“What’s that, Daddy?” the eight-year-old boy, pointing to something on the wall, asked his father?

“That’s a pay phone, son,” the father explained.

“What’s it for?”

“It’s for making telephone calls.”

“What’s a telephone call?” the boy asked.

His father laughed. “It’s a device people once used to talk to other people who were somewhere else. You would put money in it to call and speak to them. They could listen to what you said and you could hear them talk.”


“Yes, but that was before text messaging and Twitter made voice telephones obsolete.”

For Friday Fictioneers.

24 thoughts on “Obsolescence

  1. newepicauthor July 26, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    What an archaic device, next you will have to explain Drive In Movie Theaters to that kid.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sight11 July 26, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    What’s that Daddy. Daddy? .. Come on you stupid robot tell me..

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Iain Kelly July 26, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    Sometimes people even try to call me on my smartphone – I just let it ring 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. rochellewisoff July 27, 2017 / 3:31 am

    Dear Fandango,

    I even remember when telephones had dials and we had a party line and exchanges were identified by numbers…way back when I had a job taking corners off of wheels. Good one. Welcome to Friday Fictioneers.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 27, 2017 / 6:25 am

      Thanks Rochelle. Yes, I, too, recall those days of yore. I seem to remember a number something like “Juniper-5362,” where you would dial the numbers associated with the letters J and U for “Juniper.” There were no area codes at the time and I was too young to remember how — or even if — you made long distance calls.


  5. Varad July 27, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    Phones are getting smarter, the users sadly are not. I still prefer talking on my landline than my mobile. Within two minutes, my hand holding me the receiver will start giving me signals to end the call 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 27, 2017 / 1:45 pm

      That built in timer is a feature, not a bug.


  6. Courtney Wright July 27, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    I thought you were going to say…made voices obsolete! Lol! Wonder what we did before cell phones and social media?? Oh right!! We TALKED to each other!! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango September 1, 2017 / 3:57 pm

          I do, but only when absolutely necessary, like when I call my cable company to complain that my internet connection is down.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Tricia September 1, 2017 / 4:42 pm

            Isn’t that useful. We use our landline to ignore people we don’t want to talk to (who purposely are given that number) or for troubleshooting service calls; the answering machine picks up. Sometimes I use it for social calls when my Bluetooth is acting up or reception is bad in my area. I do miss rotary dialing and the sound it makes.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango September 1, 2017 / 8:40 pm

              We don’t have a landline anymore. Haven’t had one for years.


  7. Christine Goodnough July 28, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    Oh we’ll always need to hear the sound of a real person. That’s why people call crisis centres: just to know there’s a real person on the line. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. granonine July 29, 2017 / 10:20 am

    Oh, please–not obsolete, please. I’d still rather talk than text. Although I have to admit, texting doesn’t tend to keep me on the phone for long periods. Still.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 29, 2017 / 11:20 am

      Ever since I retired last year, I refuse to talk on the phone. Text me, don’t call me.

      Liked by 1 person

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