Friday Funhouse 11: Telephone


Welcome back to the House of Fun, y’all.

Much like your grandparents and your scary Uncle Stu with the plate in his head, I still use a flip phone. Unlike your grandparents and your scary Uncle Stu with the plate in his head, I am well aware of the alleged virtues of the iPhone or the Android or whatever piece of shit is popular with the kids these days and that is precisely why I am perfectly happy with my little uncomplicated device. It doesn’t get a lot of use because I find the act of speaking to people to be very overrated, but when it rings, I know what to do and when I have to make a call, I likewise know what to do. I can also text — slowly — ensuring that I keep up some level of contact with my sister and others who refuse to communicate with their mouths, but no matter how many times I try to tell them that I have to hunt and peck across a standard keypad making the act of saying “hello” an effort that can take the better part of an afternoon, they still insist on texting me questions that require much more than a yes or no response. If someone texts me a link, they can be rest assured I won’t ever see whatever it was they wanted me to see. They could, of course, have avoided this by e-mailing me that very same link, but no…it’s as if they stubbornly refuse to believe that someone they call a friend could possibly still choose to use a flip phone.

Over the years, I have purchased a flat screen TV, a computer, a stereo, a camera, a DVD player, an iPod and a laptop. I’m not going to try to estimate the combined cost of these high-end items, but suffice it to say, it was a lot. And all of those devices still do what they were intended to do. When I want to watch a show, I turn on the TV. If nothing good is on, I pop a movie into the DVD player. When I want to listen to music, the stereo and the iPod burst forth with sound at the touch of a button. If I want to communicate with someone who lives very far away but it’s too early or late to call said person, I fire up the PC or the laptop and shoot ’em an e-mail. All of my entertainment and communication needs are met. Yet, whenever someone decides (as they often do) that my refusal to compress my entire life into a little black rectangle is unacceptable, all they can say to sell me on the overpriced piece of shit is that “you can watch shows and take pictures and movies and download apps!” Uh huh. And I can do all those things now on the aforementioned devices for which I spent far too much cash to suddenly decide they are obsolete because they aren’t a single rectangular device.

I’ve also noticed that some of the biggest proponents of the portable rectangle seem to have no idea how to work the fucking thing. These people are amusing, but harmless. The real portable rectangle offenders are the ones who use it to avoid actual conversation. “So, Bill, how was the wedding?” “Oh, I’m so glad you asked — let me show you!” No. No, Bill, please don’t. Truth be told, I didn’t give a flying fuck how the wedding was in the first place, but it seemed polite to ask. Don’t make me regret politeness.

Today’s classic video comes straight from the Children’s Television Workshop. This is a perfect illustration of what goes on in my head whenever I’m forced to watch someone douching around with their portable rectangle. Enjoy:

33 thoughts on “Friday Funhouse 11: Telephone

  1. I got rid of my phone for a yr. I loved it! I only got another because the school needed to contact me. I hate owning one. But as soon as I have one I use it. And I hate myself for it! Yeah I get where where you’re coming from. People are always shocked I don’t use social media personally. My answer is my life is none of your business! And I do t wanna see yours Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! And taking an interest in the excruciating minutiae of someone else’s life isn’t just voyeurism, it’s an extremely boring form of voyeurism. A true voyeur needs, at the very least, a step ladder and a pair of binoculars to see something worth seeing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this. I forgot about the Sesame Street aliens. Mark my words, these smartphones will be the downfall of humanity (ironically I am making this comment using my Samsung Edge). Smartphones and Twitter…worst technologies of our time.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. OMG I can’t tell you how some of this hits home. I am an anti-FB’er. In fact, until I started blogging and writing earlier this year, I did no social media.

    My sister-in-law is an FB junkie. For the longest time she was telling us how we had to be on FB. We said no. We were at a family gathering when we overheard about a party, and we said “No, we did not know anything about it.” She said well we would have if we were on FB. We said “sorry, just text us next time.” She said she couldn’t send be bothered to keep up with who wasn’t on FB and needed special requests. We told her, “then I guess you can tell our nephews and my godson why we won’t be attending any of their parties. ” We’ve gotten a text ever since. 🙂

    So, Paul, while I do have my smartphone for convenience…it has all but degraded people’s degree of smartness. Rock on and keep the faith!!! 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I’m glad you agree that blogging is a form of social media, because it’s the only such venue I engage in, too. But I consider it social media for the lettered and the learned because prior to getting to this part where we communicate with each other, at the very least, we have to write or read something longer than a FB meme.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. But you are one of the few exceptions to my statement that I don’t like talking on the phone, Julie. Not to mention, we frequently discuss shit that would be absolutely incomprehensible to most people.


  4. In this, I am the anti-curmudgeon. I engage in all manner of social media platforms, am glued to my smart phone (which I find is akin to a jr woodchuck handbook, in that it consistently holds all the answers), and prefer texting to virtually any form of communication.

    I will admit this, though: on the Inside the Actors Studio questionnaire my answer to the “what sound or noise do you hate?” my answer has always been, “a ringing telephone.” I will often text back people that call me. 😎

    On a related note, I couldn’t help but notice that Discover says this was written 9 hours ago. Friday Funhouse doesn’t require a lot of Friday to pass, does it? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For people on other continents, it’s been Friday for quite some time by the time it’s been Friday for an hour in my time zone. But yes…I usually write these things on Thursday night and schedule them to post an hour or two into Friday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Other than the time frame and the fact that you referred to this silliness as a masterpiece, you’re not too far off about the rest of it. I guess the only thing left was the fume cloud of mind-enhancing vapors — so yeah, that’s the part you envisioned correctly.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s spooky scary to think I actually worked one of those machines in your photo. Yikes! There are all kinds of things in this world that distract us from living who we want to be. Not just technology, but spiritual or physical restraints. The peace is learning when to protect and when to embrace. There will always be change, but not letting it change you, is up to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the images and video. And when I text you these days, it is because I often don’t have a choice! My overpriced black rectangle does not allow people to hear ME. I can hear them, but they can’t hear ME. Unless I walk around with a fucking headset!

    Liked by 1 person

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