“Number, Please?”

A few years ago my cell phone fell out of my overalls pocket into an irrigation ditch when I reached down to worry a valve.  Sank spang to the bottom, but came out seemingly okay after I dried it out.  But was never the same afterward …. grew progressively worse until it was useless for a couple of months.  I waited, figuring it might come back, or that I might decide I just didn’t need a cell phone.  But I’m a pansy-arsed modern man these days and I finally just decided to give in to progress.

Got myself a new one.  Gives me something of a start, the stuff on that new phone.  Rattles me to the core that we’ve become so futuristic Dick Tracy-esque.

This thing will take pictures!  It will surreptitiously  take videos or recordings of the cop who’s leaning over your car window acting the way cops shouldn’t.  It will do all manner of things I don’t know how to do with it yet and maybe won’t be able to justify learning.  Gives me the fantods thinking about trying to figure that thing out.

Reminds me of when I was a kid and we got our first phone.  They were teaching me about it, how you put this end to your ear and that end to your mouth and listen for an operator to say, “Number, please.”

Then how you say, “3621” if you need to call Jeanne Ann and Hollis because someone had an accident and you need to get help.  Or when you call KENM radio station to give the answer to the College Dairy Quiz and win movie tickets for the family.

And how you stay the hell off of it in all other circumstances.

I was a precocious kid and had a tendency to get us all to the movies pretty often, but my problem was that when that operator came on I usually blew up.  My mind went blank, I’m ashamed to say, when I heard that beeeeeeutiful female operator voice.

Fortunately, the operators got on my side after a while, with the College Dairy Quiz.  At 6pm when I lifted that phone they’d just say, “I’m ringing them, dear.” without me having to say anything.
This one won’t do that, but it’s still okay without any operators.

Note:   I recently came across this, written before I left New Mexico.  Tweaked it a bit, but nowadays it’s foreign to me because it’s “NO SERVICE” when you click the button.

Old Jules

Johnny Rivers– Memphis

5 responses to ““Number, Please?”

  1. Jules,reminds me of the Laugh In show when I was a kid. One ringy dingy.These new phones are mini computers you put in your pocket.


  2. Morning China. I never had the respect for Dick Tracy I should have had by hindsight. The Laugh In show seemed a good one at the time. Wonder how it would pay by hindsight.

    Thanks for the visit and comment. I appreciate you. J

  3. “Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?”

    Good stuff. We were a movie going family, too. Our only outside entertainment and it was the days before ratings so it sometimes got interesting, although never distasteful, just a tad scary in parts.

    Good post. Love your line about staying off the phone in all other circumstances. The folks on our party line didn’t get that part.

  4. This would have to be about as wild a tangent as I could pursue, so I hope you’ll forgive me. I noticed most your links to music point to YouTube’s Belgium link farm.

    Now, Belgium is one of the strangest countries I ever got to know. From the very beginning, they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into everything. From the very first steps in the old European Common Market, all the way through the current European Union. Yet they have always hosted the HQ for everything international. They are the HQ for a large number of very embarrassing things, too, but that’s another story. So it’s just funny to me YouTube uses their Belgian domain as a link farm.

    I don’t have a Marie-six-years-old there, but I’d go back in a heartbeat just to visit some other good folks I met there.

    (If another attempt at posting a comment shows up, just kill it, please. I had a fight with this thing.)

  5. Hi TE: The movies seemed better then, though sometimes scarier. I recall thinking ‘The Third Man” was worth crawling under the seat over in some places. And the other kids and I used to fight over who got to be Sgt. Stryker [Sands of Iwo Jima], or got to be Gene Autry or Roy Rogers. There was a nasty rumor going around Roy Rogers was a sissie, wasn’t really King of the Cowboys, for a while.

    “Knock Knock.”
    “Who’s there?”
    “Kilroy who?”
    “Kilroy Rogers! I’m a Gene Autry fan.”

    I hung in there, though. Never thought Roy was a sissie.

    Thanks for the visit and reminder. Good seeing you here.

    Hi Ed. I’ve never quite understood how those Netherlanders kept track of who was who. Every time I get into reading something about the war in the Pacific and the debacle of the Dutch East Indies surrendering troops of a surprising number of nationalities without a shot being fired, stacking up their weapons at some centralized point based on a radio command, waiting a few days for Japanese to come march them off to a hell hole prison camp for the duration of the war I find myself wondering without troubling to follow up, just who it was surrendered them country-wise.

    Then there’s always the Congo worth pondering, I reckons.

    I didn’t know that about YouTube. For me it’s all just plain magic, and magic of a sort I hold in awe, getting to look at all those performances and listen to music I haven’t thought about seems like forever.

    Thanks for the visit and comments. Gracias,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s