Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.
Our Very Reliable
and dependable telephone has been around since Alexander Graham Bell's time and I would speculate that it was close to Bell's time of day when he lost his temper from someone (on the first Party Line) who got snotty with him for needing the line.
The phone. And here I was feeling remorseful about taking the mule for granted. Not anymore. It's time I give the telephone it's comeuppance. And by doing this noble gesture, I think that Mr. Bell will look down from Heaven and smile. Thanks, Kenneth.
Now With Very Deep
memories, I want to present a few far-fetched ideas that I want you to learn. I also want to present my thinking about how dependent on the telephone so much that we cannot get out of bed unless we have a wireless phone on the night table--announcing in that robot-like tone, the time, day, month, year, weather forecast, what suit to wear and what to eat for breakfast. Face it, folks. We are that Multi-Tech Society that would have made George Orwell green with envy.
Ahhh, yes. The ease and comfort befitting us, those with Technological Know-How! All "we" are required to do is pick up our cell phone's or telephone receiver, put in the proper digits and have a business client clean across the world. Or find out if your next-door neighbor is doing when he fell off off of his ladder painting his house. We don't even have to leave our homes to talk to people. We can talk to our neighbors, tell-off those irritating companies who insist that we owe them more money than we are sending--all accomplished from the comfort of our recliners.
Don't you love it? But instead of being more thankful, we just dig for more advances in our already-ease-of-operation cell phones which now are given names: Smart and "I." Never thought that I would ever see this much technology when I was in high school in our early 70s. And even then, we had telephone service who I feel Alexander Graham Bell must have talked to or read Henry Ford's Formula for Success as he said to customers, sure. You can get any color (of car) you want as long as it's black, and that is the color we all had: Black. It also had a Rotary Dialer. And when we wanted to talk to a pretty girl whom we were dating, there was that annoying Busy Signal--Meeemp! Meemp! I hated that.
Then we wised up. Depending on the party we were talking to, the very instant that we heard that irritating Busy Signal, one of us would say, call me back, and after that we could talk a good half-hour of gossip, news events, girls who were available, and places to take them. The Busy Signal, I have to say, was not a challenge for us.
There was a lot of friction if you had been saddled with the Party Line. Ugh! What a thorn in the side. Especially if you were like me in my teen years and being blessed with the telephone. A Party Line had four to five customers and having access to others went with the unwritten rule: Respect Others and They Will Respect You.Ugh! Not so.
I remember having to haggle and lie in order to get the line cleared so I could call my buddies at school--which was strange. I had just been with them since 8 am. It was a Rite of Passage to laze back, talk endlessly about things we thought mattered while I could hear two elderly people who didn't cover their aggravation with their long breaths and sometimes cursing me out for staying on the line too long. One time I had had enough. The same two elderly people, one a married senior man and a married senior woman who were enjoying some latter day adultery and I loved it. They stopped talking in colorful terms when I said, aren't you using the Party Line for sinful purposes? And that put a stop to the adultery terms.
Do you remember the most-economical phone bills in the beginning? I do. Our family had a black rotary phone (like everyone) with the annoying Party Line, all for Seven Bucks a month. Seven! Oh, how I wish that our nation's economy was as good in 2018 as it was when the phone was new to us.
As the phone and its various troubles grew, so did we. I remember getting dates; apologizing for saying something that I did on dates; talking to my buddies about the results of their dates; apologizing to them for laughing at them and finally, having to call a certain business who needed people for work. I can tell you that finding the job meant: Youthful Days Are Over. Adulthood was at the door. No wonder that I would see the hungry wolf of adulthood grinning at our front door--growling and grinding his teeth when he seen me.
Time went by and so did our friend, ally, and now-needed-appliance, the telephone. In the 1960s through the 90s, talking to friends and business clients was as easy as drinking water. Just punch in the number and there they would be. I said "punch in" the numbers because the many telephone corporations grew as we did and kept up with each new invention, fad, and use for them. I give the big telephone corporations for being up-to-date. In the 80s through the 90s saw the day when we did away with the Rotary Phone and went to punching in those needed numbers.
The telephone was just getting started. We were still in shock with we no longer had to use our one finger to dial the phone--with the punching system, we could punch in numbers which was proven to be quicker. So when Progress and Communication became partners, we were constantly seeing and enjoying the many technological break-troughs such as Texting on our cell phones instead of just calling the friend or customer's number wasn't enough. A more popular and chic society opted to use their text board to say more and in style with many colors and images that were available from their phones.
But now, and let's give honor to the first telephones that were installed on the wall and the person using the phone had to use a handle on the right to "ring up" whatever number he or she wanted. And even this was thought to be "progress" taking the place of the Telegram. Remember those?
Who didn't see the Global Impact of the Internet coming one slumbering morning? The 'net as it was called, worked on the Telephone's Data Base and it's creators could send data and text to someone next door or from way across the world. Yes, the Internet was here and was going to stay. And from the first photos that ever ever sent came the E-Mail and the world was not only wired, but in touch with each other and somehow grew further apart. Who figured?
And even now, we have become complacent with the regular telephone, E-Mail, Internet and all of the games that we can play on our own computers at home. Even now in 2018, we can do everything from our home--shop, pay bills, order needed-supplies all from the touch of a keyboard. Amazing.
I can just imagine what was said when an obviously-disgusted observer saw the first man driving the first automobile, "it'll never last."
And now, I wonder how long it will be before another group will say that to me?
© 2018 Kenneth Avery