Time Out

Telephones were simple before the school bus. They had rotary dials. The dial made a wonderful ratcheting whirr and vibration as it spun slowly back from the little metal finger stop and proudly waited for the next digit. I miss that.

They were fashionable black bakelite with sausage curl cords. The cord kept the handset from slipping between sofa cushions. To turn a phone off, you dropped the five pound receiver on the cradle. Worked every time. We didn’t mind five pound receivers. We walked to school with broken glass in our shoes, … but, you could hear me now.

Modern phones have functions and stuff. Mostly stuff. They have 52 buttons that flip into a different mode if you bump something while you face palm them with your shoulder because zipping up is a two hand job.

The “Beam Me Up, Scotty Chair” is cool when you dribble chin stare at the Control Panel of your new “phone”. It is clearly labeled with mysterious acronyms in print the size of crotch crabs written in rub off Chinese vanishing ink.

You COULD unfold the forty language rice paper instruction sheet the size of the AIDS Quilt, but why? In a year when you have near Rosetta Stoned it’s functions, the battery will die.

Providing model B37-goatse is still available, supported, and the Kathy Lee Girl Scouts prison troop are still douching with zinc to produce your battery…. You will find….

The battery costs more than a new phone, you will also never learn to use before it’s or your death.


My neighborhood wireless network is conceptually simple. “Conceptually simple” is “Zorro Mask” for “the baby talk version will do, the real deal is kinda Mensa”.

We have phone lines installed personally by Alexander Graham Bell (no DSL). No cable is offered in our rurality. We have a choice of dial-up or Satellite Robber Barons. We have satellite.

The signal beams to a dish at my landlords house. It travels via wire to the mother router which is hard wired to the mother ship computer AND a roof antenna which broadcasts the signal to repeater routers in the neighborhood.

The neighborhood peasants carry bags of grain to the castle as tribute. My Landlords see it this as fair payment for service provided. It defrays their expense to “sell” spare electrons.

They are libertarian Republican Ayn Randian warm yellow trickle down thousand points of light folk. They leave the tap running twenty/four seven and eat hummingbird tongues because they are worth it.

I understand “Preference Loreal” ideology.

I have no bitterness towards the Trust fund tax sheltered idle rich. They have every right to their attitude and belief. Their Christian attitude is as follows: die you out of work poor inferior bastard slacker welfare cheat cadillac queen commie socialist big government anarchist boot strapless cripple America Hating tree hugging slacker, you can’t afford a pet and should shoot him, you could change if you wanted to Fag Mexican Muslim.

Such people give lousy blow-jobs, but I am not bitter.

I have no bitterness, but do not comprehend the free market.
Because the disabled have nothing to do but suck America dry and watch Tarzan re-runs, I have been elected to maintain our mood ring internet system, for free. I am fuzzy on the justice of that, but am assured it is the patriotic thing to do. The rich, “free market” (as a verb) , and the poor help them do so for minimum wage or the occasional six pack, maybe friendship and love. I am thinking about becoming a Jack Boot Union Thug.

Since the God’s vengeance lightning strike of 08 the system has been going into router renal failure. No amount of “restore .bin file” resuscitation has brought the system back from the brink of death.

This has been good for me just like corporal punishment was what I needed as a child. I have been forced to learn or die. Computers are “tough love”. I do not have a bank account big enough to insulate me from learning.

Part of my charitable contribution to our capitalist enclave is to explain the system to the landlords in terms they can understand. They are important people with a huge flat screen they yell at. I have needed to Sesame Street the conceptually simple for them. It goes like this…

A large tin can bird remains stationary in heaven somewhere over St. Louis by emitting solar powered farts. The planet spins, just like your globe when you whack it, so the bird moves to stay still.

This bird rains little Pac Men on America and some of them hit the aluminum foil frisbee the nice Wild Blue folks brought. These internet Pac Men go into wires like plumbing. Unlike water pipes, it runs both directions…. like your toilet if you forget to have the septic pumped.

“Router”… Say it. ROW—- ter. I knew you could.

This brings you shopping online.

Your router sends these electron burples to the coat hanger I screwed to your roof. This account for the bags of grain. My router, like a radio, picks up the station I tune my computer to… Maybe Al Gazeera. Your router lets you look at My Little Pony videos without a cord.

Mostly it’s Magic?


This blog is about Neanderthal PHONE CALLS. They use those afore mentioned phone thingies to wake you from your nap you prayed you could quietly pass away during, and ask if your power ranger chair has a full enough charge for the drive over?

Wind has apparently blown the burples out of the sky again. There is an exciting EBay auction in progress. This is an emergency. The lady bug robot in space has had a pipe burst and Tennis Ball Pac Men are spilling, instead of showing the Yahweh face of Google on the little TV on the desk. The one with the keyboard in front..

Many of you, dear readers, can say the word electron or (shudder) internet. I used to, could. Life requires we “big bIrd” our communication skills. ARE YOU LISTENING HYPER, Little Sun and Seppukitty?


PHONE: Yah, My wife wanted to look up a recipe or something and no burples.

TARPS: Open your airport in the top tool bar and tell me if you see words there.

PHONE: Hey, Honey, (muffled yelling AND LONG PAUSE) She say no burple.

TARPS: We covered that. Maybe I should talk to “honey”?

PHONE: Honey he says maybe he should talk to you? (Looooong pause and chaos). Let me turn on the speaker phone. Hey Honey, how does this damn thing work?

TARPS: Can I call you back? Either I have something in the oven or I need to bang my head on the floor for a few minutes.

PHONE: You said you would call back….

TARPS: So sorry, I am still trying to staunch the blood flow from my head wound.

PHONE: Staunch?

TARPS: Never mind, so anyway sport…..
When the itsy bitsy spider climbs down the waterspout from the metal bird it goes to the tin frisbee and through a pipe to your Router. Say it…… Rou-ter. Router.

PHONE: Honey he said rour-her… Can ya hear him? Here let me turn the music up, turn on the blender and paper shredder.

The good news is when the Mother ship has a burple rupture The whole neighborhood goes black and I get some writing done… and I can’t surf for glitter comments can I?

TARPS: It has been windy and we just had a trailer explode about half a mile from here. We should check the dish for alignment and see if the roof antenna is still there.

PHONE: It can’t be that.


PHONE: I put that antenna myself.

TARPS: Revisionist.

PHONE: No, that’s not it, I have Nascar racing on. Can’t be that…. WHAT HONEY?…. She says the little ball spins and then it says TIME OUT So that’s not it.

TARPS: Time out does not means stand in the corner on a mac. It says connection timed out.

PHONE: It’s waiting for a TIME OUT. My God that beach ball spins fast. It just keeps spinning and spinning…. YOU GET THAT RIGHT?…(pause).

TARPS: We should start where the burples come in and follow the plumbing and look for a leak. I’m just trying to follow the thread and be logical. Eliminate and narrow the possible problems. I realize none of the things I am suggesting could be the problem. What was I thinking to call you?

PHONE: I didn’t hear you. Frank was lighting the bong for me and I got such a great hit. Did you hear how long the gurgle was though all the Peppermint Schnapps over the music? Hey Honey could ya hear that on the speaker phone…

TARPS: Dan. Dan? Are you there, Dan? I need to go now. I’m going to listen to the really old Leonard Cohen and fill a fruit bowl full of Gillette safety razor blades.

PHONE: Who is Conan?

Somewhere Lucy is laughing her butt off. Leakey Lucy?, the mother of us all? Unless of course you are part of my internet neighborhood in which case, Lucy who. Sigh… Evolution, my corn hole.

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6 Responses to TIME OUT

  1. Little Sun says:

    Those of the no-cord, feather-light, ever tinier-buttoned phone generation will never know the incredibly useful and magnificently therapeutic features of those nigh-extinct five-pound virtually-indestructible corded handsets.

    (Btw, I still own one that I bring out on special occasions, such as when the power goes out, or… 😉

    In addition to more mundane wonders, such as their handiness as a hammer, to what pre-Gestalt, pre-Primal Scream, pre-Prozac, cathartic delight might I refer?

    Slamming one of those suckers, DOWN.

    Punching a button with vigor… Oh my.

    Can the deleterious effects of such impotence-by-design really be overestimated?

  2. Cary Ryerson says:

    Is this the party to who I am speaking? A Mr. Veedle?

  3. osolikeyou says:

    Back in the day…. it was fun to torment the trogs by unscrewing the caps on the handset and putting a little wax paper under the removeable ear or mouth disc
    before screwing it back down. I remember switching them one time but can’t recall if they were generic and worked either way. Burples, schapps, and Conan. Oh my!

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