Eddy Buckingham is the owner of New York cocktail den The Liberty and Kempt’s resident Fernet Branca expert. Periodically, he offers us wisdom gleaned from his years behind the bar.

Before it was cell phones, it was cigarettes.

I saw it for years from behind the bar. You’re out and about, your companion disappears for a split second, and you fire up a Camel. It’s a defense mechanism; smoking, you’re not a creep or a drunk staring mutely into your whiskey—you’re thoughtful, and aloof, maybe even a little mysterious.

Then along came Bloomberg, and the cigarette was relegated to the curb outside. In its place arose a more insidious behavioral crutch: the cell phone.

Walk into any bar in the country and you’ll see a crowd of would-be revelers tapping mutely at their illuminated crotches. (And I assure you, the most interesting action is not happening down there. If you’re lucky, that comes later.)

That’s why, just like you did with cigarettes your sophomore year of college, it’s time to quit. Herewith: a bartender’s guide to cell phone etiquette.>>

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