Who may I say is calling?
To whom would you like to speak?
...It's for you.
What is this concerning?
Telephone, I would appreciate it if you could take some time to answer some questions.
Telephone, do you feel appreciated?
Well...no. I don't know how many times I have been slammed down or dropped. However, I feel much more safe than that runty cell phone over there. He has been dropped into the lake, the swimming pool, the toilet and in the snow bank. I, on the other hand, have never left this room, and I am proud of never dipping my head into disgusting places or having to spend time drying out in rice. Rice is for eating, not for phones!
Do you think you are substandard compared to the high tech phones in most peoples' pockets, purses and backpacks? Do you know that people are watching television, organizing their days, playing games, blogging, listening to music, searching for recipes and planning their road trips using on their phones?
Why would I feel substandard? I am happy being me. I serve my purpose. I am supposed to be used to TALK to people for companionship, help, to spread the news, to answer questions... There are inventions for all of the other things you mentioned that people use their cell phones for...televisions, maps, recipe books, calendars, stereos , paper and pens...
Very true. Do ever feel tied down?
No, I admit those other new fangled phones get to go to many places, but do you know how many of them get lost and never return home? Being attached to the wall with a cable, I have never left this room and I certainly have never been lost.
Do you owners ever forget to turn you on? Are you kidding? I am always there for my owners and I certainly don't need to be turned on.
What are your best features? Hmmmm, I am reliable...I never need recharging, I work in any weather, my buttons are easy to use, I never auto correct anyone and change people's messages, and once you buy me, I don't need fancy, expensive coverings to protect me, I come with my own coverings. What you see is what you get. The only thing you pay for is my monthly bill. There are no extras that you need to buy for me, you can talk as long as you like on local calls at anytime of the day or night.
Aren' t you a bit old fashioned? Oh, I admit my style is old, but I never go out of style and once I am bought, I pretty much am around for many, many years.
Are you jealous of what the new phones can do?
No. They wear out from overwork. Not me, I do what I need to, when I need to, how I need to. There are no secrets to using me, just push the numbered buttons, and wait and listen and talk...
I live a simple life.
If you could, would you trade places with the new phones?
No, I am happy being just the phone, for just simple communication. I don't want to be traded every three years, or upgraded every week. My needs are simple and I am faithful for the long haul.
Telephone, why did you agree to pose for the portrait?
I wanted people to remember to put things into perspective. Their over reliance on their cell phones is making them anti-social. I have heard of people going out together for supper and very person at the table is silent, except for their fingers tapping on the screens. What message are they sending to each other? I am not interested in you, there is someone else I would rather "be with".
As a telephone, I am sure you hear a lot of things.
Very true. Listen to this. The other day, I heard one kid complaining,
"Mom, why do you come to my sporting events?"
She responded,"Honey, I come to watch you play of course! You know that."
"Really? Every time I look into the bleachers, your head is down and you are texting! You didn't even notice that I saved the game."
What a shame. Life is passing by and people are missing a lot of important events. Telephone, do you think you are safe from disappearing forever and we will ever meet face to face?
Hmmm, I can't be certain, but I know my owners are dedicated to me and my ancestors. They have a collection of us. There is my dear old wooden grandfather with a black crank hanging on the wall in the dining room, and my rotary dial black grandmother in the garage. My owners claim that Granny is fun to dial. They especially enjoy the sound she makes as her dial spins. She has never let them down.
Why are your numbers all mixed up?
Well, my owner did this to me. She often has dreams about trying to call for help because of an emergency and every time she tries, she can't dial the correct number. She also had a hard time remembering phone numbers, especially because everyone has a bazillion different numbers. So to her, the numbers on me are a big mystery and are never in order or easily retrievable.
I suppose you have a lot of secrets and have heard many different messages.
Absolutely. That is why my portrait is surrounded by many messages on my desk. I hear the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Can you give us some examples?
Sure... I hear everything. My owner heard "Congratulations, you have earned a bronze medal for your pen and ink art in the South Eastern Summer Games, we sure hope you can make the awards presentation!" Do you know that that was the kick start of confidence for her to get out her art supplies and get creative? You see that the artist included her favourite pen and her notepad with my portrait?
I have also heard "You better sit down." news. Here is one you never want to hear, "Mom, I am okay, but I had an accident. I thought something was on the road, I swerved and to miss it and the car rolled into the ditch and over a barbed wire fence and onto a farmer's irrigation pipe. We are okay, but the car is totalled. We are down the road about a kilometre and are inside the acreage owner's house across the road."
Do you know the thing on the road turned out to be a porcupine?
I also hear the ordinary boring stuff like, "We need more dog and cat food, milk, bread, and toilet paper."
The best words I like to hear are things like, "Hi, Auntie, this is Carter. What are you doing today? Can we come out? Sleepovers at your place are the best. I love you, Auntie."
My owners get pretty frustrated when the tele-marketers phone. They are starting to think that the are all tricking them when they say, "Thank you for your donation." When they haven't really, but tell them they have to trick them into sponsoring them. I often here, "Sorry, we are not interested." "Sorry were are not donating any more." "STOP CALLING HERE! If you call be one more time this week, I will never donate to your cause again."
I've also heard this one,"Um, Mom and Dad, I am not coming home for the summer. I am going to stay in Edmonton and work and save money for university." and then several months later, "Umm, Mom and Dad, my money didn't quite last as long as I hoped, could you please send money?"
You sure have been cooperative in answering my questions. I hope to meet you in person, in the future.
Me, too. I hope I will still be around. Pure, simple, but necessary. I also hope that people will not be so obsessed with their cell phones and forget to pay attention to things around them...for the health and safety of others and their families.
I concer. This is Future signing off. Thanks for your time. I am sure your owners will continue to have great admiration for you and will be by your side for a long time!
You are welcome.
Talk you later...in the future.
is the soul property of
To use her ideas or images in any way,
please contact her for permission at firstname.lastname@example.org
She started this piece in 2008, and finally had the ideas and the courage to finish it. She has learned that acrylic painting mistakes can be easily repaired and that she shouldn't be afraid to make mistakes. She tried to fix the wonky perspective of her telephone and desk and is satisfied that for now, the perspective will do, and that after four years, her art perspective has changed and she is becoming a better observer.
So, here is to ever improving art!