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OPINION

David High: Everything deserves a second chance

David High
The Fowler Tribune

Have you ever noticed that so many things which we’ve jettisoned to the past come back around again? For example, the LP record - once nearly extinct with little value - has come roaring back in value and popularity. Wax is back, jack.” Needles once again are being placed slowly in the groove of long-playing vinyl records. 

So, what’s next on the comeback trail? My predictions: the phone booth and the land line telephone. 

Oh, that wondrous old-fashioned telephone booth, how well I remember back when they would stand guard on street corners, at attention like a grand palace sentry at your beck-and-call. Sure, on occasion the phone booth would be vandalized with graffiti, its coin slot jammed with gum, and its folding door stuck in the half open half close position, turning it into just a tall glass box. But in that case, you simply went to the next one.

Pay phones/phone booths are sort of like landlines, right? I don’t know about you, but I definitely miss having these convenient, cheap phone options when my mobile phone dies because I’ve been playing too much Candy Crush, Angry Birds or Pokémon GO.

To be truly appreciated in my opinion, the communication process must be worked for and earned, not just carried around in your pocket. 

With the phone booth, you would gently push open the louvered doors then hear them whoosh shut behind you. And there you were, in your own private world, the rushing and honking of surrounding traffic muted. The quarter slid into the slot and in a few seconds the silence in your ear was replaced by that low buzzing sound that meant you were connected. 

I miss this process of phoning somebody. Have you ever forgotten or accidently misplaced your cell phone and needed to call someone, but there’s no public phone for your use? There are few payphones anymore my friend, let alone the safe-haven of a phone booth. You’re out of luck.

Against odds we brought back vinyl records. So why not bring back the land line? The old-fashioned land line telephone could well make a comeback as more and more of us understand that the cell phone, may offer convenience, but has no soul, no aesthetic value. Not all that long ago really, a phone would hang on the wall or sit on an end table like a piece of art. This was before the advent of caller ID or push-button phones, so you would dial a phone number. Imagine that!

There was the mystery in the old-fashioned land phones; (Who’s calling? Who could it be? Is it your new crush? Your boss? Your mother? A serial killer)? You wouldn’t know until you picked up. How exciting and/or terrifying!

Sometimes the phone cord would get all tangled up and you’d have to hold it high and let it spin out the knots and kinks. What a simple price to pay for the pleasure. 

Even the busy signal was a small delight, now that I think about it, as it buzzed in your ear. It reminded you that other people’s time was as important as yours and that communication was not just a given.

Remember the good ol’ days, when you could slam the phone down with gusto, to let off steam and make your point? I guess you can still do that with a smartphone, but it’s going to cost three-figures in repair bills. You want to get someone the perfect gift, get them a sturdy, avocado green, wall telephone for the kitchen - with rotary dial, of course. 

Maybe people could also get a movement started for the return of party lines. They were much more entertaining than Facebook, believe me. 

David High is a humor columnist and freelance writer for The Fowler Tribune.

David High