Friday 24 October 2014

Crank Calls

I seem to be getting more of my blog ideas from facebook lately. I don’t know if that is a positive comment on how thought provoking facebook is becoming, how boring my life off of the computer is or just how desperate I am for blog ideas. Let’s go with the first one, it makes me seem a little less pathetic.

A young friend has been upset lately about getting calls at all hours from telemarketers. I feel her pain; those bastards need to get a taste of their own medicine. We should find their home numbers and have a million or so people calling them at all hours of the day and night. I would prefer to put them in stocks to be ridiculed in the marketplace, but unfortunately, we don’t do that any longer. Those calls are irritating, but they are a part of modern life.

She is so upset, that she is planning on cancelling her land line and just living with mobile devices. She is pissed off that she’s paying $45 a month for nothing! The $90 or so she and her husband are paying for cell service (each) is okay though. My own daughter has been living without a land line for at least a year now and so far she doesn’t regret the choice at all. I don’t get it, but then I’m not twenty to thirty something.
When I was growing up, the phone was still respected as a modern technological marvel. It had a place of importance in each household, with its own table and a special chair that was reserved for talking on the phone. If the phone rang, it was answered whether it was the middle of the night or the middle of the day. You would never think to screen calls, even if that had been an option.

One of the most disappointing things to have happened to me in the past ten years or so was when I found out that my children were screening my calls. They would actually look and see that I was calling and then choose not to answer! Me! Their father! The guy who loved them more than I love myself! The guy who didn’t even like to talk on the phone, if I call, it is short and to the point. No hour long gab fest with me. I still don’t believe it.
Now, they don’t even use the phone for talking anymore, if I call and leave a message (they rarely answer), it can be a day or two before I hear back from them. However, if I text I will generally get a response pretty fast. I don’t like to text, it is cold and impersonal. My fat fingers don’t like the little buttons and auto correct is an asshole. Yes I know it is an inanimate sub program, but programs can be assholes. Perhaps the kids are using texting to force me to embrace the realities of modern living. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, old dogs like to lie in the sun and watch the world turn.

I will keep my land line for ever probably. I like the idea that when the cell networks fail (and they will) I can still make a call on my land line. There won’t be anyone to call of course because everyone else in the world has gone mobile. Maybe I will make crank calls to the few pay phones that are still in service.

“Do you have Prince Albert in a can?”
“Well, you had better let him out before he suffocates!”

Most of you won’t get that last bit since crank calls went out with the advent of caller ID.

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