Wake up call
The other morning we were
awakened early by a call from
a frenzied child. All that she
wanted was to talk and get a
virtual hug from Daddy then
things calmed down. While I
didn't solve a single problem,
that link across wires helped
her through a hard time. The
telephone has always played
a major role in many of life's
key events. Maybe that's why
I hate talking on it... click...
During my youth it was not
exactly easy to get connected.
One rented your phone from a
bureaucratic monopoly. Doing
so was a pricey and pretentious
process which included veiled
threats and complex contracts.
There was nothing benevolent
about Ma Bell. She could cut
you off anytime... click...
In olden times one didn't always
get what one wanted. We had a
party line for years. Not because
Howard was cheap but rather
due to our service area not being
able to accommodate additional
lines. While sharing a line with
strangers was quite odd, listening
vicariously to their online chats
was beyond thrilling... click...
If you were dialing in Manhattan,
one's phone exchange identified
who was who and where! Plaza
(PL) was midtown, Rhinelander
(RH) was the upper east side,
Endicot (EN) was the upper west
side, etc. Later on, if you weren't
212, but rather 201 or 203... you
were a suburbanite at best! Back
then the operator was your link
with the outside world. When is
the last time you dialed "O" or
411 and got an answer... click...
Can you get that?
One call can instantly change
your life. Whether it's a plea for
help from a loved one, news of
a death or illness, an invitation
to dinner, or simply gossip, any
contact can ring one's bell. For
years I simply let the answering
machine do all the work. After
all life was complex and the last
thing I needed was a new crisis.
At that point, the only thing I
could control was my telephone.
And so I did just that... click...
Let's talk again soon
While I still have an aversion to
tele chit chat, I've worked out
most of my phone phobias. It's
highly doubtful that I'll ever be
a dedicated dialer. Rather, my
preferred form of connection is
via e-mail. Almost as immediate
as the telephone, it's so much
easier to control. So reach out
and touch someone you love
but please, don't call before ten
or after nine. Better yet, send a
quick e-mail... click... delete...