Operator, would you help me place this call?

February 16, 2012


I resisted a cell phone for a long time. Just ask Jim and California Rob. They were early adopters (though not so early that they had those bricks from the ’80s, at least I don’t think they did) and I believe they grew quite frustrated at my willingness to remain wired and unreachable, particularly on the occasions when we were trying to make plans to meet up at the now-defunct City Billiards for a night of beer, billiards, and flirting with Liz the waitress (who I still see once or twice a year at a different bar).

Once I did get my first cell phone (a very lovely Nokia candy bar model, of which I had two, until I couldn’t get it anymore. Similarly, I’m on my third iPhone model. Because, if I find something I like, I buy multiple versions of it, such as shirts in all the colors. But I digress.)

Once I did get my first cell phone, it didn’t take long until I canceled my land line. Well, why would you keep it? Because when people know you’re footloose and fancy-free, they’ll call the accessible, portable version that they know you have on your person rather than the hit-or-miss, tethered version. They will impose themselves upon you. In addition, long distance is included, so any “plan” you have through the landline is redundant. And I don’t spend that much time on the phone anyway, local or long distance, so it quickly turned into a no-brainer to go solely with cell.

Consequently, when I bought and moved into my current place, I had no use for the existing phone jacks. And there were plenty of them. Apparently one of the previous residents of my space was a blind fellow called Blind Elvis. There were outlets in every room. Every now and then I think that if a place were going to be haunted, it would be mine, by Blind Elvis, because he died while he lived here. Not under any nefarious circumstances; he just died.

I ripped out the phone jacks and covered them up, or I must have. Though at the moment, the only one I actually remember doing that to was in the bathroom, but what did I use? I don’t recall cutting out small rectangles of drywall to patch in. … Nope, I’ve gone into the bathroom to review. The other locations were just wires coming out, not full-blown outlets. I pulled them out and covered up the tiny holes with patching spackle stuff.

I covered them up, all except one. And it’s the one that’s in the middle of the kitchen/dining room, the most visible location possible. You would think that after eight and a half years I would have been bothered to installed a covering plate. But I haven’t been. And usually, the jack part is just hanging, dangling from the hole. I posed it nicely for this photo.


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