Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2024
reverse charges

New York Times has to explain what a phone box is to its younger readers


IF YOU’RE OLD enough to remember any of the following:

  • Making a reverse charges phone call so your dad could pick you up
  • Desperately trying to make sure you dropped the coin in AFTER the other person answered
  • Putting a callcard in the freezer in the vain hope that the credits might magically reappear

… then the following message which appeared in the New York Times yesterday is probably not aimed at you.

nyt @anibundel @anibundel

The paper carried a feature about the fate of the last phone box in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, which came a cropper after being hit by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel.

The broken booth lay on the ground, spilled of its whispered secrets and mundane mutterings, but still bearing scratched assertions of affection (“I love Teresa”) and existence (“Jimmy Jones was here”). A half-dozen bystanders took pallbearer positions and carried it to a resting place behind the motel’s cottage-like office.

It brings to mind this lovely film about Ireland’s forgotten phone boxes, and the boys tasked with taking them down.

TrueFilmsTV / YouTube

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Prairie Grove phone box is being reinstated… if only for nostalgia’s sake.

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