Some Thoughts About Our Telephones

November 6, 2022 at 3:46 p.m. Pat D'Amico

Our own local light verse contributor Pat D’Amico is at it again. Here is her take on telephones…

Way back in the olden days, I climbed on a chair to make a call on our wall mounted telephone. I lifted the receiver and a friendly voice said, “Number please.” I gave a four-digit number with no prefix or area code. I was sternly reminded by my parents that I must not listen to conversations on our party line. Later we got a dial phone that could be placed on a table. I could sit in a chair and visit with my friends. A telephone ring was almost always a positive thing.

The cell phone of today is an encyclopedia, a dictionary, a thesaurus, a calculator, a clock, a camera, a photo album and a means of communication. It is ironic that now when the telephone rings, we are often annoyed because spammers, scammers and telemarketers proliferate and it’s likely we will ignore the call if we don’t recognize the caller I.D.

I can’t help thinking back to the physical, simple uplifting of spirits that the telephone brought into our lives. It has evolved into an amazing instrument, but I miss the vibes of the olden days.

Alexander Graham Bell: We have not served you well
When in this modern age, we have come to the stage
Where we let the phone ring as it’s likely to bring
Some scam artist callers who just want our dollars.

Telemarketers have a way
Of opening with,
“How are you today?”
And so I feel it is my task
To answer, “How nice of you to ask—
My car has a flat and I’m getting the flu.
I can’t find my cat and my bills are all due!”
Then I get a feeling akin to glee
When the telemarketer hangs up on me.

Just for a starter, my smart phone is smarter:
I love it and I also hate it.
Just when I find out what an app’s all about—
Wouldn’t you know, they’ll update it.

How close we were—our lives entwined.
How could this fool leave you behind?
I miss your charming face so much—
Your intellect—your voice—your touch.
To love again? I’ll have to chance it,
Dear phone, I left on public transit. 

Pat D'Amico in her natural environment -- her favorite chair


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