Living Retired #208- August 21, 2017
IMAGINE: A PHONE THAT IS ACTUALLY ATTACHED TO THE WALL!
There are 85 million baby boomers in North America– 170 million knee replacements!
To get a handle on baby boomers the government appointed a blue ribbon expert panel– now there’s an oxymoron! Their findings have been released in a report entitled, ‘Baby Boomers: Beyond Nasal Strips, Pickleball, and Figuring How The Hell To Get Their Grandchildren Into A Car Seat.’
The report highlights that baby boomers were first traumatized by their parents canapés–cheese whiz on celery sticks. As if that wasn’t enough, the report identified three other factors that defined the early years of baby boomers…
1. Baby boomers were the first generation to grow up with mothers who would lick a kleenex and wipe their child’s face– in public. Yuk!
2. Baby boomers were raised on Sunday night dinners of dried shoe leather–AKA: roast beef in a previous life, accompanied by canned cream corn.
3. Baby boomers grew up in homes where the telephone was a beast–2 pieces joined by a black cord, attached to the wall!
These days 2-piece telephones are called ‘land lines.’ Ours sits on the kitchen granite countertop. Nearby, we keep an old book called a ‘telephone directory.’ We refer to this book to look up what other baby boomers phone numbers were back in 2007.
When our granddaughters visit they look at this old fashion phone and scratch their head. They figure it must be one of Jan’s counter decorations– like the Wild Fig & Vanilla Bean decorator candle that I know I’m not supposed to light! When the granddaughters were very young they’d gum the telephone receiver while they were teething.
Just like today’s modern phones have as many features as Trump has insults, our old fashion telephone has a couple of handy features too. No, I’m not talking about the Maps app that never gets you to where you’re going, or the Weather app that lies as much as television meteorologists!
Our old relic telephone has voicemail which says, “Hi. Jan and I aren’t here so please leave us a message and we’ll call you back as soon as possible.”
Of course we say “We’ll call you back as soon as possible” not because we plan to, but because that’s what everyone else says when you reach their voicemail.
The other feature of our old fashion phone is ‘call display’ which lets us see who is calling when the phone rings. This way, we can decide if we are home or not.
Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Hey Jan it’s your boss calling. Are you home or not?”
Pretty well nobody calls us on our old fashion phone because we carry iPhones wherever we go which means we are ‘always available.’ This allows our friends to reach us when we are driving the car– drinking coffee, flossing our teeth, checking our resting heart rate on our Fitbit and texting ‘LOL.’
About now I can hear you saying, “Gary, why don’t you mothball your old fashion telephone? DUH!”
It boils down to two reasons that we still keep this old fashion phone…
First, our telephone is part of a ‘bundle’ which is the cable companies way of saying ‘pile of steaming Yak dung.’ A bundle combines cable television– with a bazillion channels so we can complain that there is never anything to watch– and high-speed Internet– hey there’s another oxymoron!
Of course when our internet or cable television doesn’t work we get to call the busy people at the cable company. They must be busy because every time we need to talk to them their answering machine says, “We are experiencing a high volume of calls. Please wait for the first available agent.”
The other reason we keep our old fashion phone is so the hardworking telemarketers can reach us with important offers and services that– although they don’t know us– they figure we surely need.
Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Hi. Mr. Chalk I would like to take just a minute of your time to tell you about an amazing service for your home that can save you hundreds of dollars on your energy bill. Our duct cleaning promises to…”
At this point I do what every compassionate, kindhearted homeowner does when he’s interrupted watching football on television while drinking beer and eating beef jerky, with a can of Febreze Hawaiian scent room deodorizer beside the lazy boy chair…
I scream, “#!!#\.”
Then I hang up!
Another feature of our old fashion telephone is that it displays the date and the time. The main purpose of this is to give us one more thing to do each time there is a power failure…
I run around like a mad man resetting the date and time on the stove, the microwave oven, the refrigerator ice-cube maker, the French press coffee maker, the bread maker with pizza dough feature, and the candlestick maker– I’m just making sure you’re still reading this! And that’s only the clocks in the kitchen! The problem is, by the time I figure out how to reset each of these devices, they all display different times and days!
An unintended feature of our old fashion phone is its ability to cause hell with your family members. After trying to get hold of you for a day or two, they finally arrive at your front door…
“Hi. Come on in.”
“Where the hell have you been? We’ve been calling you for a couple of days! You never answered! Did you take the phone off the hook?”
You know what the absolute best feature is of an old fashion telephone compared to the fancy-smancy hands-free cellphones?
Even if you drop it down the toilet you can use the cord to fish it back up!
Yep in the old days they thought of everything.