Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Predicting the Future

Coin-operated telephones! Does anyone even remember them? You know, those ravenous contraptions which allowed you to place a call and keep talking as long as you fed them an unending diet of coins. Mobile phones have all but ensured their demise.
Not too long ago, the entire family shared a telephone line and thought it was the height of luxury to have a second line. Now you phone your hubby from the next room, because you feel too lazy to walk across and talk to him.

Can we even predict what the future would bring? Would we really want to?
drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.


Mason Canyon said...

I can remember when several families all used the same line (party line) and you had to wait your turn to use the phone not just at your house but with your neighbors. We have come a long way. Not sure I want to know where we're going. LOL

Thoughts in Progress

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Phoning your hubby from the next room -- LOL! But ain't it the truth!

Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - I really think that's part of the appeal of life: not knowing what the future holds. It's very exciting if you think about it, and thinking of it optimistically (although realistically) can make those developments happen, I think. And I had to laugh about calling your husband from the next room. I haven't done that, but I do text my daughter when she's in her room and I am in the kitchen or our home office. She does the same thing. With young people, it can be very handy...

Laura Eno said...

I remember the coin phones. :) Great drabble!

Trudy said...

My, we have seen the changes haven't we? The party lines still crack me up, my mom remembers them well. Very strange!

Cute drabble! I still need to try this sometime.

Have a blessed day Rayna!

Shaharizan Perez said...

Oh wow! I haven't thought about those type of phones in years. YOu don't even see the public telephones in the streets anymore. I suppose the cell phone revolution obliterated those too.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I used to know exactly where every pay phone in my neighbourhood was, in case of emergency. But now, I'm not even sure if they are there anymore. When I so see one, I can help put see a grimy germ magnet. - G

Jules said...

And while I was away I needed a pay phone, none around and my cell had no service. So I lazily walked to a store with a phone. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Mason- we had party lines too when I was a kid. I even lived in a place where you could only call the other houses on the network- no calls outside the town were possible.

@ Debra- not yet me, but I have friends who do it all the time.

@ Margot- So true. Most technological advances are good, and the ones that are not are not intrinsically bad- they are just used badly.
I haven't yet called the hubby, but in office, we often called the people to find out where they were.

@ Laura - I remember using one about seven years back.

@ Trudy- you should, Trudy. They are great fun.

@ Chary- they are going the way fo dinosaurs in India too. But a few stores still have them.

@ Georgina- my kids don't even know what a land line looks like. And they are grimy germ magnets, aren't they?

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Jules - I do not know if that particular phone works or not!

slommler said...

I sure do remember coin operated phones. And how frustrating they could be. First you needed to have the right configuration of coins. Then you hoped this phone would accept all of your coins and not spit them out!! Then if the person you needed to call was not home...sigh!!!
And I remember party lines. Where you shared a line with one or more households. Totally frustrating.
As you can see...I am a huge fan of the cell phone. So much easier this way! But I don't call my husband from the other room...Ha!

Dyche Designs said...

I often wonder where all the payphones have gone. I was at an airport not so long ago and looking for one because my cell phone didn't work abroad. I did eventually find one, but it was hidden away like we're embarassed by them.

LTM said...

sigh. I DO remember them and there have been a few times when I wished pay phones were still around...!

But I'm not a big phone talker, so I lament the rise of cell phone use. Now we're sort-of back to writing letters w/texting & email, yes? I like that~ :o) <3

Barbara said...

I sometimes worry about what would happen if the cell phone broke and it was a emergency and there were no more phone booths around? And then I realize, Well, you can borrow a cell -- cell service is so cheap now.

Holly Ruggiero said...

I remember them and the one land line in the house too. What changes will the future hold?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kids today wouldn't know how to use a rotary phone!

Lydia Kang said...

Someone gave my husband a working payphone as a gift (not the whole booth, just the phone). It weighs a ton and so far he hasn't installed it. It would use coins and everything. Not sure if I'm ready to turn back time like that!

Clarissa Draper said...

Um... yup, that pretty much describes my house. We only use our cell phones and MSN each other to talk. How sad is that?


Ellen said...

Great drabble, great message! It reminds me of the cartoon show, "The Jetsons" so much from the futuristic cartoon has come true.
What is next? Funny, I do this with my son, I txt him when dinner is ready. He is gaming or loud music and if I knock on the door, he can't hear me or he has his headset on.

Theres just life said...

My brother had to use a pay phone to call me collect once. There wasn't one at the bus station were he arrived at. He had to walk 5 blocks to a grocery store that had one, call me then walk back to the bus station so I could send his ticket info to the station.
I sometimes get an email from the next desk in the same room... Of course, it is usually the only way he can get my attention when I am blogging.... What's next...hmmm, telepathy???

Dorte H said...


So do I! - call my husband in his office two doors away occasionally :D

A luxury, perhaps, but it´s nice to be able to call home when you are shopping and have forgotten the shopping list etc ...

But we bought our *first* mobile phone because my work was 90 km from home and I didn´t want to have a puncture or something in the middle of nowhere without being able to call for help.

Later we gave our daughters their first phones because we felt safer when they were away from home late night, knowing they could always call us.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

They start inserting chips in our heads, I'm giving up the phone entirely!

Mary said...

Pay phones, rotary dials and party lines -- oh the memory of them. Don't know how sweet the memory but it makes you think how fast things change.

Jen Daiker said...

This was awesome!!! I love remembering where we started off, how long ago we started at the beginning and what we've come to have today.

I'm one that prefers to live in each moment, knowing the future would ruin all of that, so I prefer to be surprised, for the good and the bad!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I always thought I had a good imagination, but I can’t begin to imagine what amazing things the future holds.

Jemi Fraser said...

Excellent! :)

We still have pay phones in the mall, but they cost 50 cents as opposed to 10 cents when I was a kid!

Danette said...

We have still have a rotary dial in our house. It is an antique! I really didn't want a cell phone when they first came out and now I can't live without mine.

Martin Kozicki said...

I sorta like how technology is shaping the world. It's exciting. Just because something exists doesn't necessarily mean you have to adopt it, so people still have a choice of how "tech-chic" they want to become. And if push comes to shove, you can always unplug and go camping.

Anonymous said...

You can even send your hubby a message via Facebook even if you're in the same room!

I do remember these phones. When I went home to the UK, we went to a museum where there was a coin-operated booth - it was the first time the kids had seen one!

Hart Johnson said...

Heck, when I was a kid, we had a party line... 4 or 5 households shared the same 'line' (though different numbers) so sometimes when you picked up the phone, someone else was already talking. You had to pay extra for private.

I still see pay phones now and then, though they have credit card slots...

Anonymous said...

Remember these from my college days. WOnderful contraptions, though I infinitely prefer the ubiquitous cell-phone these days!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ SueAnn- yes, getting the correct configuration of coins was a really tough one. And I remember we have two sizes of coins at that time (old and new), and only one used to work. To be honest, I much prefer cell phones.

@ Dyche- we have them prominently displayed at our airports. BUT, none of them work.

@ Leigh - specially when you are travelling, and your cell is giving trouble catching the signal, yes.

@ Barbara- you just borrow a cell. That is what my dear mother who refuses to get herself a cell phone always does. She gets someone to text me from the airport, so I know just when to pick her up.

@ Holly- I remember days of no land lines- we still survived.

@ Alex- I am not sure many of us would remember! And to think there was a time when I could dial some numbers with my eyes closed.

@ Lydia- that would be a cool thing to have. A friend has an antique brass phone at her place, and it actually works. She's promised to get me one too if she can.

@ Clarissa- bet your kid loves it.

@ Ellen- my kids are young enough to be not allowed locked doors, so when I need them I switch off the TV and clap my hands. Isn't my mother scandalised!

@ Pamela Jo- can I ask the obvious- why didn't he ask to borrow someone's cell? And yes, emails from the next desk are common.

@ Dorte - wow! And yes, I use my phone a lot for forgotten shopping lists too.

@ Diane- that's a scary thought.

@ Mary- looking back, the memory sounds sweet. But it is amazing how fast technology has changed

@ Jen- I am with you. I like the element of surprise that tomorrow brings- for good and bad.

@ Jane- and even if you do, and write it down, I am sure what actually happens will far surpass what you imagined.

@ Jemi- inflation!!!

@ Danette- that must be quite something. I want one of those too.

@ Martin- that is the best part of technology- you can choose to adopt as much of it as you want.

@ Fiona- my hubby's not on Facebook :-(

@ Hart- I have listened onto some interesting conversations! We often had something called cross connections!

@ Gargi - we used a lot of those in college, didn't we?

Raquel Byrnes said...

My nieces sit next to each other on the couch and text complaints about how boring our family is to each other....that is the height of technology trumping manners. 0_o

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Raquel- I had invited my nearly 60 year old aunt-in-law who visits India only once in two years for dinner once, and she spent the entire time texting forwards to all her female friends including me.
Needless to say that was the last time I invited her over- if she can't talk to me, but can forward junk to me, I am not sure I want to know her.


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