Restaurants and mobile telephones. No person of any class or breeding will ever leave their mobile telephone active while sharing a repast with somebody in one of our city’s fine establishments; it’s one of the big etiquette no-nos.
However, those of us who like to torment are not interested in these social conventions except as a means to irk and perpetually torment those nearest and dearest to us. So let me offer a suggestion how best to capitalize on this rule:
Either before you enter the restaurant, or just when you do arrive at the said establishment, your partner should in some way discretely turn off their phone. Check for this, and when they do, make some show of sending a text message from yours, and then comment to them that you hope they will reply quickly.
Now, you should spend a good deal of the first course completely occupied with the operation of your phone, sending text messages and completely ignoring your partner, and not touching your food for the most part – this works better if they are paying, but is satisfactory by other arrangements as well. This should leave them feeling rather tired with your behaviour before they’ve even gotten to the main course. And, of course, be sure to hold the phone as follows: both elbows on table, phone, held in both hands, raised to your eye level.
Now, in the wait between courses you should send a message to a family member asking them to call you when they are free to, somebody who you expect will reply to your request within the next ten minutes. Then put your phone away, and begin to talk to them in some seemingly earnest way, apologizing profusely for your ignoring of them.
Then your phone rings (Oh, make sure that your ring-tone is truly obnoxious). Now, you do all the things that you feel might annoy him – talk loudly, say that you are in a restaurant, indeed feel free to complain about the food. Now, and this is the piece de resistance: ask the person who called you if they would like to speak to your partner, and that you are sure they would like to talk to them. Then thrust the contraption in their faces and say to them, “Here, so and so wants to talk to you”.
Works a treat.
If you’re stuck for something to try during dessert, if things get that far, I can heartily recommend a course of constant mobile-phone photograph taking. Especially if you have the anti-pervert camera shutter sound on your phone.