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Blog: Home phones are like the dodo
THAT’S a tradition that’s going to end soon, isn’t it? When you call someone on their home phone and they repeat their telephone number and village back to you.
It always throws me; like being manually plugged into the 1950s via a local telephone exchange operator.
Lots of people have mobiles these days and you tend to fall into one of three camps. Camp one use theirs all the time, camp two have one and religiously keep it fully charged but never use it. Camp three believe mobiles are the work of the devil.
I find it confusing when people repeat my mobile number back to me, but then re-order the way I told them it.
They rearrange my digit groupings, then infer that’s how it should be said, like they’re on some kind of crazy power trip.
I’m also wary when people tell me their address but when they sense uncertainty from me, they offer a grid reference as an alternative to classic directions.
I write the grid reference down sometimes – going as far as repeating it back to them – just to go along with a tradition that’s important to them.
Then I’ll overcook this social obligation when I finally arrive, late and lost.
“I wouldn’t have got here without your grid reference!” I’ll say. “Aren’t grid references great! Not many people use grid references these days, do they! I do. All the time, every day of my life…”
Then they’ll try to enroll me in to the Grid Reference Preservation Society because ‘they’re always on the look out for fresh blood.’ They mean new blood, I’m sure. Fresh blood and new blood are different things.
Do you remember the area code changes? When you suddenly had to start putting a 1 after the first digit? How complicated but curiously cosmopolitan that seemed.
Overnight, remote backwaters of Cumbria felt more urban.
So the old house phone is doomed, I’d say. Like a Dodo. A Dodo pecking in the Last Chance Saloon.
Not a great analogy to end with, but it stays for want of an alternative.