People always talk louder when they’re on their cell phones. Both the pitch and volume of the voice increase as they go along. There’s a kind of semi-hysteria that starts to creep into their voices. Very slowly, of course, but also quite steadily.
At the beginning of the conversation there’s just a hint of it. But as the conversation continues, it starts to become more pronounced. And then – in the final dying throes of the dialogue, by which time all persons in the vicinity of the speaker have started to become involved – in one way or another – willingly or unwillingly – the hysteria has become almost fully fledged. Not quite fully fledged, of course, because people still know that it’s important to pretend to be polite. But the iron edge under the voice is unmistakable.
And then – just in time – the conversation comes to an end. Usually perfectly amicably, of course, but there was always that pregnant moment – two thirds through the conversation – when things were about to get ugly.