I decided to visit my parents yesterday. I entered their house through the basement and was in the process of taking off my shoes, when I heard a super-loud ringing noise. It sounded like an intermittent fire alarm.
What a minute...it sounded like the crazy-loud ring of a rotary phone. I followed the noise and sure enough, I found a rotary telephone on it's own little table hidden in a corner of the basement. Of course, I ran up the stairs and began harrassing my mother mercilessly about the phone. I asked her if she had churned her own butter that day and if she was going to go wash her clothes on the rocks at the nearest river. Fortunately, mom has the best sense of humour in the world and she just laughed. She said that they use the phone to answer calls when they are downstairs or outside in the garden. Yes, they can hear that horrible ring outside, with the doors and windows closed - yikes.
I ran back downstairs and decided to call one of my pals using a telephone I hadn't used in twenty years.
I called my friend Ana (correct spelling) on her cell phone. Firstly, it took several long painful minutes for the dial to return to it's original position in order to be able to dial the next number. Secondly, and more annoyingly, I had to listen to her whole voicemail message. I have known her for years, and have been able to press the "#" key in order to get to the beep and leave my message. In fact, I have never heard her whole voicemail message. It was lame. It just went on and on and on. My mind drifted off to a scene of a white sandy beach with palm trees and jewel blue water. Suddenly I was jolted back to reality when I heard the beep. I left my banal message informing Ana that I was calling her from a rotary telephone.
When she called me back later, she laughed because when I hung the receiver back onto it's base, she heard a loud clunk that she hadn't heard in years, since she had last used a rotary phone. It wasn't a delicate little "click" that occurs when you press the "off" key, or closed the flip of your cell phone. Next week, I'll have to dust off the 8-track tape deck I eyed in the back crevases of my parents' garage.