DEAR ABBY: Unbelievable as it may seem, this actually happened. I was in the ladies' room in my office building when a woman came in talking on her cell phone. She went into the stall next to mine and continued carrying on a conversation throughout her visit -- even while washing her hands!
I have mentioned this to several people. They say they have encountered the same situation in restrooms, too. Abby, how would you suggest we handle this in the future? -- SOME THINGS ARE SACRED IN MARYLAND
DEAR SOME THINGS ARE SACRED: I shouldn't have to say this, but using a cell phone while going to the bathroom is extremely inappropriate. While the desire not to interrupt a conversation is understandable, to talk while the background noise is reminiscent of an old Alka Seltzer jingle is not only an invasion of the privacy of the occupants of the adjacent stalls, but also disrespectful to the party on the other end of the line.
How to handle it? Ask the offender to please stop. However, for some people the most effective lesson in consideration for others may be when their cell phone falls into the toilet and must be replaced.