Well, you can't blame City Councilman Leroy Comrie for lack of optimism. Comrie, who represents the 27th District, had considered introducing a bill that would have banned cellphones in restaurants. Seriously. However, the NY Sun now reports that bill will probably not be presented at all, after Comrie heard complaints from the restaurant industry.

"I was surprised at the feedback from the restaurant owners, that they didn't like it," Mr. Comrie, a Democrat of Queens, said. The idea for the law came out of discussions with his staff, as well as the annoying experiences of having restaurant meals disrupted by rude cell phones users, including one, he recalled, in which a patron appeared to be conducting play-by-play of a baseball game over the phone.

The negative response quickly changed his mind about the bill. "The restaurant business is an industry we want to flourish and support, and not unduly burden with over-regulation," Mr. Comrie said, adding: "I don't want to be seen as anti-business."

Of course not. The ban would have applied only to "white linen" restaurants, so loud conversations at McDonald's to a local diner would be all right.

Using a cellphone during a meal out can be rude, but when it's between friends or significant others and you're checking messages and using your very best inside voice, it's passable if it's short and sweet - other people are talking, too! Or you can leave the table and make the call in a hall. Leave the city's banning of cell phones to schools - where students seem to be bringing more phones and other gadgets than ever.