ARE YOU GOING TO GET THAT?
Years ago, when there was only one telephone in the house, a receiver on a rotary dial cradle, if the phone rang, it had to be answered. All calls were from actual persons, either someone you knew or a wrong number. There were no solicitation calls, no surveys, no scams, no machines, only people, and usually someone you knew.
When the phone rang, it would just keep ringing. It would not go to a message after the fourth ring, it would just keep ringing. The person on the other end would not hang up, they would ring forever. They knew you must be home, and they knew it was a long walk through the house to get to the only phone. The phone ring was loud, it was piercing, and it could not be ignored.
If you chose to not pick up, you were sure to run into the caller the next day. “Where were you, I called, why didn’t you answer?”
Back in the day, you always picked up. The call might be important. There was no screening; you had to pick up to find out who was calling.
Today, when the phone rings, most of the time you know who it is just by the ring tone. The incoming number is displayed on the phone, or in our case on the TV screen. You are told the number that is calling and where the call is from. If you do not know the number or do not know anyone from where the call is coming, it is probably a nuisance call.
Mrs. Cranky is old school. If the phone rings, she must answer it.
If I don’t know the number, especially if it is coming from some strange state, I just let it ring. If it is a call to my cell phone I can respond instantly with a message without answering. I send “I’m on my way” just to confuse the incoming call a-hole.
Mrs. Cranky always answers every call. If she is sleeping, she wakes up instantly and answers the phone. At least five times a night we have this conversation.
DOODLE DE DOODLE…DOODLE DE DOODLE… “Hello.”
“BLA, bla blob blob blobble, bobble o blob?”
“Please take me off your list!”
“Who was that?”
“Some credit card scam.”
“Why do you even pick it up, you know the call was from Memphis? Do you know anyone from Memphis?”
“It could be important.”
“Like what? And they could leave a message if it was so important.”
“Maybe I won something, a car, a bucket of money, you never know.”
“Yeah, maybe, except you haven’t even entered any contests. It drives me crazy that you have to pick up every call.”
“You’re a jerk!”
DING DONG DING…DING DONG DING…DING DONG DING
“Are you going to get that?”
“No, it’s from Montana; I don’t know anyone from Montana.”
“I don’t know how you can just let it ring, it drives me crazy.”
“Maybe I’m just a jerk.”