It happened again. The first time this happened, I was incredulous that someone could be so self-absorbed, so indifferent towards their fellow commuters as to actually browse the freakin’ ring tones on their cell phone in a relatively small public space like a commuter train car. Listening to these phones spew forth one crappy rendition of stale popular songs after another, in poor fidelity, at high volume no less, is akin to the Chinese water torture. I find it so annoying that my own cell phone has been set and done and that’s it for that. I hate listening to that pathetic cacaphony; even my cat sweeps her ears back and begins to bug out when I set the ring tone on a new phone.

So when someone can have the gall to subject everyone in the car to that same aural abuse, I’m simply aghast. And now I’m aghast, twice.

This morning’s version lasted, oh, about ten minutes. This person would listen to a few, and then pause. We’d all think she was done, but then she’d start her quest anew for the Perfect Ring Tone. Everyone around her was giving her the hairy eyeball, mentally hexing her and cursing the phone, but she proceeded unabated for ten full minutes.

At long last, she selected a ring tone that sounded a lot like the intro to the number “Today For You, Tomorrow For Me” from the musical “Rent”. Yes folks, it’s come to this, the newer cell phones do SHOW TUNES! Imagine: “Cats”, now coming to a Nokia near you.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.