Phonal Usage

I have never gotten used to the telephone.  I hate it when the phone goes off because it means I might have to talk to somebody or there is some problem that has to be taken care of.  The phone also is insistent; you could be doing anything and if you want to know what the call is about,arnold you have to pick up the phone. I do not consider the phone my friend or look upon it with any particular affection.  That’s probably because I did not get the proper phone socialization.

In SC we had a phone at least for part of the time back here.  It was hung up on the wall and it was a party line.  If you don’t know about party lines, maybe you have seen that old TV show, Green Acres, about this rich couple that decides to go live in the country.  And there was a talking pig in that show too.  Anyway they had a party line; sometimes the pig talked on the party line.  That means you could pick up the phone and there would be other people talking on the line.  I don’t know what you did if you wanted to talk; I suppose you could have asked them to get off the line while you talked to the person you wanted to talk to.  I don’t know because I never got to use that phone. Who the hell was I going to call; my swarm of little ten year old friends that lived like I did out in the middle of nowhere?  Not likely.

 So I don’t think I talked on a phone, in the sense of dialing it myself and hanging it up myself, till I was in my teens.  I suspect I talked to somebody on a phone before my teens because my parents wanted me to speak to whoever the person was on the phone. But really this is speculation.  So I don’t know for sure that I talked on a phone till was in my teens. You’d think a person might remember the first time he ever talked on a phone but I don’t.  I remember my first shower.  That was in Louisiana.  But that concrete little room with water squirting out of the wall scared me.  The phone didn’t scare me any.  I knew what it was for anyway.

 In California, we had one phone.  Right smack dab in the middle of the house.  It was located on what I believe was called a pass through or pass over (though I think a pass over is religious) that was cut in the wall between the kitchen and the so-called front room.  I suppose the phone was stuck there for the sake of convenience, but its placement also seemed part of the absolutely no privacy policy of the household.  If you had a secret, you sure couldn’t talk about it on the phone because the old lady would always, in the evening, be lying about ten feet away on the sofa reading the obituaries to see if somebody she knew had died lately and she would be listening to every damn thing you said.

And there was no chair there either so I never did get really comfortable talking on the phone, like these kids you see on TV with their own phones lolling around on their own bedrooms talking who knows what manner of shit to each other.  The best you could do if you wanted to “talk,” in any sense other than a pure informational exchange, was to hold the receiver to your ear, and sit on the kitchen floor between the refrigerator and the dog food bowl that was next to the dog bed.  This just wasn’t a place for getting comfortable.

I know or I have heard of people who get on the phone and talk to other people in a conversational way about the events of the day and so on.  I guess you could call these people you talk to phone friends.  But I have never done that because I was not properly socialize in phone usage and am generally retarded in that area.

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