The Psychopathology of the Rotary Telephone

I recall it as an imperial thing: heavier than an encyclopedia, squat as an animal.

I remember fearing it somewhat. When I picked up the receiver there was a woman’s voice—a dark inquiry from a stranger. She said I shouldn’t play with the phone.

Now, in my fifties I dislike the damned instrument.

I see college kids walking all over town and chattering into cell phones. They seem to be nothing more than mannequins granted the gift of speech.

I understand everything!

We require the fearsome Operator more than we knew.

In the good old days the Operator kept our conversations honest and short.

Honest and short! Imagine!

Yes and in the good old days one had to have a reason for placing a call.

I heard a college student on the bus just the other day telling her friend: "I’m on the bus. I’m eating popcorn on the bus. I’m going home on the bus."

God help us!

I dial an imaginary phone with my index finger.


Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

0 thoughts on “The Psychopathology of the Rotary Telephone”

  1. I miss when the phone would ring and you needed to listen to the ring to know if it was for you or which neighbor. Much more fun than all the jangling ringtones that follow everyone around now.


  2. LOL! My mother still tells stories about the neighbor who would listen in on everyone else’s calls on the “party line”. Hmmm, she probably loves those overheard (overloud!) cell phone conversations – not limited to just the other 8 houses on the line!!!


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