On a cloudy afternoon, the sun broke through as I drove north for a board meeting. Soon I sat around a conference room table, papers before me, listening to a lawyer on a speaker phone, giving advice at some length.
Somewhere on the edge of my consciousness, though, I hear another sound, not the familiar voice of a man I have known for more than twenty years, but a series of beeps so faint I cannot place them.
For a moment I wonder if I am hearing things. Surreptitiously I observe the others sitting at the table, ministers, laypeople, a consultant and a staff member. I wonder if the older members can even hear the tones that continue to intrude on my thoughts?
Someone asks a question, and that leads to further explanation. The strange little sounds continue, and I look around the table again. The consultant is looking down; this matter does not concern him directly, and he will not have a vote when it comes to that. I wonder what he might be thinking about; is he half-listening?
And then I understand what I have been hearing: he is using his Blackberry.
Yes, it’s the Gameboy for big boys everywhere. As soon as we move on to the next item, the beeps subside.