Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Handset-less Phone

It's days like today that I want to grab the phone, call Kathy, and say, "This is a hoot!  Call Mom's number to see what the answering machine says!"

A lady from Lighthouse for the Blind in Fort Worth just called to ask about how to get in touch with Mom.  I told her the number, and she quickly said, "I just called that number twice.  A man and a woman answer the phone.  They can't seem to figure out what button to push to hear me, so I called you instead." 

I was intrigued.  I immediately dialed Mom's number.  The answering machine fooled even me.  I kept saying, "Mom?!  Leonard!?  Can you hear me?  Mom!?"  It wasn't until the answering machine beeped that I realized that they had recorded themselves while they were trying to figure out how to work the futuristic contraption we all simply refer to as the "answering machine."  I had to call the number again -  to take notes.

Ring.  Ring.  Ring.  Then, unintelligible mumbling.  Then, clatter, clatter, clatter.

Leonard:  That's not it either.  Whuzzat?

Mom:  I don't know.  What does it say?

Leonard:  It says "handset."  You don't have no handset.  I don't see no handset.  And, I still don't see no "play." 

Mom:  The one I USED TO HAVE was easy to use.  

[At this point, I listened very closely to see if she cursed my name.  I'm the one who helped her pick out this new-fangled, "no handset" phone.  She spared me.]

Leonard:  I don't see no "play," but I do see "volume," "record," "announce," "set up," "microphone" - you ain't got no microphone - "clock."

Mumbling followed by more clattering.

Mom:  What's that one say?

Leonard:  That says "answer only."  Maybe that means it'll take a message.  The light is on.

Mom:  Hm.

Leonard:  "Delete."  "Hold."  "Mute."  It's saying that you've missed 50 calls!  Fifty people done called you!"

Mom:  Really?!  50?!  [The excitement in her voice indicated that she wasn't thinking about 50 missed calls.  She was awestruck by her own popularity.]

Beeeeeep.  The unintentional answering machine greeting ends. 

The phone does have a handset.  I believe that in "corded phone" language it is referred to as the "receiver."  Mom has 3 phones in her tiny apartment.  The sci-fi, mysterious "no handset" phone and 2 good old corded phones that she brought from the "old country."

No, I did not leave a message.  Kathy would have.  And, it would have been heeeee-larious.

1 comment:

Anabeth said...

Got to love that Helen Kinzbach!



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