When we were kids in the 1950’s, we were told that if we picked up the phone and heard people talking on it, we were to hang up and not listen in, because we needed to respect people’s privacy. Such was the etiquette of the party line. The 1-900 party lines of the 1990’s and beyond were probably equally considerate, but at $1.95 a minute.

Well, I’ve had a retro-techno week with my cell phone. When I called my brother-in-law on his cell in Jersey to see how my mom’s doctor’s appointment went, he started doing all these weird accents and wouldn’t listen to me. When I called back, he said he hadn’t heard me. All he heard was some guy in a country accent planning a cookout.

The day before yesterday, I called my brother in South Dakota, and heard some sappy song about wishing wells. When I called him back, he didn’t know what I was talking about with the wishing wells.

When I called him yesterday, I heard half of a conversation. Some lady was talking about wanting to pick out home decorating things for some other lady but couldn’t seem to find the time. At this point I was well past my 1950’s etiquette. Were these people and wishing well songs in the Verizon network? Or were they eating up my minutes? Hell, if I’m paying I want my money’s worth, so I stayed connected, hoping the conversation would get more interesting. But, no, what I already told you was the juicy part.

Of course, I begin to think that whoever is picking up my conversations is getting a real treat. Sure, some of my bitch sessions would be fun to overhear. But I’m sure a good amount of time has gone into describing my decision to pick up rye bread on the way home and Saturday being more humid than Sunday and nothing much being new.

Not $1.95 a minute material, huh?

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