Believe me: I go w-a-a-y-y’ back:  To when Telephones were wooden boxes, mounted on the wall.  In those early days:  To call someone, one had to ring Central and ask for a particular person.  Then, the dialed ‘party lines’ were introduced.  This was a boost to the morale of the neighborhood ‘gossipers’ since it was now possible to;listen in.”

As the number of subscribers reached the point of saturation for the number of rings:   Individual numbers were assigned on private lines: This innovation put a damper on the spread of news throughout the community.   This delay caused several Community-Minded Citizens, days to discover which young lady it was; that had ‘run away’ with that “Lightning Rod Salesman.”

We were, however, required to depend on the telephone company to provide us with long distance service. We dialed “Operator” and gave the requested number and the cost finally settled around 10 /12 cents per minute. Then came, ‘deregulation wars;’ and other long distance carriers jumped on the band wagon and the cost dropped to around 7 / 8 cents per minute.

Most of us ‘frugal,’ “thrifty,” “stingy,” folks were continually looking for ways to curtail expenses when we discovered the warehouse club calling card.  All we had to do to gain access to long distance service for around 3 1/2 cents per minute; was to get this card..

Apparently, this worried many of the carriers since we are bombarded with newspaper and television ads, hyping their services.  I suppose the fact that we are not listed among the subscribers for long distance service gives all of them free rein to solicit us.

A representative for one of the providers called at my door one afternoon.  He identified himself and said that he was here to save me money. I asked him how?  His response was, “If you subscribe to our telephone service, our cable service, AND our internet service, you will save substantially on your long distance service.”

“Can you beat 3 & 1/2 cents per minute,” I asked?

“No,” he replied.

“NUFF SAID!” “Bye.”
Now: The latest innovation to worry our already ‘Over-Taxed,’ brain is to attempt understanding the Cell – Phone. Packed inside this small container, about the size of a package of cigarettes, is: A  Telephone, a Camera, a Calculator, a Calendar, a Phone Directory, an Answering Machine, a Recorder, and much, much, more.  Today’s world is certainly not geared to those of us who cannot:  “Chew Gum; and walk at the same time.”

You’ve noticed – That I am fairly good at telling stories; “Over, and Over?”    Dj.