Monday, January 5, 2009
This is a glimpse of the bay from a house on Gwynn's Island. It's an adorable place on a perfect spot of land. Although they could be electrical, those wires going from the pole to the house are going to be telephone wires for the purposes of this post, because telephones are what I'm talking about today, so if they're electrical just use your imagination and play along with me.
I used to joke with my non-Mathews friends that we still had to climb up the telephone pole to make calls much like they did on Petticoat Junction or Green Acres or whatever show it was that they did that. It wasn't that long ago that we had party lines, and your closest 10 neighbors could hear your every conversation without fear of being identified.
We do now have modern phones, but not everyone is so quick to go modern.
My parents still own a wall-mounted rotary phone and have never had nor utilized an answering machine. Ever. They think caller ID is something only the FBI uses, and in spite of being given new phones with advanced capabilities, they refuse to utilize those features. They don’t even have the internet, and for that reason alone I have to shake my head.
My father has had a cell phone for some time, but recently my mother got one – from Chesapeake Bay Middle Sister. When I heard this was happening, I said, “What good does it do for her to have a cell phone if she doesn’t take it with her or turn it on?”
Anyway, below is an excerpt from something my mother wrote about her new cell phone.
Teeny Tiny Telephone (Excerpts)
By Chesapeake Bay Mother
“I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I really prefer a phone that at least comes somewhere near my mouth, where the talking happens, and my ear, where the hearing happens. My little phone mocks me for being anchored in the past, as I curse it for being a troublesome, redundant, superfluous icon of an idiot society of gadget-obsessed super-consumers* eternally on the line and never in the moment. (How many times have you seen people walking around in public treating their private conversations as if they had mass appeal? Is it true communication or performance art? The worst performance is behind the wheel, when these popcorn brains are seen laughing, talking and behaving as if their automobiles and yours were magic carpets.)
But I do have hope that my phone and I have a future together. Husband has a great relationship with his--an almost clandestine intimacy. In fact, he shared a cocktail with his the other evening. I guess they were both enjoying a Redskins game when Husband made a move which dislodged his companion from his breast pocket, plummeting it into his tumbler of Jim Beam, his other companion. **
Well, evidently those two companions were not compatible because the cell phone required time to “dry out” and has a recurrent problem with the number “4” as in the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. All is well that mercifully ends, and Husband’s cell phone has recuperated and now knows its limit.
Chesapeake Bay Woman’s Comments
* Have mercy, that is one long sentence, and right here it isn’t even over yet.
** My father and his friend Jim have wreaked havoc on a number of gadgets. One time my parents and I were out in the boat, and I was pulling up to their dock to drop them off. Daddy and his friend Jim had been having a good ole time. Just as we got up to the dock, instead of stepping off the boat onto the dock, he jumped overboard. Face first. And then walked to shore (it was low tide and the water was only about waist-high). Come to find out his eyeglasses were in his pocket, but due to his belly flop they're now resting comfortably at the bottom of Queens Creek.