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When you gotta text, you gotta text now

Clearly, I am not taking advantage of all the technology I could. Apparently, I'm not even taking full advantage of all the technology I own. I learned this the other night in the restroom of a popular Duluth restaurant. Don't worry. I'm not goin...

Sam Cook
Sam Cook is a News Tribune columnist and outdoors writer. Reach him at (218) 723-5332 or scook@duluthnews.com.

Clearly, I am not taking advantage of all the technology I could. Apparently, I'm not even taking full advantage of all the technology I own.

I learned this the other night in the restroom of a popular Duluth restaurant.

Don't worry. I'm not going to go graphic on you. But I think you'll get the picture.

This occurred in the men's restroom, where I found myself standing alongside a younger man in white slacks. Both of us were engaged in an activity that customarily occurs in a men's restroom.

That's when I heard a subtle clicking sound coming from my right, where the man in white slacks was standing. Now, I don't know how it is in women's restrooms, but there's an unspoken code among guys in restrooms that we pretty much keep our eyes straight ahead and mind our own business.

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At first, I thought the man's teeth might be chattering, which would be an unusual sound to hear in a men's room. Not impossible, I guess, but not likely.

I couldn't think of any other action associated with the man's current activity that might cause such a clicking sound. I've been in a lot of men's restrooms in my life. Never heard any clicking going on.

Ever so furtively, and without actually turning my head, I stole a glance to my right. That's when I saw that my fellow occupant was holding his smart phone in one hand, about chest height. Texting.

Maybe this happens to you all the time. But I had never seen that before.

I've seen breast-feeding mothers talking away with a cell phone tucked between an ear and a shoulder. But never this.

The guy was good. At texting, I mean. He was just click-click-clicking away, multi-tasking all the while. Apparently, both endeavors seemed to be going well, although I was unable to check for typos in his text message.

I tried to imagine what he was texting.

"Blind date not going well. Hiding out for a minute."

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Maybe: "Whr u? I b

p-ing."

I felt so silly. My iPhone was tucked in my pocket. I could have been telling Phyllis I was about to leave and would be home shortly. I could have checked in with my daughter and son-in-law in D.C. Or texted my son at college.

But, no. I was squandering another opportunity to make technology work for me. I was completing one simple task when I could have been dovetailing two at a time. I felt so '90s.

My fellow restroom occupant single-handedly wrapped up his primary task. I guess. All I know is he stepped away, and without pausing to wash his hands, headed out the restroom door.

The experience left me with two conclusions. First, I've got to go home and practice texting in situations I haven't previously considered. Second, be careful whose cell phone you borrow. You don't know where it's been.

Sam Cook is a Duluth News Tribune columnist and outdoors writer. Reach him at (218) 723-5332 or scook@ duluthnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at "twitter.com/ samcookoutdoors."

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