Sunday, November 28, 2010

Honey ? Can you get the phone ?

About once every three or four months some member of my family or one of my friends will decide to phone us and they always call our home phone. Invariably we are out when they phone; they never get us directly so they leave us peevish (but usually funny) messages enquiring as to the state of our mental and physical health . If they are very lucky, we'll remember to listen to our home phone messages that week (not kidding) and at some time in the next six months we might respond with a call of our own. The problem with our home phone is that we're never inside the house to answer it and when we *are* in the house we never think to pick up the receiver to check for messages. I have wondered out loud several times why we continue with the bother and expense of having a home phone.

We do a little better than this with our cell phones, but only a little. It's hard to answer the phone or have a conversation when one is engaged in farm work or feeding horses, so we usually set our phones down somewhere and then spend the remainder of the day trying to remember where we set the damn things. I've thought about getting a blue tooth to wear around the farm so I could just keep my cell phone in my pocket (set to vibrate rather than ring), but in addition to being a hazard I think they just look dorky, and I KNOW I'd forget to take it off when I went to the store, etc. Melissa won't entertain the bluetooth at all !

One of the greatest things about living in 2010 as opposed to say 1987 (which was also pretty great for a whole variety of reasons) is the technological revolution that has resulted in internet/email and text messaging communications and devices. While I absolutely abhor the poor spelling and grammatical short forms that text messaging has brought about, I LOVE the medium itself !

In 1987 we had just moved from a party line (our ring was one long and one short) to a private telephone line, which cut down on our phone ringing by half (which my parents..who weren't phone people either...thought was great) ! We had one black, bakelite rotary dial phone in our house and it was located on the wall in the middle of the kitchen....not exactly designed for privacy so conversations were kept to a minimum.

Fast forward twenty-three years and who hears the phone ring any more even if there's twelve of them in the house ?

Need to communicate with the Webbs ? If you want an short and to the point answer immediately, text us. If it can wait a few hours and/or you need more detail, email us. If you aren't in a hurry for a return call and/or want to chat, call our cell phones and pray a lot. If you never want to hear from us again, call our home phone and leave a message.

Hope you are all having a good day !


Anonymous said...

For years we had a phone that flashed a light when there had been a call or was a message. It was a victim of our Great Lightning Strike of 2010. It's replacement doesn't have any flashing lights, and I'm slow to adapt, so callers go unnoticed for days at a time. There's a phone in the barn; it's in one corner of a 74' by 114' barn and the chances of me hearing it much less getting to it quickly are very slim. And as my son likes to point out, my cell phone is pretty useless because I forget to turn it on. Just call me Happily Out of Contact!

Funder said...

I tote my iPhone everywhere, but I hardly ever talk on it. My husband insists I carry it in case I manage to trap myself on a roof or maim myself somehow, plus I love having it handy to take pictures. I have unlimited texts and the 2 gig data plan, but I can't tell you a) how many minutes I have or b) the last time I used all of them.

I agree with Melissa, Bluetooths just make you look like a deranged crackhead, arguing with yourself. Buuuut... it's a good idea, if it'd get you to carry your phone... you're also the type to get stranded on a roof or something.

SmartAlex said...

Now wait... I'm feeling old. I have a black bakelite rotary phone in the living room. We have phones in various other spots in the house (they all have cords by the way) and we even have vintage pay phones in the garages and basement. But, the best one is the bakelite one. And it takes 4-ever to dial my mother's number because it's all high numbers.

This summer, a neighbor brought a friend and her pre-teen daughters by to visit. When the friend saw that old phone, she actually called her daughter in to see it. Because "she's never seen a real one." Gah... I'm old.

I do have a cell that I keep in my purse for emergencies. It actually belongs to my office, and I'm pretty sure it's 10 years old. My husband tries every couple of months or so to get me to switch our house phone to the cable service, but I refuse. Ain't nuthin wrong with the phone company.

Jason said...


I've spent most of my life happily out of touch, literally and metaphorically.


That's why I always carry a rope ! It takes up more room than a phone, but it can't talk back to me plus I CAN pretend I'm Tarzan when the ladder falls and I'm stuck on a roof ! LOL !

Smart Alex;

Shucks ! You ain't old ! In fact, you can't be old, because I think we're the same age and I'm just a pup yet, albeit a pup who did most of his high school swooning twenty some years ago on that black bakelite rotary dial phone in the kitchen ! Between early and late chores and the family listening to every word of my conversations it's a wonder I ever managed to snag a date ! :)

When you get a minute and if you'll humour me, I'd love to see pics of the payphones ! That's just cool !!

Anonymous said...

Lordy, it seems we need a support group for those who have been stranded on a roof. I have a reasonable excuse: a mare decided to scratch her butt on my ladder and knocked it over.

Sylvia said...

I *heart* my iPhone. I feel like I've lost an appendage when I dont have it! We had a party line when I was a kid. I was a nosey kid ;)
And...I fully admit to being a texting fool!!! Lol!

Jason said...


I was a nosey kid too !

Given that our party line partner was/is our nearest neighbour and one of my mum's best friends to this day, I haven't felt the need to apologize for my dalliances yet !

Can't have an Iphone down here 'cause we ain't got no service ! :(

Melissa used to joke that I'd have to run to the store to replace my Crackberry when I gave up my corporate job. Hasn't happened yet, but IMO those things are addictive !