Keeri who loved humans

Keeri who loved humans
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Friday, 11 January 2013

Cell Phones - B.C.

My son argues that B C will no longer stand for Before Christ; it has to be before cell phones. Got me thinking about our newly acquired freedoms because of the cell phone.

   I've said this before - it would have been a great adjunct to my non-existent, (sporadic?) love-life if there had been cell phones in the fifties and sixties. I could have pestered the men/ boys more frequently perhaps, and who knows, made myself unforgettable, when all else failed. 

   When I was growing up, if you wanted to make a phone call, you walked to the Victoria Hotel ten minutes away and asked to use the phone. All it cost was a preliminary social chit-chat with 'Marker' who owned the place. Marker, so called because he kept the billiards score in the place, of an evening, I've heard said.The health of our families would be discussed, the difficulty of getting a trunk call, the big whale in the Arabian sea within seeing distance... The trunk call had to be booked and waited for.

   Then you made your call with Marker, may be his wife or son, and the gofor in the hotel for assistance. All would hover helpfully.

   'Hello,' you'd bellow into the black bakelite mouth piece and the chorus behind would ask, 'Kekkunnundo?' Can you hear? Thus the dialogue would proceed. Magic!

   The gist of the conversation would reach my home before I got there. Some times it reached other homes on the way as well.

   Now, again, conversation is hardly private. In the tube in London, we are besieged by the comings and goings of all around us - the cacophony is constant and I have to wonder why a reticent tribe like the British are so happy to discuss their plans for the evening, the conversation with their boy friend/ girl friend the previous evening and who said what to the boss at the water cooler, in hearing distance of total strangers.

   Mind you, often, the loudest conversations are from the Indian, Sri Lankan and the 'other' non - British folk. There are addicts who talk continuously from one end of the journey to the other. I can listen to the music of several different languages at once, while I read the requests on the walls of the compartments asking people to keep calls to the minimum. Ah well...

   All in all, I am still pleased the cell phone has arrived. My minions in India who have never owned landlines can now blow a whole week's wage in a day talking to their married children all over the world. If the cabbage burns to a cinder in my kitchen I consider that happened for a worthy cause.

   My son says he is still waiting for a way to get his washing done by me long distance.

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