical tunes)...</p>

<p>After several full minutes of this, it was time to test the volume options.  I&#8217;m not kidding. This guy&#8217;s ring tone selection&#8212;carefully selected following an exhaustive search&#8212;was now cycling from soft, to loud, to annoyingly loud, and back down again.  </p>

<p>In the end, I believe he went with the default Nokia ring tone and a volume setting somewhere around four bars, assuming a maximum of five on the strength indicator.  </p>

<p>I&#8217;m glad he&#8217;s got that all set up now.  </p>