Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ahoy-hoy

So, I hate talking on the phone. I hate it. I really, really hate it. I will try every single other form of communication before talking on the phone....and this is coming from someone that has spent years as a receptionist, answering phones and working switchboards. Of course, one could argue that's why I hate talking on the phone.

I now have an Iphone and I love everything about it- except for the actual phone. If you are trying to get in touch with me, I will text, email, facebook, tweet, telegraph, snail mail, or skywrite you before I actually return your call. And if I do call you, I will keep it short. Awkwardly short.

That being said, I do appreciate the importance of the phone. Who doesn't? The telephone has been a major innovation and now necessity of life. Without a telephones, how would our lives be momentarily and annoyingly disrupted by someone else's selfish need to talk to us at that very moment? I'm kidding, of course. Kind of.

So, here's the 411 on phones:


  • Alexander Graham Bell thought that phones should be answered with "Ahoy-hoy" instead of "Hello." This is why The Simpsons' Mr. Burns answers the phone this way, to indicate that we was contemporaries with Alexander Graham Bell and therefore very old. Also, I just realized that when you explain and analyze a joke, it is instantly no longer funny.
  • Mark Twain was one of the first people to have a telephone in his own home. Hmmm, guess someone thought pretty highly of himself:)
  • The first "long distance" phone service was from New York to Chicago. This required over 800 miles of open wire. 
  • While it may seem that everyone has a telephone, in actuality, one-third of the world's population has never used a telephone. Lucky bastards.
  • The automatic switchboard was inspired by an undertaker. Let me explain: see, in Kansas City, Undertaker A suspected rival Undertaker B of getting more business than him because Undertaker B's wife worked as a switchboard operator. It turns out, Undertaker B's wife was diverting all the business calls to her hubby. So, Undertaker A pushed for an automatic switchboard system. Thanks, Undertaker A!
  • The first telephone operators used to be men, but they were prone to prank calls and "chatting up ladies" instead of doing their jobs, so women replaced men in this occupation. Of course, pranks and sexual harassment still goes on in Congress....I'm thinking that women should replace all the men there as well.
  • The fictional prefix 555 was actually suggested by American phone companies to be used by film and television producers, so that real telephone numbers weren't accidentally used. However, this eventually backfired when a Gary Larsen cartoon used the prefix 555 for Satan's phone number; the cartoon was reprinted in Australia where 555 is a real prefix. Oops.
  • Phone booths are becoming a thing of the past. Now, they are being replaces by multi-purpose kiosks with computer/internet capabilities. Which makes sense. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a phone booth?...other than when Comedy Central reruns Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
Well, even if you are an anti-phonite like me, you will probably still appreciate this necklace. Plus, it's the featured sale item of the day. It was $46, but now it's $38, for today, 2/22/12 only.





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