Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Reach Out and Touch Someone

I sometimes miss the days of having a conventional phone. You know, the kind you could slam on somebody's head and they'd be unconscious for half an hour. Remember how if you were really pissed at someone, you could slam the headset on its base and the person on the other end would get their eardrums blown? You can't do that with mobile devices. Close your flip phone and the other person will just think you're out of range. I have an old-school phone in my basement and am tempted to hook it up for shiggles. I remember twisting my finger around the cord while yakking it up with friends and how you couldn't leave the room while on it: You were stuck there until the conversation was over.

I watched a great independent movie a couple weeks ago called "We Don't Live Here Anymore".


Starring one of my all-time favorite actresses, Naomi Watts, as well as Mark Ruffalo, it tells the story of a guy and a girl (both of whom are married) who are having a affair. The film is set in the early 90's which makes sense because if you think about it, cheating can't be as easy these days as it once was, not with the advent of the cell phone. In the early days of Clinton, you could tell your beloved you were gonna be out for four hours and there was no way they could find you or check up on what you were doing, not unless you followed them or hired a private dick (pun intended). Though not a masterpiece, the movie was quite satisfying in three major ways: it dealt with real emotions, had no special effects, and gave me much to think about after watching it.

Two decades ago, my brothers were the kings of getting maximum use out of Alexander Bell's invention. On many evenings, they would call pizza places and have them deliver to a house up the street. It would always be amusing watching (from their house in the dark) the pizza man going up to the house and telling the occupant he had the pizza they "ordered". On one occasion, the guy actually bought the pizza. They would also call cabs to the same house and watch as the driver sat in his cab, waiting for his "customer" to come out. After a couple minutes, he would honk his horn. The boys always loved watching what would transpire. One time, two cabs from different companies were both in front of the house at the same time.

9 comments:

Dämmerung Anblick said...

Yes the old phones! Now you've brought back some vivid memories. I remember when I was growing up, our phone was in the most inconvenient place: one top of the piano which was in the dining room of all places. My first girlfriend Jenny used to like to yak for hours about nothing. I had to sit there for hours totally uncomfortably while she would go on about whose high school was better, mine or hers.

I'll have to keep an eye out for that movie. I noticed Laura Dern in the photo as well.

Rocketstar said...

thanks, added to the Netflix list.

Coconut said...

Ours was in the kitchen. Actually, it still is, at my parents' house.

Actually, I think it's just as easy to cheat today. With email and text messages, you can delete that stuff before anyone finds it. I guess if someone really wnats to cheat, they'll find a way.

Eric Curtis said...

I kind of miss those old phones, too. Remember having to untangle the cords after awhile? good times.

Thomas said...

Dammerung, great story. Too bad you didn't have a bean bag or something that you coulda laid on.

Rocket, I think you'll like it.

Coco, ours was also in the kitchen. I remember what a coup it was when we got one in the upstairs bedroom. And you're right about cheating: where there's a will...

Eric, I do, indeed, recall those cords. I wonder if anyone was ever strangled with them.

Timothy Smith said...

Its hard to remember times before the cell phone, riding your bike all over town looking for friends. Just getting together for a movie took a lot more back then.

Did you know on those bogus cab calls the cab company does not lose a single cent? The poor driver does. With Pizza the company loses on the pie but the driver loses wages and gas.

In fact if you run from a cab driver (ditch a fare) in our old home town the driver not only would lose his half of the fare and gas but he has to pay the companies half to the company!

You are right about the pies being sold to people who did not order them. Pranks were very common at the college dorms but half the time the guy would buy the pie anyway.

Cab driver is a tough job, you need a thick skin. Pizza delivery I think is one of the most underrated jobs. I loved it and it paid well. Everyone is always happy to see the pizza guy!

Thomas said...

Tim, so true: the pre-cell phone days seem much longer ago than they actually were. Bummer that the cab driver ends up paying for bad calls.

One good thing about prank calls working for Sammy's Pizza was being able to have a couple slices if a pie was returned.

No question that a pizza man is one of the happiest sights one can see on a cold Sunday afternoon while in the middle of watching the Big Game.

Timothy Smith said...

The job also ruled as you got to meet about 20-30 hot college girls a day.

Thomas said...

Nice. I bet you got a tingly feeling every time you saw an order was for Sheehan.